I had been thinking for quite some time about making my home office feel more like a ‘real office.’ I had a desk, file cabinet, the requisite laptop, printer/scanner/fax machine, phone, calculator, and plenty of office supplies…. all the trappings of a typical office. But since my small desk lacked the additional surface area needed for work space and for all this paraphernalia, I had enlisted into service two multi-purpose tables with fold-up legs (made prettier by draping them with tablecloths). They worked well, but lacked drawers and a professional feel. I finally upgraded recently with the exciting purchase of a four-drawer credenza and a matching cabinet with shelves and doors.
I was feeling on top of the world until I had to make room for the new furniture. I discovered I had hidden a wealth of “stuff” under those functional tables that were conveniently covered by the lovely tablecloths. Unfortunately, that “stuff” is all things filled with sentimental attachment and historical family significance. It belonged to my parents who have passed away: photos and memorabilia and documents. As the family matriarch and self-designated keeper of what must be kept, I now need to confront this accumulation and figure out once and for all what to do with it. I need to work through the process I do with clients every day…. sort it out, consider it carefully, and make decisions– difficult decisions.
My head knows that although I already pared down in stages, I have saved more than I need to keep. But my heart still struggles with allowing me to let go a bit more. I know from my own training, what matters most should be put in order and stored in a way that allows it to be shared, treasured and easily accessed. For instance, I might scan the photos of family and friends to share with my siblings then put the originals in albums. I could assemble a binder of the important and memorable documents to keep on the bookcase instead of in a bin. A shadow box filled with small, cherished objects could be created and displayed. Perhaps it would make sense to enlist the help of my siblings for these decisions and projects. What a delight it would be to celebrate my parents by bringing peace and order to their things, and in turn be able to share those memories with others.
Yes, even professional organizers can struggle with letting go. But I am going to listen to the voice that gently guides others into making wise choices… my own voice urging me to let go of what was and make room for what might be.