Getting Through the Inertia of Clutter

Today's client was ready, willing and able to toss a lot of things. Some clients are very open to letting go. They just need someone there to help them start and encourage them along the way. I think it's hard for us to take that first step and look at something and ask, "Do I like this anymore, or can I let it go?" We are taught that things are our source of happiness, and we believe it, even when they are cluttering up our homes and lives.

She was filling up bags with books she was no longer reading, and CDs she wasn't listening to anymore. She was amazed at how easy it was. It was a matter-of-fact feeling. "No, I'm not using that anymore." Clutter Busting makes it okay to look, notice, and let it go. She was enjoying the feeling of freedom it was giving her.

We were going through things on her desk when she came to an old laptop computer. Suddenly all her enthusiasm and openess shutdown. She looked like a TV that was showing a program and was suddenly unplugged. She was gone. I asked her about the laptop. She wasn't feeling capable of dealing with it. She started to move on to something else. I brought her back to the computer. She looked depressed and listless. She was under the influence of this clutter.

When people are working by themselves and they come across something that has this type of effect on them, they usually give up and do something else, and they feel that in some way they failed. She didn't know why she was feeling like this. I said that it can be hard to know why things have a negative effect, but we can know the effect and that's enough to make us do something about it. I said it was best to take care of this so it won't continue to pollute her or her home.

She resisted. I had her turn on the computer. She found a few files that she needed for her business. She copied the information on a memory stick. I got her to take that information and put it on her current computer. When a client finds something they need to take care, I help them finish it, so it doesn't become another source of clutter. Once she did this, she agreed to donate the computer. She said she would take it to a place to have the harddrive scrubbed. The life started to return to her. It was a sobering awareness. It made her very present. It's amazing how healthy that makes people feel.