Q: What do fishing and organizing have in common?

A: The concept of “catch and release.”

Huh? Not all possessions are meant to be life-long possessions.  Just as people come into our lives for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime,” some things come into our lives and space to serve a purpose and then they cease to be useful or relevant.  This is easy to understand when it comes to certain utilitarian things, like food and magazines.  This concept can be trickier when it comes to those items that hold more meaning for us, like clothing and memorabilia.  Nevertheless, it is impossible to keep all clothing and every keepsake; decisions must be made.

As you face these decisions, keep the concept of “catch and release” in mind.  Some guiding questions to keep in mind as you wade through this process:

organizing, declutter

Is this useful to me NOW?
Perhaps you no longer have a use for your VCR, overalls, bundt pan, other other items that once were relevant to your life, but no longer are earning their place in your space.  Recognize with gratitude that they dutifully served their purpose, and release them.

Do I have something else that serves the same purpose that I like better?
How many tote bags do you need?  Perhaps a piece of luggage can be donated since you’ve purchased a new carry-on that works better.  Some goes for momentos from grandma–chose your favorites that you can display and enjoy everyday, and release the rest of the items that have been gathering dust in the attic for 2 decades.

Will this mean more to someone else?
It can often be easier to release items we know we realistically won’t use if we consider that by donating them, someone else will use and love the item more.  This is especially true for clothing, but also keep in mind that donation centers accept all kinds of household items like books, toys, and kitchen items.

Why am I REALLY holding on this this?
If your reason for keeping something has anything to do with obligation, guilt, or fear. this is something to explore.  That heavy feeling you get when you consider throwing out a gift you received or a family heirloom you can’t stand but can’t bring yourself to release–this is the kind of thing a professional can help with.  Head on over to napo.net to find an organizer in your area, or shoot me an email if you’re in the NYC area in interested in exploring the idea of working together.