One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure

Stamp album

Some people keep things, not because they themselves have any need for them, but because they want them to go to someone who will appreciate them.

This may be fine for a while, but holding on to something indefinitely means you become the obstacle to it finding a new lease of life with another person who will actually use it. Decades later, the item is still gathering dust in your home, when someone else could have been enjoying it all that time.

To perfectly illustrate this, here’s a lovely story that was sent to me about just this topic:

I recently decided to do a big cull of my books. I lay on my bed and pictured the ones that I would grab in a fire and sent the rest to a charity store (your book is one of five that survived).

But I had a problem. I’d saved my childhood stamp collection, which I was quite apathetic about. However I did have fond memories of my grandfather helping me with it, so for that reason alone I was feeling obligated to keep it. This prompted me to call him and have a chat. It turns out that as a young boy, when he was orphaned and had to catch a train to get to his sister’s house in the country, he had to sell his stamp collection to get the fare.

I posted him my collection on the understanding that if he didn’t want it, he could sell it or give it away (he is amazing at not hoarding so I wasn’t too worried that it would clutter his house). He was delighted to receive it, given his history with stamp collections and the fact that we worked on it together. But most importantly, me clearing the space on my bookshelf meant that I got to hear such an important story from my grandfather’s life. Priceless.

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Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2012

About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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