My client's kitchen and dining area where completely covered over and stacked high with clutter. There were piles of mail that hadn't been opened for months. Plastic grocery bags were filled with miscellaneous items. Bowls and Tupperware containers were filled with old and spoiled food. Boxes were jammed with mystery stuff.
She hadn't been able to cook in her kitchen or eat in her dining room for months. She had to call for restaurant food deliveries every night. She told me that whenever she thought about cleaning up she felt overwhelmed and panicked and got nowhere. She looked exhausted.
I got out the box of trash bags, opened up a bag and said, "Let's start." I started asking her about each item. "Is this something you need or can we let it go?" Most of the mail wasn't necessary. Any bills she had she had paid online. So the items with personal info went into the shredder and the others went into the bag for recycling.
As we tossed I asked her what her experience was like when she got home from work each evening. She told me she sees the big piles of stuff and feels exhausted and walks past it and goes into the living room to watch TV and order food. I told her that a lot of people feel that way. "It makes sense that you're too tired to want to take care of any of this. When I get home I don't want to have to take care of the mail. But I know if I don't it piles up and it becomes harder to deal with. So I stand by my trash can in the kitchen and open each letter and toss out what I don't need and file or mail whatever needs attention. I know in the future your first impulse will be to not want to take care of these things, but going ahead and doing it will be so much easier than having to face a huge pile of crap like this again." She agreed.
We got through all the paper and the bags in the dining room. She was very happy to see the top of her dining room table again. We went into the kitchen and threw out the old food. We also got rid of kitchen appliances, plates and glasses that she didn't use anymore. I told her, "Anything that no longer serves you goes. This gives you more space. Space ends up becoming a thing that you enjoy. This space is yours. Space gives you peace of mind." She agreed that she was feeling much better.
When we were done we had thrown over twenty bags of trash into the dumpster. She was amazed at how great her home felt. She told me that she really wanted to maintain her space. We hadn't added any items or repainted the walls. Yet it felt new to her. In a few short hours she transformed her living space.
Are there some things in your home that you can let go of to allow more space in your life? Nothing is too small to make a difference. Your life is worth it. You are worth it.