Honour (verb) – “regard with great respect”
Afraid (adjective) – “feeling of fear or anxiety; frightened
-worried that something undesirable will occur or be done
-unwilling or reluctant to do something for fear of consequences
When entering into your organizing journey, inevitably, there will be an item or items that have been “handed down” to you, or you have acquired after the death of a family member. So often these items are found boxed up in the basement, attic, storage unit or buried under other items and not being properly used. When asked about keeping the items, the most common response “I have to keep that, it was my ______________”.
When this happens, you have to take a minute and assess the situation. The item(s) that have just been uncovered or unboxed are not being used or used properly. In some cases, you are actually paying money to store these items. Yes, these items may have belonged to generations of family members or were handcrafted by a great-great uncle, but you need to ask yourself, by having them, are you honouring them, or are you afraid of them?
As discussed in an earlier post about Emotional Guilt, your great-great uncle built that dresser because he needed a dresser. His intention was not that it would need to be kept in the family for decades. If it was still useful, and served its purpose, then he built a quality piece of furniture that has served many people well. I am sure however, it was not built with the intention to be kept if broken or a burden for someone. Just like Grandma’s dishes were not purchased with the expectation that they need to stay in the family indefinitely. Grandma bought her dishes, because she loved them and wanted them for her. Not with the intention they should be kept boxed up and never to be used again.
As the definitions above state, to honour something is to regard it with great respect, so if you have heirlooms you want to keep to honour of their history or significance to your family ties, then they need a home in your space and be used as they were intended, not squirreled away in a basement to be lost or broken or somebody else’s issue someday.
If you don’t want to or can’t use them in your space, then you need to let them go and allow someone else to honour them. You need to let go of the fear and worry, because those items were never meant to create those emotions. The only consequence of letting them go is regaining control of your space and possibly letting go of a financial burden attached to keeping them.
Getting organized and staying organized is a journey. Along the journey there will be rough and difficult parts, so be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to make decisions that make you happy.