"Peace of mind" is one of the most frequent answers I receive when asking prospective clients why their organizing endeavors are so important. It is also the typical phrase clients use to describe what they feel more often as we reduce their clutter. It is one of the most sought-after feelings that individuals hope to experience as a result of getting organized.
What, then, is our tactic when nostalgia comes knocking as we attempt to let go of the excess to gain peace of mind?
We slow down. Nostalgia can be honored rather than ignored or feared. So, we let it in. We let it tell us what it has to say. Sometimes in being heard, it releases its clutch on the object of its affection.
It does not mean, though, that it has to overstay its welcome. It does not have to become such an overbearing houseguest that peace of mind is relegated to a nearby motel or, worse yet, has to leave the vicinity altogether.
We can hold mental space for the desired feelings of peace of mind, even amidst detailed decision-making. I would argue that it is critical.
I know that this is no easy feat. Even as a professional organizer, I am not immune to the occasional feeling of nostalgia when clearing space for new objects in my home. Emotions can come in strong and fast and take us for quite the unexpected ride. In stepping on the breaks, we not only hold space for nostalgia but also keep our overall goals in mind so that we can achieve them.
Thankfully, we do not have to part with every piece of memorabilia to reach our decluttering goals. Sometimes nostalgia hits, we decide to keep the object, and that decision does not hinder our overall objectives. Nevertheless, we need to slow the pace enough to remember why we are letting go in the first place. Otherwise, when push comes to shove, peace of mind might go packing as nostalgia temporarily floods the circuits.
When you pick up that old dress, your senses might become flooded. As you touch the material, you might remember how amazing it felt when you wore it to that memorable event. You might fondly recall your confidence or all the happiness that you experienced that day.
Maybe the stitching on that baseball hat’s logo transports you right back to the ballpark. Perhaps you can almost smell the hotdogs and still get goosebumps as you recall that fantastic last inning.
So, by all means, reminisce and let the nostalgia in, but slow down enough to remember how great peace of mind feels. You might feel a bit tired when nostalgia packs up to go home, but you can rest easy, knowing that you welcomed it into your home. You did not let it overstay its welcome, and you can now enjoy peace of mind’s company as you sit in your favorite chair to relax.
Author: Judith Dold
Musings from yours truly about all things organizing.