Now it gets tough……

vintage music antique radio

Photo by Skitterphoto on


The really difficult task of decluttering spaces, items or boxes full of stuff that you have a  strong and sentimental attachment to is next.  This is when things get really tough and unfortunately can lead to stress, anxiety, and an overall feeling of sadness.  This is the stage where many people, not just those of us with CI, give up because hard decisions need to be made and feelings of loss are awakened.

Those of us who have had the unfortunate experience of losing  someone(s)  precious and dear to our hearts know how hard it is to handle inherited items or items that were given to us before s/he passed.  We keep the goods stored away believing that holding onto their stuff  keeps our loved one closer.  To get rid of anything could be seen as a rejection of that person, the “willingness” to  let go of our memories and fear they will soon be forgotten.

Realistically, we all know that the items are not the person and the memories of our loved one do not live in the items.   But for those of us with CI, we live with the uncertainty of our health, and as we declutter emotional items we unconsciously deal with our own mortality.  Our unpleasant thoughts create even more stress and since we deal with more than our share every day………….we shove it all back in a box and tell our self,  maybe another day!

This is why I believe it is so important during the decluttering process to physically hold every single item you have in your home.  I know, this sounds ridiculous and overwhelming and time consuming and you are right……….it is.  But, it is the only way you are going to be able to truly declutter and make appropriate decisions.  No where is touching every item more important than when dealing with the sentimental stuff.

While going through that box of  knick-knacks from grandma………….touch each and every item individually.  Does it make you happy?  Do you remember where she had it in her home?  Is this something important enough for you to place in your active living space?  Would giving it away bring you emotional pain?  How about a box of old pictures……… you know who those people are?  If not, are the pictures even labeled?  Is there someone else who would enjoy the photos more than you?

As you touch each item, you can feel it’s vibe, it’s memory (or lack thereof) and sense what you should or shouldn’t keep.  Maybe there is a treasure in a box that means absolutely nothing to you but would be beneficial to another.  Or maybe there is something worth money you don’t care about that you could sell and pay off a medical bill.  Hey, maybe that is why it is there in the first place!

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong keeping items boxed away.  But are we really honoring our special people by doing so?  Would your loved one really want you to have your basement, storage room, attic, or garage stuffed with their past possessions?  I highly doubt it.

As you work through the difficult items to declutter, just remember that you are not discarding memories and you are not going to forget about grandpa because you only kept 2 of his 15 fishing poles.  Instead, you are blessing others with your loved ones generosity and you are putting Aunt Martha’s beautiful vase on a shelf  where you get to enjoy looking at it every single day.

…………until next time.

You are a superhero!



2 thoughts on “Now it gets tough……

  1. Wendi,

    This posting is an especially timely one for me, as it talks about the very task which lies before me. In the near future I will be selling my home of thirty years, where all my children grew up, and where so many wonderful and difficult days were spent along the way. As the archivist and sentimental champion of my family of siblings and their children, it will be a monumental task to sort through all of the accumulated treasures and memorabilia, including a fair amount from previous generations of our family.

    My mother was 86 when she passed away a few years ago, and I inherited all of her saved and cherished memories. I have enjoyed sorting through them immensely and have made a few brief attempts to figure out who to give what items and memories, but it hasn’t been a sustained effort until this summer when I am planning to retire. I will have more time, of course, but the task will not be any easier. Your posting gives me a good starting frame of mind to begin and I appreciate that you thought to share it with all of us.

    Your blog is filled already with valuable advice and interesting perspectives on the subjects you write about and your style is engaging and lively. You haven’t been specific about your particular illness, but by not doing so, anyone with a chronic illness can relate, and it feels like a very generous and caring way to engage others.

    Thank you for your attention to my blog, and I hope you will find other entries to inspire you.

    Warm regards….John H.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I am simply humbled by your kind words. Writing has always been a struggle of mine, in part, due to one of my chronic illnesses is neurological. After decades of dealing with all my sicknesses, I decided to write, despite the difficulty and the inability to do it with beautifully, flowing words. It has been my hope that I could help someone as a result of the life lessons I have learned along the way.
      Thank you for taking the time to post such a generous comment, kind words make life so much sweeter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s