Steps To Begin Letting Go of Stuff – Today

The definition of Letting Go of Stuff is below.

Below are specific steps to get you started today on your Letting Go of Stuff Journey.

What Is Letting Go?LETTING GO IS…
Letting go is about recognizing when it is time to “stay in” a situation or experience, and when it is time to “get out.” Often, we remain in situations or hold on to past experiences WAY too long. For example, have you ever experienced a friend or parent who is in their 60’s, but is still dressing as if they are still in their 30’s (or worse – in their 20’s)? They are “holding on” to the past experiences and emotions related being 20 or 30 something. Do you know of anyone who might have been angry about something that happened in the past, perhaps years ago, but when they talk about it in the present – they still get just as angry? Do you know of anyone who might still be in love with another, but the other does not still love them (and maybe never did)? Those are all examples of people who are remaining in situations much longer than they should. They don’t recognize the signs and times that represent moving on.

Making a choice to “let go” places you on a life long journey of loving, learning from, listening to, and forgiving yourself.

What Is Stuff - Letting Go CafeSTUFF IS…
Back in the mid 90’s I was under contract to do seminars in the Caribbean. During one of my early morning jogs along the beach, I was trying to find a word that would go well with the phrase letting go. I researched many words. Finally, I stumbled upon the word “stuff.” According to the 9th edition of the Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, one of the phrases the define the word stuff is: “a matter of a particular and often unspecified kind; something introduced into the body by humans.” Stuff consists of negative emotions, guilt, shame, negative internal conversation (self-talk), and unwanted negative feelings. All of these usually lead to toxic relationships, not being able to let go of the past, acting on negative notions about self, and more.

I also believe that the “stuff around you, represents the stuff inside of you.” So if you think this will NOT help you to clean out that storage, office, and/or extra room in the house, think again, because it will.

GET STARTED TODAY – with the following steps.

  1. Get a personal journal. You might opt to use a blog in an effort to share the journey.Get A Personal Journal
  2. Begin by listing everything that you want to let go or change.
  3. Break down your life into categories such as social, work, career, financial, relationships, and so on.
  4. For each category, create a list of things you want to let go, or change.
  5. Pick a category and begin to prioritize your list of items in that category.
  6. Identify one of the top three items on that categorized list.
  7. Once you have identified that one item, set a due date for it to be eliminated. Consider as a deadline due date the fourth Thursday in March, which is National Letting Go of Stuff Day. Each year, on this day, you can measure your success with letting go of the things on your list.
  8. Finally, begin to take the action necessary for you to eliminate that item from your list.
  9. When you can cross out that first item, then move on to the next item on your list and use these same steps.

The above nine steps will get you started. Be patient, don’t overwhelm yourself with lofty goals, and love yourself along the way.

How I Cleaned Out My Parents 4300 Sq. Ft. Home

Original article published May 12, 2008

letting go adviceTalk about Letting Go of Stuff! It all began with a decision that was grounded in emotion. I wanted to keep my parent’s house in the family. My two brothers and sister had neither the time, not the inclination to keep it. So, quite simply, I bought them out.

The sale happened in July 2004. I moved into the house around September of that same year. Now all the time I was negotiating the sale with them, I was focused on one thing – keeping the house in our family. After all, at the time, I felt strongly that it represented my parent’s dreams and hard work.

So there I was, in this 4300 square foot home, surrounded by wonderful memories, warm and fuzzy feelings, grounded in love, and full of excitement. It also had damaged and rotted out balconies, leaky gutters, thirty-five year old shag carpet, and three bathrooms in which the showers and tub needed gutting out. And this list covers only a few items that needed attention.

Each of the bedrooms were absolutely filled to the brim (so to speak) with stuff; but I had a plan. It was to start with the big stuff, and eventually make my way down to the little bitty papers, books, and other stuff. Here is how I did it.letting go of stuff

First, I contacted my siblings and gave them a date to come and get what they wanted. Next I opened the house to friends and others who wanted to take advantage of the free stuff. Next, I rented large dumpsters and threw away broken furniture, boxes, trash, and other items. Then I hired someone to come in and gut out the showers and tub, and to replace a couple of the toilets. Everything was moving along well – until – I got to my Dad’s office. That is when, what I had been feeling in my gut during this process, came to the surface; and I got stuck. Not only did I get stuck, but I had a physiological reaction to the process and got very sick.

Here is where I got stuck. When I began to go through my Dad’s papers, hand written notes, letters to associates, pictures of family, and the tens of boxes in his office, the emotion of his passing emerged. I then began to attach the emotions of love and endearment to every letter, every hand written note (even though I couldn’t read the writing), and to every little trinket in his office. My logic was that “someone may need this…” and that logic allowed me to hold on to it. So I did.

I stayed stuck for weeks. Then I got depressed, because I was stuck and couldn’t seem to figure out how to get “unstuck.” Once I got stuck on one thing, it snow balled. I then began to hold on to his clothing, his shoes, and other stuff as well. Then I wanted to hold on to broken furniture, that my Dad never got around to fixing. Eventually, the house began to (at least in my mind) get clogged up again with stuff. I began to get frustrated with myself, and that affected my ability to deal with my business and other aspects of my life. Something had to change.

Then one day, a friend came by to visit the house. While walking around and looking at all the stuff, I shared with her that I was stuck. She looked at me and said, “Darren, I know a guy who wrote this book that may help you. It is called Letting Go of Stuff®.” Then she laughed and left. I was shocked that she had the audacity to hint at the fact that I needed to let go. But then again, she was correct. I was stuck and needed to apply my own philosophy. So I did.

The first step (I call it a secret) was for me to acknowledge being stuck, and explore why. Without acknowledging however, I could not have been prepared to explore the reasons why. Acknowledging is the first secret to Letting Go of Stuff®. This step sounds simple, but you may be surprised at how many people are in denial of needing to change. That is why; this is the most important step. Until I am ready to acknowledge I need to change something, I won’t. My friends and family can tell me I need to change. They can even have interventions to assist. But until I am ready to accept and acknowledge it, it won’t happen.

The second secret is to realize that I would go through changes in trying to make the change. We often tend to naturally resist change. When we attempt to change something about ourselves, we sometimes become our own internal change resistor. Claiming change, yet unconsciously resisting it can keep you in this two steps forward, two steps back dance with your self.

The third secret is to manage and listen to your internal conversation. We all talk to ourselves. I believe the internal conversation is the most believed of all conversations. So it is easy to convince yourself that you don’t need to change, or let go of something, because you believe what you say – to you.

Paying attention to that conversation is critical. Becoming consciously aware of what you say to your self is powerful in that it will allow you to begin to change that conversation into what you want. Especially since you believe everything you say, to you. Think about it.

These are three of seven secrets that will assist one in getting “unstuck.” They certainly helped me to clean out my parent’s home. Which by the way, is on the market today.

I know, I went on and on about keeping it in the family and all of that. But hey, what can I say. It was my parents dream home not mine. We do have a dream for our daughter’s future. It is that she remains healthy, makes great choices for her life, is happy, and that she honor her parent’s memory in any way she sees fit. The same way I have done for mine.

Selling the house is my way of closing the chapter on this phase of my life. I will start a new chapter knowing that I did everything I could to enable the house being sold with dignity and grace. That, to me, is honoring my parents. Though it is really for me, it makes me feel better that in my heart; I am honoring their memory.

That is a big part of what Letting Go of Stuff® is all about; doing what you can to influence a situation by focusing only on what you can control, then choosing to move on with dignity and grace. That is the sixth secret to Letting Go of Stuff®.

Until next time…