When Something Turns to Clutter

At a clutter busting talk last week, one of the people in the audience talked about her clutter predicament. She said that she had a pillow in her trunk that she couldn't throw out. She said it was too dirty to donate, and that it couldn't be recycled. She couldn't get herself to let it go because she was worried about adding to landfills.

She revealed that she used to live in a zen center and that they either recycled or donated everything that was no longer of use to them. She no longer lived there and wanted to continue to live the same ideal. I told her that way of living served her in the zen center because they carefully controlled everything that came into their environment. She was happy living that way. But that life style was now clutter to her in her new living space. Whenever she talked of the pillow it caused her great pain. She said that whenever she opened the trunk of her car, she felt great discomfort. This put her in a constant agitated state. I pointed this out to her.

I said, "Something in our life can serve us one day, and later on can become clutter. We might want to hold on to the thing because of our memories of how it once served us. But it disrupts our life in the moment. The purpose of clutter busting is to help you enjoy your life now."

She understood what was happening. She agreed to give the pillow to someone at the talk and they would toss it out. She was relieved.