Tools, treasures, toys and trash

I’ve talked to you in previous columns about the acronym SPACE – Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize and Edit. This system really works well for organizing almost anything, however sometimes we come across things that we’re not sure about.

Try using this little categorizing process if you’re having a hard time sorting. Think Tools, Treasures, Toys and Trash.

Tools have a function but little emotional attachment. These are the things in your home that work for you. An example of this would perhaps be the vacuum cleaner. These working items are easier to sort, purge, assign a home, containerize and edit because you don’t have an emotional attachment to them.

Treasures have a high emotional attachment but little or no function. This could be grandma’s teacups you got when she passed away. Now these are a little trickier. I’ll talk more about them soon.

Toys have both a function and an emotional attachment. So the item works for you but it’s more than a tool to you. It’s something you enjoy to work with or use.

And finally, trash is just that.

I have found with my clients that treasures can cause a great deal of stress — after all they were grandma’s teacups, even though you don’t ever use them to drink tea from, how could you throw them away? The stress is related to the thought that if you throw out something that someone you loved gave to you, are in fact discarding their love?

My suggestion is if it’s a treasure, treat it like one. It should be beautifully displayed or safely stored. If it’s downstairs in the basement in a corner, in the dark is it truly a treasure?

I created a ‘memory room’ in my house. It’s a guest room but all of my treasures are in there. My grandma’s old sewing machine, my other grandma’s teacups set out on display, pictures of my parents, my husband’s parents, etcetera. I even have a baseball bat in there. Now I bet you’re thinking ahhh she used to play baseball when she was a kid – no. My late husband Don used to keep it beside the bed in case he had to take care of bad guys breaking into our house in the middle of the night. I have since installed an alarm system, but I couldn’t throw that bat out. There are too many memories of us laughing in bed at what would really happen if someone did break in – or what if it was one of the kid’s friends coming over late. Every time I look at that bat, I have a little chuckle to myself.

Sometimes we save things because they have great meaning to us at that moment but time passes and it may no longer be as important as it was in the past.

My daughter had a collection of trolls – do you remember those little rubber dolls with the funny noses and crazy hair? Well, she had all of them. Now, as an adult she looked at them and really didn’t feel the need to hold on to them any longer so she lined them all up on her counter, took a picture of them and then off they went to ‘troll heaven’.

It is so important to remember that it is the memory of the fun they supplied or of the person that gave it to you that has the most value.

The next time you’re sorting through things and trying to decide whether or not to purge, take a look at the item and ask yourself ‘is it relevant to my life today?’ If it isn’t, perhaps it’s time to let go of it by donating it, selling it or giving it away to someone who would truly enjoy it now.

Lynne Ring is the founder of The Organizing Guru. She can be reached at 403-343-2201 or by email at organizingguru@shaw.ca. Also check out www.organizing.ca.

Just Posted

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

Country star Brett Kissel releases new album

Kissel excited to make a stop in Red Deer

Westerner Park takes home international prize for Urban Farm Project

Organizer said she wanted to create an urban farm that would connect urban dwellers to agriculture

Glamorous Red Deer clothing on display

Red Deer MAG showcases stylish dresses worn through the City’s history

Santa launches holiday blood drive at Red Deer clinic

The Berry Family was on site to encourage others to give blood

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

The expected strength of the winds have reached uncharted territory

North Korea says war is inevitable

North Korea says war is inevitable as allies continue war games

UPDATE: Al Franken resigns from Senate amid allegations

Announcement coming from Sen. Franken amid fresh accusations

Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriages

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 62 per cent of registered voters favoured reform.

YouTube Canada Reveals the top videos of 2017

From a sea lion that got a bit too frisky to a toddler stealing popcorn from Prince Harry - we watched it all

Canadians urged to exercise caution in Middle East ahead of protests

Protests are in reaction to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets: sources

The Liberals had planned to buy 18 Super Hornets

Most Read