Disposable Friends by @Barbclifford

by Barbara Clifford | Featured Contributor

Professional Organizers are often engaged by individuals to eradicate clutter. For many people, they have to deal with wardrobe clutter, an overabundant and overabundant supply of clothing.  Clutter can also exist in our kitchen or in our office.

The Professional Organizer will instruct the client to pick up a utensil, document or piece of clothing and ask themselves these 3 questions.

1. Have I used this, read this, worn this in the last 12 months?

If not, then why are you hanging onto it? Is it for sentimental reasons? Often we hold things because we are afraid of losing the memory, we like the feelings and memories it revokes by holding the item in our hand. Yet, the memories are there, and we recall what is of value to us. Somethings are okay to let go.

It’s easy to collect too many kitchen appliances or utensils that we rarely or never use, thinking they were a good idea at the time. These days, many tools and appliances can easily be replaced pretty much with loose change (I bought a toaster for $15 the other day).

2. Can I easily replace it if I need to?

When it comes to documents, you need only ask yourself: “Can I find this on google if I need to?” It’s highly likely, and in fact, on google it’s more like to be up to date and current.  Or can the document be scanned and preserved digitally.

3. Does it serve me (how does it make me feel)?

This is probably the most important question of all.

When you wear a piece of clothing, do you feel good in it? Does it fit you well, does it feel comfortable, do you feel confident in it?
Now ask yourself similar questions about your friendships or your work.  When you are in the company of your friends do you feel good, to you feel comfortable, relaxed and confident?

When you are at work, does it serve you? Does it fulfil your values, sustain you, energise you? Do you feel comfortable and confident?

There are many times in our lives when we have to end a relationship. Not just romantic relationships but our attachments and relationships with many things. Sometimes you need to end the relationship with those pants you wore (and could fit into) when you were 18. That time has passed and you need to say to those pants “Goodbye. Our time is done here. It’s time to end this relationship and break up.”

We might leave a job, we might leave town, or change suburbs. We might downsize from a family home, move out of home or simply sell a house.

We might end a romantic relationship, we might end a friendship.

All things will eventually come to an end. There is a Buddhist philosophy that nothing is permanent, we ourselves will return to dust. They refer to it as suffering, but it is more about the ending and letting go of things for the rebirth of something new.  Because we change, we age, our body shapes change, we mature, it is often not worthwhile to hang onto old clothes. Sometimes, too, it is not worthwhile hanging onto old friendships.

It’s okay to ask, “Does this serve me?” when it comes to a friendship. All relationships need to be two way. Do you get back what you give out? Does the friendship return an equal proportion of value to the contribution that you make?

You are still in this friendship, you’re still in the job, you’re still living in the house and you’re still holding that shirt in your wardrobe, but does it serve you? When was the last time you wore it, did it make you feel good and do you feel good in the process?

When you have doubts about any of your relationships, connections or possessions, simply ask yourself “Does this serve me?”.


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