The great thing about organizing with clients is that I learned many things about human behavior. One particular action I come across often is the customer's bad memories. Many of these experiences come to the surface because of an object they come across while purging clutter. This distraction usually stops them in their tracks, and they need to rehash the story so they can gain perspective to help them let the object and the memory go. No matter what the situation is regarding an object, the results come to pass the same way every time.
The majority of the objects that I found that stop clients in their tracks are the sentimental or experience-based objects. From journaling about previous situations to given objects from others, there are ways to let go of these objects that represent memories that you do not want to rehash. Read on about the different types of objects and how to deal with those negative memories.
Here are some ways to change your bad memories into good ones:
- For items in your home: While looking at the object, think of how you felt while the event was happening? Did you feel sad? Were you crying? Were you physically or emotionally abused by the situation? Then, step back from the situation and recall what you learned from that experience. Are you in a better place because of the situation? Allow yourself to accept that the situation happened. Then, tell yourself, I will now let this memory and the object go. Place it in the bin to donate.
- For Sad or Angry Letters: If it is a letter, try this. Read the letter. By avoiding it, you are giving it power. So, don't! Then, get a metal pot and light the letter on fire. Do this outside of course. Watch it burn and turn into ash. Then take a deep breath and say to yourself, "It's done. I am moving on."
- For Journals: A lot of my clients are lifelong learners and have taken many self-improvement classes. So, they had lots of journals and writings that detailed their process of learning and letting go. Remember: You learned these lessons and do not need to revisit them, so it is time to let it go. An excellent way to get rid of journals is ripping out the pages and shredding them. You can also burn the pages in a large metal pot. If you find you have a lot of journals, contact a shredding company to come out and shred the stuff for you. While getting rid of these journals, recall the positive experiences you learned about yourself in these classes.
Where to find items that stir up sad/bad memories?
Go through areas like your jewelry box and your memorabilia boxes. Clean out any objects that symbolize an upsetting or frustrating moment in your life. And, turn it into a good one. Take those objects and do something positive with them, like donate them to someone in need. Personally, I sold jewelry from my jewelry box and used the money to convert my grandmother's one piece earring into a ring.
Where to donate objects that have bad memories?
Remember that we place our thoughts on these objects. The next person will not have the same experience as you did with the object. So, if you want to make sure of this, try saying out loud, this object is clear of the emotions I have attached to it. I am willing to let it go for the betterment of another person for their highest good. It may sound corny, but bringing awareness to the situation and not ignoring it will release you and clear the object at the same time. Try it and see.
I hope this inspires you to get rid of items that stir up bad memories. It will help you make your home an oasis.
Challenge for this week:
Go through one area of your home and find two items that represent sad or bad memories to you. Get rid of them. Leave a comment below on what you got rid of and how you felt after you got rid of it.
Feel free to visit these other articles I found on the topic.
Looking for more advice about changing habits? Visit our posts on the topic here.
Looking for items to take care of yourself after a hard day of purging your bad/sad memories? Check out these items from Amazon.