We’ve all got ‘em! And they love to collect stuff. They are great at vision casting and can be very creative. But they can also be negative and critical, even accusatory.
I’m talking about your fantasy self. And they may play a significant role in your struggle with clutter and disorganization. This is the part of your personality you would like to change because deep down inside, you feel this may bring you happiness. (Spoiler alert: it won’t!) Or there is a deep-rooted belief that if you just were more hipster or more scholarly or more… fill in the blank, you would be happier.
Your fantasy self is the one who purchased gourmet kitchen appliances but you are a Trader Joe’s heat and eat cook.
Your fantasy self hangs onto the blue jeans even though they never fit right after pregnancy shifted things around in your body.
Your fantasy self is one who purchased the camping gear 14 years ago and it’s still in its original packing in the guestroom closet. (Underneath the tennis rackets from your high school tennis days.)
When I’m in organizing a home or business, I often meet these fantasy selves and it’s part of my job to lovingly offer a reality check. For example, the crafter who has boxes of supplies that haven’t been touched in decades. We get into some emotional territory! Especially with older folks who have, say, mobility or balance issues and they have trouble parting with their unicycle.
Here are some items I encourage you to unclutter so you can fully embrace YOU. The REAL YOU. Not a fantasy version.
Exercise equipment–Yes, I know those Peloton commercials are compelling but every time I see the ads of the amped up leader shouting, “Come on, Peloton!” I know he is speaking to fantasy selves scattered across the country. I wonder how many of those bikes will gather dust. Yes, I have a fantasy self that sports six-pack abs and has nothing jiggle on my body. But uh yes, that is a fantasy. By the way, if you have a treadmill that serves as a clothing rack, uh, I see you.
Clothing and shoes-If they don’t fit, the fabric is uncomfortable, the shoes pinch, pitch ‘em! Clothing should fit you, not you fit into the clothing.
Books-Being a book-o-holic myself, I get this. I looooooove books. But after hauling college texts, reference books and a shit-ton of other books that “I’ll read one of these days” I have parted with many of them. I have never regretted doing so because of the easy access to reading material either through a trip to the library or online databases.
Social media-OMG.- Do I even need to comment on this one?
Kitchen Appliances-I already mentioned the gourmet tools. This also goes for the 12 place settings of Lenox that you have not used-nor will ever use.
Sentimental items-This is tough for many. I hear a lot of stories from clients about why they hang on to what they hang on to. It saddens me when I hear of the GUILT people struggle with over items that they don’t want, but they keep because they feel it would dishonor to the departed loved one.
Makeup and skincare-I once (and I do mean ONCE) tried this skincare regimen that broke down washing my face into approximately 37 steps. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit here. Point is, if you’re not using the exfoliator, toner, fountain-of-youth cream, part with it. Find out what works for you and stick with that. Ditch the rest. Oh, and ladies. Imagine the businesses that would go under if we believed in our natural beauty.
Craft supplies-This is a bread-and-butter area for organizers. If you have a cache of fabric, that’s been sitting in a Rubbermaid bin for the past 20 years, this is your sign, Donate it!
Finally, your fantasy self is a good guy/gal. They hold aspirations that make like interesting and fun. Just don’t let them keep you from having the peaceful clutter free home you would like.
Theresa Winn Lode is an author, certified life coach, and coffee addict. Her fantasy self hangs out on a Mexican beach, sipping frosty drinks with little umbrellas and speaking Spanish badly. Her website is www.theresalode.com