We love our knick knacks. That is why we have them after all. We have collected them, been gifted them and because of that, we see them and see the memories they hold. We see the trips we’ve been on. We’ve seen the memory of a loved one who has passed. We see firsts and lasts. We see snapshots of our lives. That’s why their special.
But odds are, you’re neglecting them and your memories by forgetting to do one simple thing.
Rearrange your knick knacks.
Why? They’ve been on this shelf for years. I like them there.
Yes, that’s true and it’s all fine and well. Except that, when something stays in one position for too long our brain stops noticing it that much. Our mind gets acclimated to the current layout and just doesn’t see it anymore. Sure, you like it on that shelf but when was the last time you really noticed it? When was the last time you stopped and smiled at it? Remembered where it came from?
That’s the root of the problem.
These things we own for the sole purpose of remembering events and aesthetically enjoying, we just aren’t seeing anymore because we’re used to it. That’s a shame.
But there’s an easy fix. Move them!
Let’s start with photos and knick knacks because these are the easiest things to move around right? First off, take everything down and put it in one central area like a coffee table. Maybe not the floor because if you’re like me, you’ll trip on and crush all your precious belongings.
Once you have everything is a central location, start going through them. Touch each one. Pick it up, move it around. Spend a moment with it. Then put it back down. Do this with each little object or picture you found sitting around. If you’re short on space and find yourself dealing with clutter, separate the objects and pictures into two piles. One is a pile of objects you feel most attracted to right now, in this moment. And the other is the ones you don’t feel as drawn to.
Even if you do have space, go ahead and sort them out this way.
From there, we’ll do two things. The first is that we’ll walk around our house and see the empty spaces those knick knacks and photos took up. As we walk around those empty spaces, we’ll go ahead and clean them. Oftentimes, we clean around knick knacks and photos especially if we have a lot of them. This is a good opportunity to clean up around them.
Second thing, as we finish our rounds around our house, we’ll go ahead and clean off our photos, objects, and other little things. Taking the time to clean them off is a way of respecting them and a way to keep them snagging our attention as we walk by.
Now, starting with that collection of most important objects, we’ll place them in various places around the house but the key is to put them in prominent positions. This is so that we’ll be seeing them often They won’t be hidden in a shadow or next to a larger object. Give it a place you’ll notice!
If you have space after this, go ahead and fill in the rest of your home with the other pile. If there isn’t space, carefully wrap them up and put them in a drawer. Don’t worry. We aren’t ignoring them.
What will happen though, is that over time we are going to become more used to them again. Every few months, go through these steps again. Rotate out objects and photos you haven’t used or haven’t seen.
The way I like to do this is to follow the seasons. I have some stuff that seems to have a seasonal importance to me. I was married in winter so this little ceramic, flower-patterned bird always catches my eye around that time so I put it on a more prominent display. It’s important to recognize things that like and just go with the flow.
To a lesser extent, this applies to furniture too. We get used to things being a certain way. Of course, we can’t always move furniture around because some things only fit and work one way.
But if you can at all, I would encourage you to try moving things around. Test out new positions with desks, beds, couches, dressers, etc. Move stuff around. It takes more time but you might find that there is a new openness to your place. There might be more light, better energy. You might find that you just like how it looks in a certain position.
The point is, don’t get used to anything. Don’t allow yourself to ignore memories and opportunities because you are accustomed to something. Keep it fresh. Keep it changing. It’s good for you.