I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life working with numbers.  Not to oversimplify general accounting principles (and all of my years spent learning them!), but on a high level, what I did was sort through and categorize a group of items (expenses & revenue), make sure everything was where it belonged (accounted for) and then present it in a way that was understandable for the user (in the financial statements).

Sounds similar to what we do when we organize, wouldn’t you say?  I would never start rattling off general accounting principles in the middle of organizing a closet, but the process we go through is very similar.  You need to assess everything, make decisions on where to put it (keep, donate, recycle) and then present it in a way that flows well and works for you (the user).

An obvious difference, however, is that numbers are intangible in a sense.  They are black and white (and sometimes red) and you can see them on paper but you can’t really hold them and feel them.  However, you can think about them and understand their meaning without actually physically holding them.   This is a key point to consider when assessing the value of your things.

We often keep things to hold on to the memory.  But the memory doesn’t live in the stuffed animal or the sweater.  It lives in us.  In our heart, in our mind, in our soul.

I challenge you to think deeply about this when you are evaluating what you have in your home.  What can you savor as an intangible memory in your heart?  What happy memories can live on in your mind?  What can you physically let go of to create space for the memories yet to come?

I challenge my clients (and myself) to keep one container of keepsake items for each person in your home.  When the container gets full, assess what is in it and determine if it still has the same value for you that it did when you initially placed it there.  As time goes by, it can be easier to let go of certain things.  By doing this, you can create space for what’s new and you allow more to be held in your heart.

I also encourage my clients to selectively display items with significant meaning.  Your home should be a reflection of who you are.  Of what has shaped you as a person.   Of what you love to do and what brings you joy.  Your heart, mind and soul can hold and reflect this as well.

So next time you’re going through your home and assessing the items that surround you, maybe it would help to think about the numbers in a financial statement.  Remember that we don’t need to physically hold on to the numbers to capture their meaning.  Be open to the idea that there is limitless space in your heart to hold countless memories.

I wish you surroundings full of peace and hearts filled with joyful memories!




One thought on “Intangibles

  1. This applies to so many things. Currently traveling and I usually bring home souvenirs and this time I think I will try to keep the experience of the trip and not buy stuff that will just later clutter a shelf.

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