Emotional Baggage in the home and how to send it packing!

Most of us have some form of emotional baggage attached to stuff in our home but what we do with it can make the difference between a cluttered home and a home that does not hold a mixing bowl of emotions. It’s normal that we all have some sort of baggage in this form. ¬†This is how we learn what we want in our relationships, career and from ourselves.

Sometimes we hold onto items that can have negative effects on us. For example, we may hold onto an item that an ex-partner gave us and it was a rocky relationship and a messy breakup. We may think this is a good reminder of the lesson we learned so we won’t do that again. However, this causes negative emotions and feelings and we don’t want to keep this in the home. We will always remember that turbulent time but it is time to look ahead and remove these items from your home.
We tend to pack away just like our luggage and they only come out occasionally. So when we go to minimize and organize these items that hold a whole lot of mixed emotions we start reliving those feelings and memories. This makes it really hard for us to let go and we feel that the lesson or memory it holds is so important that we need to keep it.

Emotional Guilt

This is a big emotion that we have and can have the biggest hold on us. A common one is holding onto items that a close family member or friend has given us as a gift and it is either something we don’t really need or have space for it. So what do you do with it? How can you possibly get rid of that item when you know they will want to see it displayed on their next visit?

Start having a conversation with those you know who love to give gifts and explain that you and your family are looking at creating more memories and experiences rather than collecting stuff. If you don’t feel comfortable saying it straight out, then start dripping the idea into the conversations about how you are now looking at not collecting stuff anymore. That you are really focusing on creating memories and experiences with family and friends. Mention that you would love to do the same with family members and friends as well and this will bring the conversation to where you want to talk about gifts etc.

Effects of Emotional Baggage

Having emotional baggage tied up in our “stuff” can end up in a cluttered home and will affect your health and finances. It can cause us to exercise less, make unhealthy choices with our eating. We end up spending way too much money on items that are not necessary or buying duplicates because we can’t find the original item. It can cause you to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed because we hold way too much importance to our items.


How to Send it Packing

We talked about how to have those conversations with friends and family members is a great way to start to eliminate the feeling of guilt you feel receiving a gift you don’t necessarily love or want.

  1. When going through that pile of items you are struggling with letting go, take a moment and feel all the feels and then release.
  2. If you have a large pile you may want to do just a few items at a time because it will be an emotional time. Set yourself a number of what you want to release for that day so you have a number and a goal.
  3. Rewards are a great way to keep us motivated and focused but remember not to reward in the form of an item. Make it an experience just for you like going for a massage, going for a walk, take some quiet time to read a book whatever it is that you love to do and wish you had more time to do it.

If you would like some extra support and would like to be part of a like-minded group of people who help each other with letting go head to our Facebook group Who Loves to Organize.

How to stop it from coming back

This comes down to creating new habits and routines so you will stay on top of collecting stuff. Take the time to sit down and write down your reasons on why you want to minimize and organize your home and use these as your goals. Now that you understand the attachment we can assign to our stuff you will have that conversation with yourself every time you go through your stuff and ask yourself – “Is this a positive emotion? Do I have space for it? Do I need or use this item? Remember¬†emotions have already shaped the person that we are so we don’t need to remind ourselves of them by holding onto stuff.

If you would like to find out more about how emotional baggage can relate to minimizing and organizing your home please head to my FREE webinar that I am hosting reserve your seat here.

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