I was giving a Clutter Busting workshop in Mountain View, CA this weekend. I had people bring bags and boxes of their clutter to the event. I went through their stuff with them in front of the group. I wanted people to see a clutter busting in action. The actual letting go itself goes beyond the concepts.
When the first person came on stage, she felt lethargic and didn't want to do it. She told me that she had many more piles of stuff in her home and she'd given up trying to make a dent. She talked about her attachment to her things. Even though she knew that her clutter was having an adverse effect on her, she couldn't let it go.
When I went through the first few items with her you could see the effect from the clutter. She looked pale, tired, and out of sorts. I'd asked her if the thing was serving her or could she let it go. She couldn't make up her mind. It was as if a part of her was gone when she faced the thing, and she didn't have the strength or discriminating power to make a decision. I noticed it was the same dull effect people have when they are eating comfort foods: foods that have no nutritional value, and when the person eats them it dulls them from the pains and overwhelment that they are feeling in their lives.
Two of the items were luggage tags. She wasn't using them. She didn't want to use them. But she couldn't let them go. I noticed she reminisced about the trips they reminded her of. I asked her if she still takes trips. She sadly said it had been a long time. I could tell she was hanging onto the tags because she really wanted to take trips and for some reason was wasn't letting herself go on them. She said she wasn't going because she had been raising her daughters and didn't have the time. But her daughters had moved out two years ago. I reminded her she was free now to do something she really loved doing. I said keeping the tags won't give her the fullfillment she would get immediatly from going away on a trip. She got it. She let the luggage tags go. She said where she was going on her first vacation. She easily let go of the rest of the things in the bag.