Time to ‘Let it Go’
How to ‘declutter’ your life
PETER Walsh is renowned around the world A as regularthe king contributorof de-cluttering.to Oprah Magazine, and Network Ten’s The Living Room, Peter has just released his new book, Let it Go, which is a guide on how to get rid of all that stuff in the garage, the shed, the kitchen or wardrobe, and believes that it is a freeing, rejuvenating process. In this exclusive book extract for QT Magazine readers, Peter asks you to rethink the stuff you have around your home.
Clear away stuff that doesn’t represent who you are
WHAT new turn is your life taking? How are your circumstances changing? Are you getting a new home, a new spouse, new step-kids, or a new career responsibility? Or have you been handed the very unfamiliar challenge of dealing with your parents’ home, with or without their presence and co-operation? Your life is giving you new opportunities. But with all your stuff piled around, you may not be able to see them. You’ll have to sort through your layers of stuff in order to find these opportunities and seize them. Letting go of the following things will also free you to become more open, authentic, and true to yourself. Objects you never really liked Things you regret having paid so much money to buy Stuff you inherited and hold on to out of a sense of obligation Outdated belongings that identify a version of you that vanished long ago Think about the possessions in your home. Do they represent the person you want to be right now? Do they present the best version of who you could become? As you go into the next phase of your life, will you be steady on your feet or will your stuff pull you off-balance because it’s tugging you back into the past? If you were to break up and downsize the layer of stuff that announces who you are, what would you look like underneath? even care enough about to throw away. “I don’t really need this stuff or even want it. But it’s not hurting anything. I’ll do something with it some other time.” However, we have limited space in our homes to display items that influence our moods, and the mood these items help create is this: meh. Forgetting to check the calendar. We outgrow possessions all the time: Our clothes get too small or go out of date, our interests change, technology becomes obsolete. So we buy new versions. But the stuff we no longer use stays behind, like hundreds of time capsules hanging in closets and sitting on shelves. Inattention. You buy things on impulse all the time without really thinking about why. Maybe you’re bored or hungry, depressed or anxious, or the tag simply has a low enough price. Your attention may flicker for just a moment, but these things linger a long time. Obligation. These are gifts or inherited items you didn’t really want and rarely use. But the idea of tossing them out makes you feel guilty, so they’ve remained in your home. Imposition. Have your friends or adult children stored items in your basement or spare rooms, but “forgot” to come back to pick them up? Have you patched up a quilt for a friend or repaired a garden tool for a neighbor, and it’s still waiting for the owner to come get it? Does your club expect you to keep supplies and equipment in your home, or does your business partner want you to hang on to old inventory that you’ll never use? You don’t need all this stuff. It’s concealing who you really are. All you need to keep around are the items that you treasure and the items that you use. That’s it. These are things that don’t prevent the world from seeing who you really are. Instead, they celebrate what you’re all about for everyone to see. How could you capitalise on this turn that your life is taking in order to create a more accurate identity, one in which a smaller number of possessions—which are more carefully chosen—better represent who you are? How could other, more meaningful aspects of your personality shine through? Instead of stuff, what could you use to fill your time and space? Extracted from Let It Go by Peter Walsh, RRP $39.99, out now.
How much of the stuff in your home that represents who you think you are is actually there because of these factors? Laziness. These are the possessions you don’t