A Client Who Dug Himself Out of a Hole

I worked with a client who lived in a three story condo that was buried in clutter. There was a very thin passage way to get through his stuff. It was so thin I had to walk sideways to get through it. Bungee chords held back the towering clutter. I'm six feet tall and it was way over my head.

He had only let three people in his home in the past ten years. He had given up and felt tremendous shame. He was still alive and he called me so I knew he had hope for a better life. I didn't think of him as the problem. I figured he was a good person who got stuck in a hole and couldn't figure a way out.

I said, "Let's get started!". I waded into a pile of things that went up past my waste. I had a large trash bag in one hand. I used the other to pick through things and ask him, "Do you need this or can we let it go?" I asked him honestly, so he thought honestly and kept saying we could let most of the things go. He couldn't believe it was actually happening.

I worked with him for a couple of weeks. Towards the end we uncovered what had been a cabinet at the end of his bed. When I asked him about it he looked tired and was evasive. I asked him where he got it. He looked uncomfortable. He said that it was his father's liquor cabinet. His father had died of alcoholism at the age of 60. I said that the basis of his life, the ground where his feet lay at night was unstable. He had followed in his father's footsteps and was living a broken life. I asked him if he wanted to continue living that way or could we let it go. He got it and said, "Yes, let it go!"

When we were done we had filled up four large dumpsters of trash. He was happy. He had his life back. He didn't think it was possible. It was possible. He dug himself out. His space was clear. He got his life back.

Starting is everything. Beginning the process of Clutter Busting and letting go of what's no longer serving you leads you through to the end. You don't need to figure out the whole thing at the beginning. As you let go of one thing, the next thing to go is apparent. As each piece of clutter goes, it brings more space into your life, and this gives you the support and energy of encouragement. Essentially the support of the universe is on your side. If you resist it you feel terrible. When you start to move with it you feel great.