how to separate the treasures from the clutter

Clutterfree Life Transitions – Preparations – Part 5


This is the fifth article in a series: ‘Preparation of your decluttering/change project’.

CLICK HERE to read all articles.

In the previous articles, we talked about ‘Where you are now and ‘Where you want to be. You’ve also developed a ‘clearer understanding of your home and your belongings and you’ve gained some insights about your ‘clutter hot spots.

The next step is to uncover your treasures.

What are your treasures?

We all have things we truly love, things that we cannot imagine parting with, even if sometimes other people can’t understand our attachment to those special things.

These are our treasures. Their worth is not measured in money, but rather in the meaning and significance they hold for us. Often, they represent very special experiences of our life, and they reflect of what is unique about us.

Treasures are the things that you definitely want to preserve from the past as you move into the next phase of your life.

Only you can identify your personal treasures

However, you have to be careful not to declare too many things as treasures because that would belittle the value of each of them.

The following exercise will help you discover your personal treasures – those of your belongings that are truly and closely attached to your heart.

a) Decide how many items you wish to declare as treasures before you start to select them. – The smaller the number, the better. You might want to constrain yourself to 10 treasures, or 15.

b) Think about which of your clutter-champion categories might hide some of your treasures. – For example, if books belong to your clutter champions, decide whether you wish to assign 3 or 5 of your favourite books the status of treasures. – If your kitchen appliances are clutter champions – you have too many of them or several duplicates -, decide to declare the 3 most used/loved ones as treasures. 

c) Imagine the house burnt down and you lost everything (Only the most important personal documents could be saved.) – Which belongings would you badly miss? Which of them could not be replaced? 

Take all the items with ‘treasure’-potential out, hold them in your hands for a while, try to ‘feel’ how truly important they are to you, and then assemble all of them in a ‘treasure collection area’ or – if you don’t have the space for such an area – take photographs.

Spend some time with your treasure candidates during the next days and evaluate how meaningful they are to you.

You might want to ask yourself questions like these:

    • Is it something that reminds me of a happy memory? Is it related to a special accomplishment?
    • Is it closely related to me, to the very special person I am?
    • Would I be very sad if it suddenly disappeared?
    • Does it refer to my values and to the vision I defined for the next chapter of my life?

Now make you final choice and compile a list of your personal treasures.

This list and the insights gained about your treasures will be very helpful later, when you start to make decluttering decisions.     

Published by

Margot Krekeler

Learn more about Margot, click 'About'.

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