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

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read