Change happens. I just revisited a shockingly orderly storeroom in my home. Just 24 hours ago I recruited my husband and my visiting son to excavate 20 years worth of stacked boxes and precarious piles of miscellaneous treasures.

By the time we finished we had a car trunk full of items to deliver to a donation center, several huge boxes of papers to recycle, a pile of trash and many miscellaneous items related to the obsolete technology of developing film in a darkroom.

Some of the choices were easy to make. We asked questions like,

  • Do you need this?  
  • Will you miss it if you never see it again?  
  • What on earth is this?  
  • Can somebody else use this?” 

Other choices were more difficult.

Photography was a hobby shared by my husband and my dad, who bequeathed his (then ancient) darkroom equipment to us over 40 years ago. A few pieces have sentimental value. I remember using them while helping my father in his darkroom when I was a child. Yet they have no place in my life now. We haven’t decided how to dispose of those things yet.

A question we didn’t ask is why many of the things we saved for so many years were important in the first place. Why did we save them?

I think I saved most things because I expected to use them again. Then I didn’t, and it took more time to make decisions about disposing of them than it did to just let them accumulate. That’s my style. I’m not proud of it. I have a computer full of files that could be pruned — but they’re even less visible than what was in the storeroom. 

How about you? Would you feel better if you released some of the things you intended to use again? Or is it better to just keep moving forward and leave the clutter hidden away until you are moved to address it?

I don’t have an answer for you. What I suggest is to make a choice and relax. What we did do makes me feel lighter as we move into the busyness of the holiday season. And I’m not worrying at all about what I haven’t done yet. 

I wish you and the people you love a joyful and relaxed holiday season.

Also — If you are having trouble dealing with the holidays, watch for a blog post in a few days. My colleague, Dr. Joe Rubino,
created a free 45-minute audio recording called 7 Steps to Soaring Self-Esteem. You can claim it now at if you like, or wait  for the post that explains it in more detail. 
It’ll be a great way for you to start the New Year.