Author: Kelly GalfandClutter Donating Feng Shui General Organizing Spiritual and Holistic

When You Give, You Get…

conversation hearts: "goodbye" & "Adieu"

Letting go isn’t easy — but when you allow yourself to say goodbye to books you haven’t read, children’s toys that have been outgrown, and clothing that no longer suits your style — you get more than a tax receipt. When you give, you get…

SATISFACTION: Allowing someone else the pleasure of enjoying your stuff feels good (so does recycling).

SPACE: You will literally regain space…

• Whole drawers can be emptied

• Shelves will no longer bow under the weight of your old textbooks

• Closets will sigh with relief that they’re not overstuffed and cramped

Being able to see your belongings enables you to enjoy and appreciate what you have.

FREEDOM: We are privileged to live in a free society, but some of us are slaves to stuff and the need to acquire more. When you let something go, a wonderful emotional freedom grows.

As a professional organizer, I am privileged to witness people stand straighter, smile more freely, and breathe easier by letting go of things that were holding them back. Releasing physical items from our spaces gives us the freedom to decide what will take its place. Let it be positive memories and new opportunities.

About the Author

6 Responses

  1. Kelly is so on the mark with this. I remember after having cleaned out a sock drawer that I realized how much energy was being sucked out of me every time I forced the drawer closed. It seems like a little thing. But as Kelly says, after the space was cleaned out I felt free.

    Okay, so I obviously “get it.” So then why have I let the sock drawer get stuffed again?

    • Shai: Thanks for sharing your space clearing experience. My best guess is your sock drawer piled up again because of one of three things:
      1. you did your fabulous sort and purge session without considering the laundry yet to be returned to the drawer.
      2. you cleared it — felt great — and then forgot the classic In One Out One rule (which means every time you bring something new into a contained space you need to let an old thing go to maintain the contents)
      or 3. You haven’t appreciated the classic sports-training-adage: No Pain = No Gain. Our best solution: MAINTAIN!!!
      The best way to prevent pain (like not being able to close your drawer) is to maintain your space. It’s simple: add 2 minutes of sorting and purging each time you put clean laundry away so you prevent any build up.
      I’m interested to hear which reason YOU think contributed to your sock pile up.

  2. It was reasons 2 and 3 both. But aren’t there a gazillion aspects of my life that all require the slowing down and adding the two minutes. Won’t those two minutes add up and blow my planning for the day, the week?

    • Shai: 2 minutes here and 3 minutes there once a day will save you HOURS at the end of the month when you’re ready to pull you’re hair out because things have piled up! Don’t just trust me, though: try it! Once you establish the habit and expand this sock drawer maintenance routine to the family coat closet or peg board, your kitchen counter and the mail-dump spot, you’ll lose much less time in search of things (like keys or gloves)!

  3. While reading what you wrote, I was reminded of my bicycling routine, which is one of my few routines that I’m totally devoted to be routine about. There are so many components to a single outing; specialized clothing, helmet, gloves, 3 locks/keys to shed and bike and more. And I get ready and put things a way in exactly the same way each time so that I’m almost never looking for something.

    I want to see if I can take that same energy and apply it to maintenance tasks, as you suggest. With the cycling there is such a clear reward… but I guess with comfortable and beautiful spaces there is reward also.

    • Shai: For many people it helps to write down the benefits you (personally) expect from comfortable spaces…this is a very subjective exercise but some of our clients NEED to articulate why they want to adopt a new habit or routine. Knowing the ‘pay off’ helps their motivation especially when the work of getting to an organized comfortable space is tiring. If you brainstorm the benefits and post them on a post it or 3 x 5 card it helps. Then as you form the habit you can add benefits (emotional, social, or economic) that emerge that you didn’t imagine (or couldn’t imagine) while still in your overwhelmed state of mind and space.

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