Even Organizers get Stuck: Dealing with those Longaberger Baskets…

“Your baskets were a hit!  Thx so much.”

That’s the message my sister texted me the day after her son’s elementary school PTO’s annual basket auction.

The baskets she was referring to were about 25 various shapes and sizes of Longaberger Baskets that had been sitting packed away in my basement for the past six years.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Longaberger baskets, they are a collectible woven maple basket sold through home parties.  They are still being sold today, but in smaller quantities than they were in the 1990s and early 2000s which defined the hey day of Longaberger.  The baskets were especially popular here in Ohio where they are made.

Typically when I am done using something, I have no problem with donating it and sending it on to a better life with someone else.  I keep a donation bag going at all times and take the donations to the thrift store whenever the bag is full.  When it came to these baskets though I really struggled with parting with them in the same way that many of my clients struggle when trying to part with items they are no longer using.

Let me explain why:

  • First, these baskets held a lot of sentimental value for me (I was a Longaberger sales consultant for about 12 months right after my twins were born) and I had a lot of good memories associated with this time period and the baskets that were so important to me during that time period.
  • Second, the baskets had cost me a lot of money, even if it was in 1994 or 1995, and that made it harder to part with them as I felt like I would be flushing away those dollars.  I considered selling them at times but even though they had cost a pretty penny, there really wasn’t much value to them these days because there were so many of them available in the secondary market.
  • Finally, I kept wondering if I might use these baskets again – never mind the request made by my husband when we moved to our new home six years ago that he never have to look at another Longaberger Basket.  As a result of this request, the 70+ baskets  I had were packed up and stored in my basement.

I am guessing you might be able to relate to some of these thoughts.   Maybe you’ve noticed similar thoughts running through your head when looking at something that you think you should be parting with?  Believe it or not, Professional Organizers can experience those same thoughts and feelings.

It seemed that the baskets were destined to reside in a corner of my basement forever.  But now six years later I was able to let go of 25 of those baskets and feel really good about doing it.

What made the difference you ask?  How was I able to let go of those 25 baskets?  The answer: coaching.  A friend of mine who is a coach actually coached me around the idea of letting go of the baskets.  Through these coaching sessions I was able to realize that I could let go of these items that were so special to me if I was able to find a way to release them that felt right to me.  It turns out that way was donating them to a good cause that benefited an organization important to my sister’s family.

So where am I now?  Well, the 25 baskets have been out of my house for a couple of months and I honestly haven’t missed them one bit.  The more favorite baskets remain in  my basement, but I have plans to use some of them in the next couple of years.  As for the rest, I may be up to letting some more of them go when the PTO basket auction rolls around again next year.

What makes it possible for you to let go of things that you’re not using any longer?

 

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6 Responses to “Even Organizers get Stuck: Dealing with those Longaberger Baskets…”

  1. Ellen Delap April 9, 2013 12:16 pm #

    Powerful way to share about your personal breakthrough!

    • Andrea Sharb April 9, 2013 4:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Ellen. I think that it helps our clients know that we are human too and share many of the same struggles. Best,

      Andrea

  2. Cena Block - SaneSpaces.com April 9, 2013 1:40 pm #

    ANDREA… Such a great post!! OH MY LONGABERGER BASKETS… – YES – These are difficult to part with. Thankfully for me, I was not ‘affording’ them for myself early on… so I have a few and am happy to say I USE THEM daily. But, if I had a collection, I think it would be painful to let them go. They are beautiful, useful and meaningful… but if they’re in the way – it’s time! Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Andrea Sharb April 9, 2013 4:29 pm #

      Thanks Cena! This post was a many years in creation, when you think about all of the time those baskets have been hanging around. I am glad you are still able to enjoy and use yours. Since writing this post I have moved one of my favorites up to the guest room. Its representative of an important part of my life and it makes me feel good to see it sitting on the shelf whenever I go in that room.

      Best,

      Andrea

  3. Linda Samuels April 10, 2013 1:26 pm #

    Love this post, Andrea. It’s so valuable to hear your letting go thought process…not just the struggle, but also what you did to move past your feeling stuck and unable to let go. Isn’t it amazing what is possible when we allow our minds to make a slight shift. We open up the doors for movement to happen.

    We’re talking about letting go over on my blog all this month. I invite you to stop by, add a comment to the current post and PLEASE share a link in your comment to this post, if you would like. Your message is so valuable.

    • Andrea Sharb April 10, 2013 3:29 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Linda. I think letting go is the most challenging part of organizing, be it letting go of things, possibilities or dreams. I’ll be sure to check out your current post.

      Best,

      Andrea

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