Home

Lightening the Load: Time to Stop Living With the Past

Additional Reading

Lightening the Load:
Time to Stop Living With the Past
By Janet L. Hall and Paula Langguth Ryan

Someone recently wrote to share how her husband
and his siblings banded together to *clean out*
her father-in-law's home, which she likened to
an indoor junkyard. After they had filled the
dumpster, her sister-in-law pointed at the
contents and said to her father, *This is what
you were loving while we were growing up. These
were the children you were spending time with
and we grew up with them and hated them and
were jealous of them.*

He never knew they felt this way. And he
certainly wouldn't have chosen to lighten
his load this way. Yet it's sometimes
a hard fact that the treasures and *stuff*
we accumulate during our lifetime have a
profound impact on our families, on
ourselves and on our ability to have a
prosperous life.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you
can take to free yourself from the clutter
of the past and mend fences in your family.
Start by asking yourself a few simple questions
about the things you are hanging on to:

~~ Why are you afraid to get rid of these things?

~~ What do they represent to you?

~~ How long are you going to carry this
stuff around with you?

~~ How have your treasures and *stuff* affected
your family?

~~ Are you hanging on to some stuff *just in case?*

~~ Who said you have to hang on to these things?

Take action now to lighten your load before
someone else decides to lighten it for you. Here
are seven tips to get you started.

1: Invite your children and grandchildren over to
come get the things that were theirs during their
childhood. Donate, auction off or simply throw
away anything that's left. Brenda, a client
in her sixties, was holding on to her daughter's
childhood dolls, thinking she would one day want
them. When Brenda asked, she discovered her
daughter didn't want them after all. She
was free to sell them, which brought her some
extra income and freed up valuable space.

2: Make a list of the treasures you're ready
to part with now. Then write down the names of
friends and family members who have admired
these items. Write down or record a story for
each item, then throw a dinner party for these
friends and family members. Share the stories
with them as you pass along the gifts. Or give
them as holiday or birthday presents.

3: Tap into the flow of giving and receiving
by passing along treasures you want people to
inherit, so you can see the joy in giving and
in receiving while you're still around. Be
sure to write down and relate a story about
the item.

4: Weigh an item's cost to you in terms of
stress and upkeep. If you have a number of
valuables -- such as collectibles, antiques,
linens or pictures -- the expense of
insurance, the worry of possible theft and the
time spent on cleaning can be overwhelming.
One 77-year old woman, Mary, has so much
Depression-era glass on display in her house
it takes her three days a week to dust them
all. What's your joy-to-stuff ratio on these
items in your home? Passing along or selling
these items now will cut down on your stress
level and save you money on insurance premiums.

5: Avoid any fighting and bickering over who
gets what items. Write a letter like the one
Janet's mother-in-law wrote, that simply
states: *I hope we raised you well enough not
to argue over possessions. Your family and
dedication are more important than things.
So I'm sure you won't argue over who gets
what.* As you tell your tales, explain why
you selected a certain person to receive a
certain item. This will go a long way
toward alleviating any ill feelings. Remind
them that it's the memory that matters, not
the item itself. Encourage anyone who isn't
the keeper of the item -- but cherishes the
item as well -- to get a copy of the story
about the item. They can always read the
story, and visit the item.

6: Eliminate items that truly don't have
value any more. How many button boxes or
jars of nails do you really need? Most of
what you're saving isn't probably usable
anymore anyway. Partially opened tubes of
caulk, cans of paint or stain, tape, old
twine, old spools of thread and elastic
all go bad over the years. Throw out
anything that is cluttering up your
home and drawing your attention away
from your family.

7: Unburden yourself from things that are
tying you to the past. Is your basement or
attic still packed with things from
yesteryear? One man's basement had a
six-foot mirror that had been shipped over
from Europe, and was still in its shipping
crate Ė nearly fifty years later! Do you
have a *shrine* to a late mate or beloved
child? Keep one or two *memory items* and
release the rest. Otherwise, you'll always
be indebted to the past instead of free to
face the future.

Above all else, don't make excuses, don't
assess blame and don't postpone the need to
lighten your load. Too many seniors today
are faced with a limited income and worries
about how they will make ends meet. Your
clutter is acting as a stopper to your
prosperity. You can generate much needed
income and free up space for even more
money to come to you simply by releasing
some of your treasures. You'll spend less
time cleaning and dusting, and have more
free time to do all the things you
want to do.

Travel, take up a new hobby, volunteer, play
with your grandchildren, create a playroom
for yourself or your grandchildren. After
all, what do you want to be remembered
for Ė your possessions or your joy for life?

About the Author

Professional Organizer Janet L. Hall and
Contemporary Prosperity Advisor Paula Langguth
Ryan are the originators of the Enough Is Enough!
seminar series. Their unique 3-hour adventures in
money, clutter and time management are designed
exclusively to help you tap your true potential
and achieve better balance in your life. For
more information about upcoming local seminars,
and their services and products, visit
http://www.overhall.com




Making Your Babyís Clothes Last!
As any mother with a young child will tell you, babies grow very quickly. So for new mothers, making the most out of baby clothes is of the utmost importance. So what do you do when those onesies just don't quite snap anymore? How do you get an...
...Read More

It's OK for your child to be bored. In fact, it's recommended!
NY -- Strange as it may sound, bordom promotes happier, creative kids who are better problem solvers. When children use their own creativity with unstructured play, they find ways to amuse themselves -- even if it means simply daydreaming. ...
...Read More

Unique Ideas for Girlfriend Get Togethers
Women create friendship opportunities. We suggest get togethers, shopping excursions, road trips, and coffee dates. We remember birthdays and anniversaries and make sure to stay connected. We call each other on the phone for no reason and meet...
...Read More

25 Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas For Your Teenage Girl
You may think that Christmas stocking fillers for teenage girls will be expensive but they donít have to be. Save the DVDíS and CDíS to go under the Christmas tree and use this list as a starting point for buying smaller treats and necessities...
...Read More

Promise Rings! Hot Symbols of Commitment Since the 16th Century!
What's all this fuss about promise rings? Are they something new or have they been around for a while? What do they mean and why is my teenager wearing one? If you've ever wondered what the rage is all about, then you've come to the right place! ...
...Read More



ANTIQUE MAPS PRINTS UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH

Back to School Show Tell

Top 5 Reasons Why You Cant Live Your Dream

Top 5 Weight Loss Strategies From A Top Level Personal Trainer

Cigar Smoking

Mutants or Clones

Inexpensive Dating Ideas

6 Useful Tips to Cut Wedding Costs

Top Ten Creative Strategies for Inspiring Creativity Where You Work and Play

How Do You Find the Best Car Seat to Protect Your Child

How To Raise A Goldfish

Child Party Planner 9 Steps To A Successful Party

What Do You Do When Baby Outgrows His Clothes

Girls Night In

8 Tips for Encouraging Self Esteem in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Rose Cutting Tips That Maximize Display Life

Why DO the Japanese have the longest lifespan Part 2 Live the Lifestyle

Top 10 Items for Successful Breastfeeding

Stocking up your Boat

Top 5 Wedding Favors and Why