I have worked with so many people in the past 6 years and am so fortunate to be able to help all kinds - women, men, children, busy moms, entrepreneurs, younger, older, single, married, divorced, widowed.
There are times when I work with someone who believes they have a strong emotional attachment to certain items in their home and feel they cannot let go of them. Sometimes, however, when we delve a little deeper, we discover together that it's not the emotional attachment to the item itself, but the guilt of letting go of an item that formerly belonged to someone who has passed away.
This situation occurred recently with one of my clients. She has been widowed for quite some time now and still has possessions that belonged to her late husband's mother in her home. She has held onto these items for many years. Among other things, she had a large box of linens from her late mother-in-law.
When we were going through the items, I explained that it is not necessary to keep "all" of the items to evoke a positive memory of that person. The important part is not the item, but rather the memory it evokes and holding on to numerous like-items becomes clutter.
Another issue that arose is the fact that she felt guilty for letting go of the items she knew she did not want to keep. I helped her recognize that now that her husband and his mother are deceased, and she possesses the items, it is now her decision as to what is to be done with them.
Letting go of a deceased person's possessions falls on the current owner to decide what to do with them and that's okay. With that realization, my client was able to easily let go of all but a few linens which will be kept in a special box (much smaller than the one she originally held them in). Some were in poor condition and were thrown away, but since there remained others still in good condition, they were donated, so that others could enjoy them.
When you inherit items as a result of someone passing away, look carefully at the items and decide whether you LIKE them or not. Don't hold onto something simply because someone gave it to you. If you don't like it or need, it's perfectly fine to pass it on to someone else. Don't keep anything out of guilt! Your home should reflect what you like and enjoy.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, please feel free to contact me at A BETTER SPACE. I will be glad to help you weed through your possessions, eliminate the clutter and assist you in making the right choice as to what to keep and what to get rid of.
In the meantime, have a great week!