July 21, 2011

Lessons From the Clutter of Divorce

Today at Intent.com, the Forbes Sisters write about the emotional difficulties of the stuff that can be left behind after a divorce in “Divorce and Clutter Clearing: The Process of Letting Go.” The story about the wedding dress is especially relevant for anyone faced with cleaning up during or after a divorce, but it illustrates several other important points that are relevant to all of us.

First, part of the value of clutter is that it can lead you to the major emotional issues of your life. Of course, clutter gains this value only after you are willing to start seeing it. But then, by dealing with the clutter effectively, you can dispense with most of the emotional blocks that slow your life down.

Second, the idea of keeping something because it is valuable in a financial sense should serve as a red flag. The correct strategy for anything you own that is financially valuable, but that you are not able to use, is to put it in the hands of someone who may be able to use it, either by giving it away or by selling it. If you are postponing that inevitable action, it is only because you are resisting it, and you can discover something about yourself by examining that resistance.

Finally, “surround yourself with things that you love.” Your possessions create your surroundings, so choose your possessions well. Keep things that make you happy, that reinforce your sense of who you are, and that help you do the things you do. It is better not to own much more than that.

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