Organizing Pitfall #5- Organizing for the Past or Future, not the Present

I’ve seen this challenge in so many homes…

  • the untouched bedroom of the child that has grown, married, and has children of their own
  • The rooms full of furniture, boxes, and items from a loved one who has passed on… and now their life is taking over your living room
  • the collection of things for “someday”
  • … or “for our grandchildren” (when your own kids are only teenagers)

Usually, this particular pitfall connects to a significant degree of sentimentality and attachment to your visions of an ideal future or beloved past. And, I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’ve seen this challenge arise often, so if this is you… you’re not alone. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sentimental. 

My only question for you… Is your present discomfort really worth sacrificing for memories from the past or hypothetical futures? 

When we’re working with clients it is always the client’s choice about what stays and what goes. You are the only person who knows if this item has importance and value to you, if it deserves its place in your home and life. 

All that we aim to do is help you raise the question for yourself… does this deserve a place in my present home? Am I giving my current needs the priority or sacrificing them unnecessarily? 

The goal is to help you find a balance that works for you!

When addressing items from the past, rather than giving over whole rooms or spaces to past chapters of your life or passed loved ones… how can we integrate those spaces and things into your current life to keep them vibrant for you? 

When dreaming of possible futures… how much house space does a possible future 20 years from now deserve compared to a likely future for next season?

Even my own mother has her boxes of my childhood toys which she is saving for “her grandchildren” (who haven’t yet arrived on this planet), but they are lovingly packed up in a few boxes under her basement stairs. In other words, they are making no significant demands on her current space or present reality. That’s what I mean about finding a balance. 

If you were to wander around your home today, how much of your space is claimed by your beloved past or ideal future? Have you claimed enough space to live your present life with ease and grace? 

Share your experiences with these challenges in the comments below. Are you organizing for the past, present, or future? 


Image: xandert/

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