“you have a lot of shit.”
my older brother's exact words upon viewing the enormous pile in my bedroom, prior to college my freshman year. i was, of course, stunned – and literally thought he was nuts. how can this be too much?
having delivered a daughter to college myself, i now see what big bro meant. with my work as a project manager & organizational expert, i am all too familiar with this visual on a weekly basis. i constantly work with clients who are in the same boat, but on a grander scale. it’s the truth - they have too much "stuff."
*see photos in the gallery above. there is no judgement, these are simply photos i have taken as "before" photos over the years. in full disclosure, one of the photos is from the pgpad office taken today. so we all suffer - "the cobblers kids have no shoes." but, i digress.
we, as a nation, suffer from a disease commonly known as “stuffitis.”
this disease can present itself in many forms - bulging garages, overflowing attics & cabinetry which will not close - but the symptoms are all the same. before “stuffitis” develops into a full-blown case, noticeable symptoms are poor self-talk, money mismanagement & time wasters like wandering through malls/stores, impulse purchases at checkout or surfing online when sad or lonely.
there are certain mantras used to justify why we should keep “this” or “that” once it has made it into our homes. sometimes it’s “oh, but grandma will be so upset if i get rid of it,” or “i know it doesn’t fit right now, but when i lose that extra five pounds…” my favorite is “it might be worth something one day!” yeah, well, it’s worth something now…your SANITY.
this is not a gender specific issue; everyone has his or her sticking point. trust me, i have seen it all, having worked with clients who needed a simple re-arranging of a small hall closet to a full-blown hoarder (yes, just like the show).
so, here’s the rub. you can cure your disease, but it will take time, effort & self-healing.
i am not a certified doctor, but let’s pretend PRoj&ct Girl consulting has her doctorate in simplification, and this is your prescription:
stop lying to yourself. begin telling yourself you can live without “stuff,” because it no longer brings you joy.
start getting financially healthier. stop purchasing items you do not “need”
begin visualizing how your life will look with a more simplified & less stressful environment. see the good, see the happiness in your future.
find someone who gives you encouragement to accomplish your goal & will hold your feet to the fire. who knows, you might find a bit of fun competition with them.
remind yourself what it was like when you were a child with fewer responsibilities & fewer items for which to care. you can get back there. remember it’s people, not things which build us up.
everyone is looking for ways to get healthier. so think to yourself, “how can I be cured of my stuffitis?”
you now have the steps, so do the workout. it may be painful at first, but i promise it will be worth it!
peace, love & gratitude
* "stuffitis" was originally written for my friend's blog, buffy york's "the style gathering," on october 7, 2014. stop by her blog & say hello. thanks for the support buffy! xo