The Spilled Bowl of Soup

I got an email from someone who said, "My clutter situation is terrible. I have stacks of magazines, unread newspapers, and letters littering my table, desk and part of the floor. I am inundated with paper, and not having time to deal with many items of post, I accumulate stuff wherever "it" finds a spare space. I am basically a very neat, organized person, but the clutter is getting me down. The clutter takes up space in my home that I am not able to invite people over for dinner anymore. I suppose my mind is now also cluttered."

I wrote back, "Often clutter finds its way into people's home when they are overwhelmed. Our bodies and minds are like machines, when they get overloaded, they can start to shut down. When this happens, there is less of us to take care of our life situation. In a way, we are handicapped. We aren't capable of doing the things we could do before. Things start to pile up and take over our space. We could feel badly about these circumstances and start to feel emotionally overwhelmed and then there is even less of us to take care of our situation.

Your clutter is getting you down and making you feel terrible, and takes up lots of space and makes you embarrassed and you can't invite people over. It sounds like you are overwhelmed. I was talking with a client yesterday. She had a big amount of things taking up her living space. She felt stuck because she couldn't get herself to let things go. It was like she had spilled a big bowl of soup on the floor and couldn't get herself to clean it up, and she had to live her life with spilled soup on the floor. I helped her see that it had become too much for her and she had shut down. I got her to look at one thing at a time and make a decision about it, rather than look at all of it and give up.

I recommend the same thing to you. Stuff has taken over you space and you have given up. Perhaps today you can go to one part of your living space, maybe your desk and bring a trash bag with you. And you can pick up one thing and ask whether or not it has importance to you, "Is this item serving me, or can I let it go?" If something is making your feel terrible and getting you down, it isn't serving you and your life. You come first. You are sacred and your things are not. It's worth taking an honest look around your home environment. Something may seem important, but when it's causing you to suffer, it isn't."