Friday, June 12, 2009

Sentimental Attachment

True confession #8 of psychological obstacles that keep me cluttered and disorganized.

This is a biggie. I'm like my mom in this. My dad teases her and says she has to keep everything her kids touched or breathed on.

I say, what's wrong with that?!?

Seriously, this is a big issue for me and a big contribution to the clutter I have.

Often, it's hard for people to let go of things they aren't using anymore because they infuse them with a tremendous amount of meaning. These objects come to represent another time, person, or part of themselves that they feel will be lost forever if let go. (Julie, OFIO, 31)

My crazy thought processes go something like this:
  • If I get rid of it, I'll forget how cute my kids were when they were little. This especially applies to photos, art projects and stories they wrote.

  • What if, in the future, one of my kids asks me if I have some little thing they made or did as a child, and I tell them no, I threw it out—and their feelings are hurt because they really wanted to keep it?

  • Won't my grandchildren love seeing things their parents made/had when they were young? (I know I loved that.)

  • Momentos—if I get rid of these momentos I picked up when I had such a good time at whatever with whomever, I'll forget about the event itself.

  • Gifts I don't really like—someone paid good money to give me this gift that they thought I would like. I can't just toss it. What if they come to my house someday and ask what happened to it? What do I say? I might hurt their feelings.

  • If I get rid of this shirt, poncho, jewelry, whatever, no one will ever know how cool I was in high school/college. They'll think I've always been an old frumpy woman. And even worse, I might forget how cool I was!
The solution?
  1. Remember that, "Objects can remind us who we are, or who we want to be, but the real truth is inside us and doesn't go away." (Julie, OFIO, 32) [I'm making this into a poster.]

  2. Take a picture and keep it stored on my computer.

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