Ideals Vs. What Really Matters

I'm flying to LA today. I like packing. It makes my life super simple. I look inside my backpack and think, "These are my choices for the next two weeks."

I'll be in Southern California for two weeks. If you live there and want to schedule a clutter busting session with me, I have a few spaces available. You can reach me at my email address under my photo to the right. I'm also doing two clutter busting workshops which are located on the right side bar.

At last Sunday's workshop, one of the participants said in an anxious voice, "What do you do with photos?" I know when someone asks me about something in general and they sound tense, it means that area is a source of clutter for them. I asked her more about the photos. She said that she had hundreds in photo boxes. I asked if she looks at the photos. She said, "No!" She said she felt obligated to collect them for her family's sake. But they didn't look at them either.

I asked if she could let the photos go. She said that it would be hard. Photos have a special emotional weight to them. We take pictures at a high point in our lives. Either something exciting or special is happening when we snap the photo. Because of our association with the moment, the photos now seem special. If we look at the pictures and enjoy them, they are part of our lives. But if they sit in boxes and go unseen, they are not a special part of our life. Even if we feel they are. Our minds may have an ideal about something, but what really matters is what actually happens in our lives.

I suggested she could either go through each photo and toss anything that she no longer likes and see what she's left with. From there she can ask herself, "Will I actually be looking at these?" If yes, she can put them in a photo book. When things go in boxes, it's easier to ignore them because they are hidden in a box. Or she and her family could decide to toss the photos. She could say to her family, "We don't look at these pictures. Can I let them go?" I'm certain if the family lets them go, they will continue to have more special moments.