Letting Go of Old Ways of Seeing Ourselves

I was hired by a couple to clutter bust their home. They told me that I could work in any room, but one. I said that was the room I wanted to work in. That room turned out to be their son's. He had moved out over a year ago and was going to college about a mile away.

I opened the door to his room and was amazed to see a sea of broken styrafoam covering four feet of solid stuff. They had covered the things so it would appear that nothing was under it. I know that sounds strange. But clutter makes people act in bizarre ways.

I pulled up the styrafoam I could reach and saw clothes, sports equipment, school books, and other high school kind of things. They didn't want to go through his stuff. I asked if their son had all the things he needed. They said yes. I said that they could let these things go because he didn't need them anymore.

They were still resistant. I said that it can be hard for parents to let go of their role as parents. I said that they must have done a good job because their son was in college and lived close to them. They would be doing him a favor by letting go of their identification with raising him. That kind of clutter kept them living in the past. It limited their ability to enjoy life in the present moment.

They looked relieved and had a gleeful look in their eyes. It's amazing when people let go of their emotional attachment. They look like they are free.

The couple quickly began to fill trash bags with their son's old stuff. They couldn't seem to do it fast enough. Then they started to talk about all the things they wanted to do with the room. The husband wanted to use it for a writing office, and the wife wanted to create a sewing room. They talked about ways to share the space. Their enthusiasm was on high.