One client saved scraps of fabric because she thought she would use them for a “some day” art project.
Another client piled up months’ worth of his family’s clean laundry because he thinks he’s going to find the time to put it all away one day.
A third client is holding onto unwanted items for months because she knows the perfect person to give them to.
Yet another client has a stash of torn or damaged garments waiting to be repaired (and my partner just confessed to the same, but for him it’s been years).
As for me, I’ve held onto appliances that don’t work with the intention of having them repaired, and I’m guilty of all of the above as well.
We all have the best of intentions for what to do with these things we’ve kept. The reality is that we often just don’t ever get around to it. My advice? Forgive yourself and move on. Be realistic about what you can take on, and make a new plan. Donate those scraps of fabric to a school for children to use in their art projects. Delegate that laundry to the cleaning woman to handle when you hire her for more hours or ask family members to pitch in. If you don't make a firm plan to see that perfect person to give that cast-off to soon, it’s ok to donate it to charity, and those damaged garments can be trashed or repaired. With my defunct appliances, I finally donated them to the electronics recycling facility.
I’m giving us all permission to move onto Plan B with these things. The key is to face what we have the bandwidth for and what we don’t. Over time, these things weigh us down and make us feel bad about ourselves. If you really want to give yourself another chance, set a firm deadline, write it down or commit it to another person, and if you haven’t dealt with whatever it is by then, move on to Plan B, whether it’s donating, trashing or delegating.
Let’s face it. We’re all human, and we all feel overwhelmed sometimes. My philosophy with all my clients is not to force them into new, unnatural behaviors; it’s to find a new way that’s sustainable and comfortable and leaves them feeling successful. What have you got lurking in your home that’s been waiting a long time to be donated, repaired or used?