The saying “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb” is usually associated with the weather as March straddles the winter/spring line. However, it may be the perfect way to describe how most of us feel as we get older about all of our “stuff” and spring cleaning. Most of the things in our homes straddle the very fine line between necessary and unnecessary.
Lately I’ve been asking myself, “Why do I have this”? Or more important, “Do I still need this”? It’s true – there are just some things we need to have around us. They may not make sense, some definitely defy logic, but they create what makes us feel at home. We keep them for the memories that are trapped inside them or for that “one day” that hasn’t come yet or may never arrive.
We have formed attachments to our things because in their presence we hear the voices of loved ones. Underneath the polished worn surfaces live our life’s stories. They are generational mile markers. The feelings we have about them, some good, some bad, some we’d rather not talk about because we really haven’t found the right words or we don’t like what they have to say, like “you can’t get rid of me yet”, so we leave them unspoken. It feels safer that way.
Before we know it, we are surrounded by the things we have acquired, sinking in the quick sand of stuff with no foreseeable way to get out and we can’t seem to catch our breath. There is tightness in our chest at the thought of stuff going away, but how can it all stay? When did we allow things to fill the void? We need to have a serious discussion with ourselves, but how do we begin? Here are a few things to consider.
1. Manage your stuff or your stuff will manage you.
Sound advice, but how do we tell our stuff, “You’re not the boss of me”? The answer might be found in Marchs’ example – we have straddled another line – between our heart and our head. The heart wants what the heart wants, but the head says “we don’t have room; you’re never going to use that, etc.” The head says a lot of practical things our hearts would rather not hear. Somewhere between the two of them lies the answer. When these two can’t agree; having an impartial third party to help with clutter control and organization could perk you up in no time.
2. “What profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?”*
That’s a really good question. Our soul is comprised of our mind, our will, and our emotions. All three of these need room in order to be healthy. They cannot be cluttered or overwhelmed and still function in our best interest. We know when this happens; we look around at all the stuff and we don’t want to think about it. We become overcome with exhaustion. We are tired of looking at stuff, tired of cleaning it, tired of moving it around from one place to another. We are frustrated, we love it we hate it. It boggles our mind and breaks our heart. There seems to be no realistic plan that satisfies or rectifies.
It’s painfully obvious that the quantity of stuff is managing us and our quality of life is evaporating at an alarming rate that we can’t seem to stop. We want our joy back. We know we need a smaller foot print and some help with planning a new creative space that speaks to who we are now and where we are going.
3. Make up your mind and just do it.
March makes up its mind and marches forward to the next season; it’s a natural progression. March may straddle the line between winter and spring, but it always, always ushers in the next season with total confidence. Looking at our situation like March looks at winter, may be just the thing we need to help us move on. To everything there is a time and a season. What happens when spring comes? There’s joyful expectation of the new.
We see tangible proof that winter is gone, flowers bloom, trees put on leaves and the grass is brilliantly green and lush. Things are growing. Letting go is part of the growing process we all go through. Innately, we want to know the things we treasured in our life will be loved and useful to someone else. It’s like letting go of our children. We know we need to let them find their own lives, but we still want to be involved. We want to share in the joy of their new life.
Pathfinder’s unique approach to working with seniors when downsizing opened the door for just such a partnership. They call it Project Goodworks. Seniors get the rare opportunity to see another life for the beautiful things that gave them so much joy. There was a season when a huge dining room table was necessary. It will always be treasured as will the memories, but it’s time to let it go. It’s a necessity for someone else now. Something old can be something new when it passes from me and finds its way to you. Our winter has become their spring.
Pathfinders is unique in their approach as Downsizing Specialists. They are in a sense, master gardeners. They have the keen ability to take an overall view of the tangled growth and see where the trimming needs to be done, what branches need pruning, and where the treasured blooms will receive the most sun and therefore grow the best in their new environment. A winter garden can be a little sad and depressing at first glance, especially, if you’ve never seen it in the spring. Oh, but if you have been through the seasons you have hope and therefore know what is coming and it is spectacular!
Pathfinders Downsizing Solutions has a lot to offer for the Month of March. Our social media platforms will be packed full of insightful, helpful tips, stories, and images. So take a look on our Facebook page.
If you need help sorting things out, organizing, and reimagining your space to function at its highest capacity or if you are ready to downsize and embrace a new season in your life, Pathfinders is ready. Helping you find the perfect place to call home is what they do every day.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We’d love to help you find the right path.
Authors Bio – Sherri Lanier-Goldston
Sherri Lanier-Goldston began working with Pathfinders Downsizing Solutions in February of 2019. She has written for Nest Entertainment and is currently working on solo book projects for children and young adults. She is a native Floridian and lives in Lutz with her family.
*Mark 8:36 KJV