Feeling the Freedom of Less is More

Susan and Joanna

My New BFFs—Susan and Joanna of “Simply Organized”

Turning 70 this past May marked a major shift in my perspective on the future. Clearly, I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me; and while I do believe in life after death, I also belief in life before death. Grateful to be in relatively good health with a fair amount of energy, I am determined to live more fully and consciously each day while staying committed to letting go of “things” I no longer need,  wear,  use, or hang onto simply because I can’t bear to “let them go.”

To me, this is good stewardship of the “stuff” we have accumulated through the years that at one time my husband and I thought essential—at least from our perspective. Besides, someone else might find these things we no longer want or need useful or valuable, and I say, “Great! Take them and enjoy.”

Stories and Stuff —Only the Stories Last Forever

Something you can do to make it easier to let go of things that fall into the category of “no longer needed,” yet you feel an emotional attachment to them, is to take photos of each one and write a story about why these objects mean something to you.

This is exactly what I started doing this morning with Joanna and Susan, two professional organizers from Simply Organized (616-284-1363), a very affordable service I predict will become more and more popular with us “baby boomers.” These delightful young women came to my home to help me begin what seemed a week ago like a daunting, almost overwhelming task. They are energetic, sensitive to my feelings of attachment, and very, very efficient. In one word, they are ultimate professionals.

Joanna snapped photos of me wearing outfits I have had for years to see if they could be altered to look more up-to-date, or if they should go the Salvation Army or Women’s Resource Center. The advantage of having Joanna and Susan helping me is they know all the local resources and references for appropriate homes for all your “stuff.” They even have a connection with a local theater group so a bagful of my old dresses went there.

My dear and astute neighbor came over as well to give me her valued opinions on what looked OK or — not so much. The four of us whipped through six garment bags filled with suits, dresses, skirts, blouses, in just two hours, and had lots of fun and some good laughs doing it.

So now I will write stories about the outfits I was able to let go of because Joanna took a photo of me wearing them. I will put these photos in a little photo book I can easily keep and return to again and again when I’m in the mood for reminiscing. I plan to also do this with furniture and other items that we will eventually find new homes for because we no longer want or need them.

This is not something I expect to accomplish in a few weeks or on a weekend. This is a two -year plan so I will focus on one area of the house at a time. And the best part is knowing that Joanna and Susan are always available to help, encourage and inspire me to continue until I complete my goal in time for my birthday two years from now!

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