How to Stop Living in the Past and Move Forward When Decluttering

Would you like to learn how to stop living in the past and move forward? When it comes to organizing or decluttering your life you will find it difficult if you constantly live in the past.

The past is over you need to live in the here and now, which will help you to take charge of your life. By organizing and decluttering in the present we can learn how to move forward. This could be as simple as decluttering items that hold toxic memories to undergoing therapy.

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People Mean Well But……..

Have you ever been told to stop living in the past? People will often say this in an attempt to provide encouraging advice about moving on with your life.

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It sounds easy, but is it?

Although it sounds easy enough, it can be very difficult, especially if there are deep-seated reasons behind living in the past.

Significant past experiences and memories, such as the death of a loved one, a painful breakup, traumatic childhood, etc., can be contributing factors as to why you can’t simply and easily move on with life.

Possibly though, you may be holding on to things that are no longer relevant to your current life.

If you can’t let go of the past, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the present. The hardest part of any change in your life is making the decision to get started.

Related: How to Declutter Knick-Knacks: A Comprehensive Guide

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Positive Steps to Letting Go Of the Past

If you are struggling to let go of possessions because of the negative feelings it brings. The first step that may help is some quiet and healthy self-reflection.

Pause for a while and contemplate on your current life and its associated feelings, compared to what they could be.

Think about how great your life will be once all the clutter has gone.

Without your active effort, things may improve, at a snail’s pace. You can however decide to take action and make space for a new happier life.

Here’s how to move forward.

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Ways to Effectively Let Go of The Past

Focus on the present – focus, focus, focus.

Stop reliving the past and move on. No matter what you do, you can’t undo or remake the past, no matter how much you wish.

Rather, what you can do is to make the present day the best. Live as if it’s your last. You will have less time to think about the past if you actively focus on the present.

If you are too fixated on previous negative happenings, there will be no room for positivity.

For example, you may have spent money on clothes or other possessions that you really don’t care about. If you were, to be honest with yourself you have a strong feeling of buyers’ regret.

This is entirely a choice to keep feeling bad. You need to make a decision to either continue to feel regretful and continue hurting yourself or to embrace the new day, potentially full of joy.

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Decide to Let it all go Without Regret

To make it work, commit yourself to “move on” and “let it go.” If you don’t, things will continue to go in circles and could end you up getting stuck in the past, again.

Make a decision that will empower you and your future, commit to it, and act.

Organizing and decluttering your possessions can play a huge part in letting go of your past. For example, discarding items from a toxic relationship will only help to make you feel better.

For example, you might decide to just declutter and tidy one small area like a sock drawer. Something that won’t take long so you don’t become overwhelmed.

Make sure to tidy up after yourself, as you go. Nothing worst than decluttering and finding you are in more mess.

Related Overwhelmed by Clutter – Where do I Start?

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Make Room for forgiveness

It may be hard to forget what has happened in the past and the bad behaviors of the people involved in it.

Getting past resentment and forgiving others is a vital step. More to the point, you need the healing that forgiving another brings.

Forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with what they did. You can recognize that they did wrong, or badly, yet still forgive them anyway.

It’s definitely not a sign of weakness if you do so. It’s confirmation that you want to move on with life and welcome any joy the present moment brings.

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Physically Distance Yourself

Don’t remain attached to an environment (including people) that keeps you trapped in your current circumstances and mindset.

It is emotionally healthy to distance yourself from a situation or individual that is causing you to be depressed.

Psychological or physical distance can help with the “letting go” process by virtue of not being constantly reminded of anything that hinders your progress.

Acceptance is the key.

Accepting your past experiences and the people that have been part of it will help you in moving on.

You must remember that none of these need to define who you are. Practice the art of acceptance, remake yourself, and set yourself free.

Happiness is Your Responsibility

Your feelings are yours alone; you can’t blame someone for them. If you do, you’re allowing someone to completely take over you, at least emotionally.

You will feel a huge sense of happiness and empowerment once you take responsibility for your feelings and emotions.

Your attitude plays a bigger role in this than any external elements.

Evaluate your Emotions as you Declutter

When assessing your emotions, you need to know what are they bringing to you. Reminisce if there are happy, positive thoughts.

But if dredging the past causes negativity that will adversely affect your here and now, try not to dwell on it. Replace it with better more positive thoughts.

When decluttering sentimental items like baby clothes or old photographs, remember you don’t have to keep them all.

With baby clothes for example, just keep a couple of things. Like your baby’s first shoes. Place these in a special memories box, then you can donate the rest.

If you want to take photographs of items you feel attached to and store these digitally. I will bet that you never look at the photos again. But you can feel that they are there in case you ever need them.

Related Decluttering Sentimental Items – A Guide to Letting go of Sentimental Things

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Make a Commitment to Help Others

Going the extra mile to help others can make you feel warm and happy on the inside. It is one of the best ways to start to feel better about yourself.

Brighten yours, and another’s day by offering a smile, saying a simple hello, or giving a donation to a worthwhile cause.

These simple acts of kindness can help you set your perspective on a brighter path and can have a lasting impact on others and yourself.

Perhaps as you declutter and organize your possessions you could donate a sizable amount to local goodwill this will help you declutter your life and no doubt help others.

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Hopefully, this advice will help you with your “moving on” phase.

Any effort you make will all be worth it. You can do it – cheers to a brighter present and future.

If you commit yourself to decluttering and organizing every day even if only a little bit you will find yourself becoming happier and calmer.

Important Note Seek Professional Advice

Please note that I am not a medical professional.

I am giving these simple tips to help you if you are bogged down with your past possessions and wish to declutter and organize in order to move on in your life.

If you feel on anyway overwhelmed, deeply anxious, depressed please seek professional help. Please don’t try to soldier on if you feel any of these symptoms.

You may also need help if you are a hoarder.

I would suggest your family doctor would be the first person to talk to.

They can either treat you or refer you to specialists that can help you with this debilitating illness.

I wish you well.

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