A few weeks ago I was enjoying a backyard BBQ with a group of close friends who are planning a cross-country move in the near future. One of the hardest aspects of moving is dealing with all the STUFF we accumulate. You know: the basement, the attic, the garage, the junk drawer. As we discussed what to do about their grown children's belongings that remain stashed away I said, "Memories belong in your head, not the basement." True, true...I suppose that fresh Wisconsin air was inspiring me.
At the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2013, I set a goal to "Lighten up!" by the Summer Solstice that just occurred this week. For me, lightening up meant I wanted to reduce the "stuff" in my home by 30%, let go of old habits, and attend to any business that may be lingering around, unfinished.
I've made amazing progress, one step at a time. I saved the bigger areas, like the basement, for a day off. But I made a few hours several times a week to tackle something: a closet, a shelf, some drawers. The trick is to just stick with it. Once I completed the purging, I went back and did it again. There are always those things that one just cannot part with for some reason. I had a cashmere sweater in my closet for several years that I wore on one of the worst days of my life. Countless times I picked it up, put it on, and felt funny, and I changed out of it. I never wore it again, but it was a perfectly good cashmere sweater, and now sentimental, too. Out the door it went during Round Two! When tackling a goal like this yourself, as you look around your home, remember that everything holds energy and affects your mood. Do you have photos of your loved ones displayed from their very best days? Look around at everything, does it hold a good memory or a negative one?
Once I finished cleaning and clearing, I burned ceremonial sage throughout the house to clear the energy, too.
In my work as a medium I have seen countless families ripped apart by the "stuff." I remember so clearly a reading I did years ago where the patriarch of the family had passed and he communicated, "All my life I worked so hard to build stability for my family, and since I've passed, everything I worked for has only ripped them apart." Remember; everything that is truly important goes with you to the afterlife.
Clearing out a family home after a passing, especially a child's room, is a huge challenge. Everything becomes sentimental, right down to the dirty socks. There is definitely no right or wrong way to do it. It's all about whatever works for you. Certain spaces become sacred to us after a passing, and it's vital that we allow ourselves the process we need to move through our grief.
Completing the task means taking care of all the outlying, unfinished business. This is often the INWARD aspect of an OUTWARD process. The house is clean, the closets are nearly empty and organized...what else do you need to complete? Small things around the house are omnipresent for any homeowner; but let's think a little deeper. Do you need to return borrowed items? Have you meant to share a belonging or gift with someone? Is there any outstanding paperwork dragging you down? Is there a person with whom you've had regrettable words and need to reconnect? Just pause for a few minutes and think about things that really need to be completed to make you feel whole, free and ready to move forward.
Cleaning up the space of someone you love after a loss is an incredibly hard job to tackle. Just keep reminding yourself...the most important "things" are not things at all.
©Mollie Morning Star 2014 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.