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This email is from a someone who found the courage to let go of the burden of her past. As you read it, think about the physical items in your life that tie you to a past that would be better to let go. Maybe letters or gifts from a former significant other. Maybe papers from a class you failed or didn’t finish. Maybe gifts from a family member that bring up guilt. Maybe clothes that make you feel bad about yourself when you run across them in your closet. Anything in your physical environment that causes you bad feelings whenever you see or think about it.
Please consider getting rid of those items. If they are useful items, donate them to Goodwill, so someone can enjoy them. If they are not useful, dispose of them permanently. Put them in a box or a trashbag labeled “emotional baggage” and cart them to the dumpster. Or, as this person did, hold a bonfire. Let this weekend be a time to release yourself from the past and start over!

Dear Flylady,

Thank you for all the ways you encourage us to declutter!

It probably took a bunch of all your different sayings to motivate me to burn a diary I’d kept from when I was 10 years old to about 22 years. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t the happiest time of my life, and like many introverted and creative types, I took refuge in writing. BOXES of it. CRATES of it. And while my best friend had received instructions as to where it all was and to BURN it in the event of my untimely demise (I shuddered to think of my children ever reading those volumes) suddenly I realized, I could do it NOW, I didn’t have to wait!

It was like I had combined “Purge your paper” “Don’t leave it as a legacy for your children to clean up” and “If it doesn’t make you SMILE let it go” all into one. I got a burn permit from my town and had a great big bonfire that went on for hours — burning it all except one slim volume which actually was FUNNY about a trip to Europe. That I kept.

And you know what? I was worried that I’d feel sad or overwhelmed, but I didn’t. I felt relieved of the burden of a past that was No Longer Applicable. Haven’t a clue why I felt the ‘evidence’ of it all was important enough to hang on to! And I have plenty of stuff from the past that DOES make me smile, and now I live surrounded by THAT. Not to mention, I have a HECK of a lot more room in my upstairs closet.

Thank you thank you thank you…

Flybaby E in CT

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Kelly here: This flybaby figured out what was important and what wasn’t. She let go of the things that were holding her back and keeping her weighed down. Whether it is journals or old water bills, the burden of paper clutter will keep us stuck in feeling guilty and overwhelmed. It took years to gather all that paper, it will not go away overnight. Take babysteps and let go of the paper clutter. As FlyLady has asked before “Do you want to leave all that clutter behind for you children to clean up?”