Letting Go of Stuff
There are days when I am so busy I don’t even (consciously) notice clutter in the house. But my trusty subconscious is faithfully storing up all that information to hit me with it when I least expect it. Finally, I have free time on my calendar when I can sit on the couch and just read. Not so simple though as my eyes wander to the ‘stuff’ piled on the multiple layers of flat surfaces in the room: coffee table, entertainment center, end table, lamp table, bookshelves. OK then, time to do something about the clutter. My stuff was causing me stress. Been there?
We all have so many treasures that were bright and shiny and we really needed them at one time. We expected we’d always need them and they’d always make us happy. But somewhere along the way, there was a new bright and shiny treasure that we needed and the old ones get put on the bottom shelf or maybe even in the closet. The less bright and shiny things no longer add value to our life. They no longer bring us joy. They might eventually make their way to the attic or basement in a box, no longer seen or thought about. So why do we still keep this stuff???
The reasons are many and varied. These things may have meant something special at one point. Maybe someone gave it to us and we’d feel guilty letting it go. Maybe we feel that by having all this stuff, we are successful. We worked hard and were able to afford to buy this stuff and we need to keep it all to confirm that we’ve made it up the ladder of success. So we get an offsite storage unit when the attic and basement are full and move the boxes there. See how successful we are?
What if, just what if, you chose to fill a box with the clothes you haven’t worn in years, close up the box, and if you don’t need anything in the box for 3 months, give the box away without opening it again? How does that make you feel? Scared? Guilty? Worried that you might need it? And where do you feel that in your body? In your chest, maybe in your stomach, maybe you catch your breath thinking about letting it go? How intense is that feeling on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no feelings, 10 being extremely intense?
Let’s tap on the side of the hand with a general setup statement, and you can substitute words that are right for you in these statements:
Even though I’m scared to just give my stuff away, and it makes me feel bad in my stomach, I completely accept myself and how I feel.
Even though I am not ready to give my stuff away, and it makes me feel bad in my stomach, I completely accept myself and how I feel.
Even though I just can’t give my stuff away, and thinking about it makes me feel bad in my stomach, I completely accept myself and how I feel.
Then use simple reminder statements:
Top of head (TOH): I’m scared to let go of my stuff.
Eyebrow (EB): I can’t imagine letting go of these things.
Side of the eye (SE): They really meant something to me.
Under the eye (UE): And I can’t just let them go.
Under the nose (UN): I can’t just let them all go.
Chin (Ch): I get scared because I might need them someday.
Collar bone (CB): I’m scared to let go of my stuff.
Under the arm (UA): Letting it go makes me feel bad.
Take a deep breath and guess the level of intensity you feel now around letting go of your stuff. Has it gone down? If not, continue this general tapping to get your intensity down.
Even though I still feel bad when I think about letting go of my stuff, I completely accept myself anyway.
TOH: I don’t want to let go yet.
EB: It used to mean so much to me.
SE: Even though I have new stuff now.
UE: It’s hard to let go of the old stuff.
UN: It’s hard to let go.
Ch: Even though I don’t need it anymore.
CB: Maybe someone else could use it.
UA: It’s still hard to let it go.
TOH: Maybe someone else could use it.
EB: Instead of it just sitting there.
SE: Maybe it would be special to someone else.
UE: And that would make me feel better.
UN: Knowing I’ve helped someone else.
Ch: And then I’d feel better without all that stuff just sitting there.
CB: It feels freeing to let it go now.
UA: I’m ready to let it go, right now.
Did anything come up for you while tapping? Make a note and start tapping on what came up. Keep tapping until you feel ready to let go of that stuff.
I first tried this in my clothes closet and I was skeptical, but the light and free feeling I have now each time I see my closet is amazing. I don’t feel guilty from continually seeing the things I never wore anymore and now choosing what to wear is so much easier! After seeing how much better I felt with more space, I started letting go of more stuff around the house that no longer added value to my life. Things that no longer bring me joy, like duplicate items, things that no longer work, things “I might need someday,” were put in a box or two. I know it can seem hard at first, but maybe try going through one closet, one shelf, one desk drawer, some area where it is easy for you to start, and fill a small box. Close it up, put it out of sight, and set a calendar reminder to let it go. Tap when you need to release the intensity. You can do this! Let me know how you feel after you’ve let go of the first box. I promise you can find joy in simplicity.
There are experts out there to help you let go of stuff. Courtney Carver from Be More With Less, Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist, and Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists are just a few who offer words of wisdom, encouragement, and understanding. Throughout the process, notice what comes up and practice tapping. Go forth, let go of stuff, and find joy!
Keep Calm and Tap On!
Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.