When it’s time to declutter and organize your home, you are guaranteed there will be re-dispositioning of some of your possessions. Unlike Netflix’s Marie Kondo’s method of picking up each item, praising, thanking and blessing it as if it had a secret life in your drawer or closet, you may want to limit this thought process. If the process of re-dispositioning, (as in; toss, sell, donate, gift, recycle, repurpose, store), decisions get tough, it may be best to limit (or exclude in some cases) the touching aspect of your quest.
Ms. Kondo has formulated wonderful ways to downsize, minimize, fold for compaction, categorize and organize, unquestionably. And, if you want to embrace and talk to every item in your home – seriously, that’s an awesome personal choice. If you would like to spend less time thanking your inanimate objects of your affection, and focus more on organizing your personal world, you may want to reconsider her suggested tactile approach. (Perhaps, a time and emotion saving sweeping, general acknowledgement and thanking would suffice?)
Reducing or eliminating the amount of touch time will make detachment decisions easier. Studies have shown that when people’s 5 senses are involved their decisions will be highly influenced and predictable. We have witnessed this in the supermarket with sample stations, car dealerships’ test drives, opening jingles to newscasts, and the purposeful release of aromatic smoke from local fast food joints. As for touch, “physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions” (Harvard Business Review). In our case, the keeping decisions.
That 1998 concert t-shirt reminds you of the great time you had with your besties. The pink bra with the lace is adorable, even if it no longer fits. Someday it might, even if the elastic is a bit worn out. Besides, you wore it on ‘that’ date. Those gifted dishes your grandmother only used on special occasions now reside somewhere in a box or high on a shelf...Am I suggesting you ‘get rid of’ any or all of these mementos? Absolutely not. What I’m bringing to the forefront is the touching aspect of decision making.
When you hold each of these items in your hand/s you will be making a re-dispositioning decision influenced by your sense of touch, it’s not just sentimentality. Regardless of whether the object is soft, hard, warm or cold to the touch, it will kindle a sense of must-have / keep emotional response. As one would surmise, this response will create a tug-of-war between logic and emotion during the re-dispositioning process.
Truth: The most difficult thing for people tackling the creation of space and organization in their homes will face = How to let go of their possessions. Letting go of valued, cherished, or even forgotten about items can be difficult, sometimes even heartbreaking. Acknowledging this challenge and how it is impacted by loving, albeit well intentioned, embraces can help support you in your letting go process. It is common for people to struggle letting go emotionally; even when they logically know it is the ‘right’ thing to do.
Things to remember: Everything doesn’t have to go ‘somewhere else’. Some form of the re-dispositioning process question ‘does this spark joy?’ will need to be asked and answered for each item or category. And, there will be objects you’ll want to keep no matter what. Then do. They’re yours. No one should ever suggest otherwise. Maybe it’s a good time to display some of them…Hmmm…
Please Touch the Merchandise, Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2011/12/please-touch-the-merchandise
What we touch while shopping…: https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/what-we-touch-while-shopping-affects-what-we-buy-study-shows
Kathryn Hisert's experience includes 30+ years of sales and marketing. This includes having been a Realtor for over a decade, a Marketing association president, and an Accredited Staging Professional. She is currently a member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing), the National and Arizona Realtor associations and various home staging groups.