Are You Settling for Clutter?

 I love O Magazine (although I just unsubscribed since I wasn’t keeping up with issues) and I thought you’d like this article too.  Iyanla Vanzant answers the question, “How do I know when I’m settling for less?” and I thought her answers and tips can help you navigate through your clutter.  After all, we usually the buy wrong things and talk ourselves into keeping them because we’re settling.  Every time you try to get rid of something and then talk yourself into keeping it because it’s still perfectly good, has value, you paid for it, it was a gift, etc. — you’re settling!!!  Stop.

Below I will copy the article and insert my thoughts, in blue, but you can read the original here.

Some years ago, I was shopping and came upon a beautiful red dress. The color, style and length were perfect. But the store didn’t have it in my size. It did, however, have the same dress in navy, which I wasn’t crazy about. Then I noticed a pair of blue shoes nearby that complemented that blue dress. (I didn’t love those, either.) So what did I do? I bought both. I was afraid I wouldn’t find anything else, so I settled. (It won’t surprise you to learn that I’ve never worn the dress or the shoes.) You know you’ve done this…ditch the dress (and shoes) and ditch the guilt!

You’ve probably heard the saying “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Here’s a question: Why put up with any devil? Why not give ourselves only good things? When we believe we cannot have what we desire—when we lack faith in ourselves and in the goodness of life—we settle for less. We decide that whatever is in front of us is better than nothing. But believe me when I tell you that better than nothing isn’t good enough. 

I often see people settle for less than they deserve in personal relationships: accepting bad behavior, excusing broken promises, accommodating people who take more than they give. Why? Because doing things we’ve grown accustomed to is familiar, comfortable.  Bust out of this by changing this up at home — edit your belongings!

Which is why sometimes it can be tough to gauge whether we’re settling: When we tell ourselves that things are fine, we soon forget that they could be better. Here’s how to know whether you’re putting up with less than you deserve: 

  • When you have to work yourself into a state of excitement rather than naturally experiencing joy and passion, you’re probably settling.  You should love everything you have, it should make you happy to look at, wear or use.  Otherwise, you are settling if you keep it.
  • When you bargain with yourself about what you can do without rather than feeling gratitude for what you already have, you’re probably settling.  Appreciate what you have in your home and treasure it.  It doesn’t deserve to be there if you don’t.  No matter what; no excuses.
  • When your focus is on the time and energy you’ve invested in an endeavor rather than the love, joy and gratification you’ve gained, you’re probably settling.  On this, you have to focus time and energy on organizing, but the benefits greatly outweigh the work.
  • When you’re making excuses about why you should stay put rather than going for what you truly want, you’re probably settling.  Again, no excuses, “buts,” or “shoulds” when you think about getting rid of something.  Simply, do I love this?
  • When you spend more time complaining about what you have than appreciating it, you’re definitely settling.  Don’t complain about not having space, time or feeling overwhelmed if you’re not willing to do the work and get rid of the stuff so you are only left with what you appreciate.But there is a lesson to be learned in everything. When we realize we’ve been settling, we discover what we actually believe. We learn that we perhaps think ourselves undeserving of happiness and find how susceptible we are to outside influences—because often we settle when others convince us it’s the right thing to do. Most important, we learn that we are not standing fully in our truth. Armed with this information, we can make new choices that support our desires—by beginning to believe that we can have what we really want. ”   I love this part!  Read it again!

    Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN’s Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces. See Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend this fall.

Can you see where you’ve settled when it comes to keeping your stuff?  Can you make some better choices so you will be happier at home?

Happy Organizing!



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