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As seen in the Dayton Daily News on November 3, 2018

During one of my recent organizing seminars, I took the audience on a journey through the various stages of life people go through; including, when we were a baby, our school days, having a career, getting married and having kids. Some people in the room were in the stages of empty nesting and retirement.

As we were talking about the various stages people can go through, we explored the many items we need for each phase. We then discussed how we progress into the next stage without letting go of many of the items we needed from the previous stage. In other words, we continue to collect and accumulate items from past stages as we enter into new ones.

I went on to explain how these items from our past require cleaning and maintaining long after we are done with them. They clutter up rooms in your home, and we often take time moving them from home to home.

We talked in length about how all these extra items take up 1) space in our home, 2) our time to deal with them, and 3) money to store them. While we are caring for these unneeded items, we are taking time away from doing everyday things that make us happy, like spending time with people we enjoy being around.

After the discussion, I had people break into groups and discuss what they were going to part with after hearing my program. Items discussed were: books never read, magazines still in plastic wrappers, clothes that don’t fit, and one woman said she was ready to part with her wedding dress.

I was so happy! The attendees were motivated to let go of things that take up space, and waste their time and money. Better yet, they were going to bless others by donating items from their past.

Before the class adjourned, I asked if anyone had any questions, comments or objections to the ideas I shared.

A gentleman in the back of the room called out, “If everyone listened to you there would be no antiques left in the world.” Then a woman chimed in, “Or museums.” The man shot back, “Or collections.” This made me smile.

These two audience members thought I was saying, “If something is old or if you have too much of it, then get rid of it.”

My message was actually, “Let go of the things you are not enjoying, displaying or using.” So if you love antiques, have a collection you are actively enjoying, or are interested in history and genealogy, then by all means keep those items. They support your current interests.

But if you have antiques covered in cobwebs, collections boxed up in the basement and items from your past that are never enjoyed, then let them go. Sure these are items from you past, but they are another thing you need to deal with that can take you away from the present.

Your past is important, but life is happening now. Keep things for who you are now with a little bit of your past items sprinkled in. The freedom you get from letting go will make you soon forget you ever needed all that stuff.