Continuing on the theme of letting go of fear from yesterday’s post, I wanted to provide some strategies for how to let go of your uncluttering fears. Most of us have them — I certainly do — but they shouldn’t keep us from achieving our uncluttering and organizing goals.
- The fear that you’re making a mistake. Mistakes are a part of life, and you’re going to make them. As long as the mistake isn’t fatal, you can recover from it. Thankfully, very few mistakes related to uncluttering are life-threatening. It’s okay if you get rid of what you think is clutter and then later realize you need it. Borrow the item from a friend the one time you need it or rent it or buy it used off Craigslist. With one-of-a-kind items that you don’t know if you’ll be able to easily replace, consider long-term loaning these objects to close friends or family members who are interested in using the objects. Then, borrow the item if you find you ever need it.
- The fear that you’ll fall on hard times. You may actually fall on hard times at some point in the future. Unfortunately, a smooth path through life isn’t guaranteed for anyone. Owning clutter, though, isn’t going to help you through those difficult times. Clutter can keep you from being able to quickly respond to a problem or handle it well. Clutter can sometimes make the problem worse. The fewer things you have to clean and maintain during a tragedy will allow you to focus on what really matters during those times.
- The fear that people in your life won’t understand. This is going to happen. Someone in your life will be confused by your desire to live without clutter. Don’t worry, though, you’re confused by other people all the time. It doesn’t keep you from loving them or being friends or enjoying their company — and the same will be true for other people who are confused by you. Life would be boring if we were all the same.
- The fear that someone else in your house will just clutter it all up again. Once again, this is a real possibility. It’s also a real possibility that you’ll be the one to clutter up the space again. The risk that the space might become cluttered again isn’t a reason not to unclutter. There is also a big possibility that the space won’t get cluttered again. Uncluttering and organizing take practice, just like all skills. Michael Phelps didn’t win an Olympic gold medal the first time he jumped into a swimming pool.
- The fear that your life will change, and change is hard even when it’s good. Your life will change. You won’t ever know how amazing an uncluttered life focused on what matters most to you is until you give it a try. It’s your choice, however, and you should only make the change if you really want to. No one can unclutter your life except for you, other people can help, but you’re the one who has to do the majority of the work.