Grief Decluttering: The Art Of Letting Go
Grief is never an easy emotion to process, and it's even more difficult after the loss of a loved one. It's important to give yourself the time and space to process your emotions. But once you're ready to start the healing process, decluttering your home is one thing you can do. In this blog post, we discuss what grief decluttering is, why it's a healthy practice to do it, and how to get started.
If you're currently grieving, our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with you. We know this is a hard time, and you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. We’re here to help.
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What is grief decluttering?
Grief decluttering is the process of clearing out physical and emotional clutter after a loss. This can include anything from figuring out what to do with the clothes your loved one wore to sorting through photos and mementos. Grief decluttering helps you clear out both physical and emotional clutter, making it easier to cope with your loss.
Why should you grief declutter?
When you lose a loved one, it’s normal to want to hold on to items belonging to them, as a way to remember them. But refusing to let go of the clutter is, many a time, simply an attempt to cover up the pain of the loss.
While going through your loved ones’ belongings is inevitably going to be painful, it facilitates the grieving process, helping you accept the reality of the loss at the same time.
Tips for grief decluttering
1) Deciding when to start
Many people wonder when is the “right time” to start moving on from their grief. The short answer? There is no right or wrong time. Everyone is different, and you should never feel pressured into doing anything you aren’t ready for when you’re grieving.
However, it’s important to realise that you’ll never really be ready to start. Instead, try and think about whether the clutter in your space might be negatively affecting your mental state, especially if they are associated with unhappy memories. It would be healthy to think of how you can slowly remove them from your space.
2) Realise that their belongings are not them
Remind yourself that your loved one’s things don’t represent them. What you want to hold on to are your shared memories with your loved one. If you can find a way to repurpose a certain item which evokes fond memories of your loved one, it can be a good way to remember them.
But you don’t need to keep the physical item to remember them. You can honour them in your daily life anyway because they are important to you.
3) Start small
It’s okay to take your time in grief decluttering, and this includes not immediately starting with your loved one’s most important possessions. Start by setting aside and dealing with the items that are less sentimental. We know it can be extremely hard to even get started but this will give you a little bit of a momentum to start decluttering.
4) Let go of any feelings of guilt
Remind yourself that just because an item was important to your loved one, it does not necessarily have to hold the same significance to you. If you’re feeling guilty about getting rid of things they loved, try and donate the item to an organisation or cause they would support.
For example, if you’re feeling bad about getting rid of your loved one’s prized football, donate it to a childrens’ football coaching academy.
5) Don't be afraid to ask for help
Grief is a complex emotion to get through, and it’s even more difficult to do it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Talk to your family or friends about how you feel, and get their help to declutter. Ask them to take any unwanted items with them. This way, you know that your loved one’s items are being cared for by someone close to you.
Another avenue for help is Helpling's home organisation service. Our team of professionals will help you sort through your belongings while organising to help you understand what to prioritise and what to throw away. We are here for you every step of the way.
Decluttering and letting go
Grief is a complex emotion, so remember to be kind and forgive yourself if you can’t immediately start processing it. Like all things, this too shall pass, and our team of home organisers is always available for you when you’re ready.
New to Helpling? Book now and enjoy $20 off your first clean!
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