I hate my office. I dread entering, sitting down, and looking at the ugly purple walls, table of random homeless items, and supplies from old businesses and abandoned Pinterest projects. I’ve tried to organize it before but have had limited (zero) success. Why? As a Professional Organizer, doing this small room should be relatively simple, right? For the longest time, I couldn’t quite figure out what was stopping me. This has been on the back burner for two YEARS.
I have TONS of motivation. I’ve been wanting to paint the room (painting walls= my therapy) because the room just needs new life. It should be a calm, neutral, grey or brown, with bright pops of color on the walls. This room needs to become a haven for me because, really…working in my living room just isn’t cutting it anymore. The dishes, cooking, cleaning, snacks, and TV have all gotten in the way of my thought process and my brain just feels cluttered. I envision coming down to my new office each morning where there is peace and I can finally focus amidst the chaos that is “normal life.” But no matter how I’ve tried, I couldn’t get through the stuff.
Then today I had a moment. And I realize now what was holding me back. I needed to forgive myself. I needed to forgive myself for abandoning two previous businesses, for all the supplies that I bought because they seemed practical at the time. I KNEW I would use them- at the time. It seemed like a good idea to buy 2 boxes of business cards, customer loyalty cards, sample containers, milk crates, plastic containers, spray bottles, lip gloss samplers, tasting spoons, ribbons, gift bags, banners, tissue paper, stickers, notecards, and more. But now… sitting in this room just makes me sad. Because all these dreams I had are now left in a room in a basement, confined, rejected, and collecting dust. And some of these things are still “useful,” if I want them to be. So do I keep them? Will I use them?
How can I move FORWARD on anything in my life while working in this crowded room filled with sad objects? And so I forgive myself for the mistakes I made and the items I purchased. And I know that those choices, and the things left in their wake are reminders of the path that has led me to the AWESOME place I’m in today. I’m in a place where I can forgive myself for all this and FINALLY begin to move on.
Moving each item out is hard work. What seems like “stuff” is so much more than that. It is the memories, the emotions, and an ongoing assessment of your life so far. It is coming to terms with yourself in HD and full-screen, without make-up and props. There are a thousand distractions in that room tempting me to open each and every Pandora’s box I find. And this is when I wish I had my own Organizer to coach me! Because it’s not “easy,” even for me. And it’s not “just stuff.”
Sometimes sorting through your own items involves sorting through your choices, your disappointment, and things you just don’t want to think about. And sometimes- it just sucks. And so we avoid the sorting and the purging, and focus on buying new, fresh, happy items. If this horrible feeling is what’s blocking you from purging, you are doing yourself a disservice. I’m here to tell you: you need to FORGIVE YOURSELF before you can truly let go of the items. Picture it as a snake shedding its skin. I’m letting go of what WAS me and accepting what IS me. The better me. And I’m refusing to hate this room because of the items it holds. The items have served me well but they are serving me no longer. Today, I’m letting go.
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