Today I helped someone with their home office space. He had a cubby hole rack of spaces. It was about five spaces high and side to side. It was jammed with many many things. He didn't want to start there. It was pretty intimidating. But I was feeling relaxed and certain and he caught that energy and agreed.
I had him sit in his comfy office chair and I handed him one item at a time. I also set up a box for charity items and put the trash can right next to him. I like to encourage the letting go. Usually my clients take the concept of filling empty things and use it to clutter up open spaces in their homes. By having empty trash and chairty containers around them, my clients become naturally inclined to put things in them. I encourage you to do this when you are working by yourself in your living space.
I basically give my clients permission and the focus to take an easy and honest look at the things in the space. He took to this and really looked at the things I handed him. He let most of them go. He didn't see the need for the majority of the things in his home. When he did get stuck, like with a book, I'd ask him if we were out shopping today at Border's, would he feel inclined to take out his wallet and spend the money and buy it. He'd quickly snap out of his fog and say no. When my clients are hesitant about things, it's pretty certain that it's clutter for them. They don't feel the need for it, but there's some unconscious attachment that is pulling at them and making it hard for them to think clearly.
It was a pretty straightforward and simple clutter busting. Some are more difficult. It was difficult for him to take care of these things on his own before I arrived. He was overwhelmed by everything. He saw it all at once, and it was too much and shut him down. I was positive about helping him when I first got there, and I think that inspired him to take another look. By narrowing down his focus, I made it a lot simpler. When you work on your own, it's good to pick one area. One small piece and work in it. It will be easier for you. You can even take a bag of things and bring them to another, less cluttered, room and go at it. The main thing I want to do is encourage everyone to start. A little bit goes a long way.