“WAIT! Don’t throw my cooler out!” I told my husband.
“You said you were decluttering ALL of the junk in the garage,” he shot back.
“That isn’t junk!” I said, my voice heavy with indignation.
“Looks like junk to me. You never use it.” He wasn’t letting this one go.
Using my very best ‘I AM SERIOUS, DON’T MESS WITH ME’ tone, I told him in no uncertain terms, “I love that little cooler, I do use it and it’s staying!”
Lindon conceded and put the cooler on the shelf. As he walked away, I saw him flash a half smile. He knew the cooler was staying and it seemed to amuse him. Stinker!
WHY was this little cooler so important to me? As I drove to work, I pondered that thought.
- My cousin gave it to me after she won her fight against breast cancer. It has a pink little ribbon on the top, so there is tremendous sentimental value.
- It’s small and I can easily tote it, which I often do. I appreciate that I don’t have to ask for help when using it like I often do with our big, heavier cooler, so there is both a convenience and freedom value.
- It’s mine, I like it and I didn’t want it decluttered, plain and simple, indicating a little bit of possessive value too, which is okay!
We made a rule up long ago…
You should never declutter for someone else, and no one should declutter for you. Ever.
Decluttering is a very personal journey. Whether it involves cleaning out a messy closet, a negative relationship or unhealthy eating habits, the person decluttering has to be ready. Loving, well-meaning advice can be offered, but refrain from destructive comments or controlling tactics. You may not understand the values involved.
Sound easy? Well, not so much! It’s actually a lot harder than it seems!
Oh, how many times do I think it’s silly when someone hangs on to something I find ridiculous to keep? Or stays in a relationship they constantly complain about? Or even volunteers time and time again for something they detest doing? ALL THE TIME! But it’s not my place to declutter for someone else. Okay, so I might slip once in a while and offer unsolicited advice, but the truth is, there is a whole lotta tongue biting going on!
I also think about how many people probably see some decluttering that should be done in my life (like, for instance, my hubby!), and how they refrain from directing me (most of the time) and accept my decisions.
Again, truth spoken in love is one thing, but always respect the very personal nature of decluttering!
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