I'm on a lunch break from a clutter bust and I wanted to share with you what's happening so far with today's client.
We've been working on her desk in her home. When we started, she told me that she avoided ever doing anything with her stuff on, around and under her desk because it felt too time consuming. But she also told me that she dreaded ever coming into her office or going near her desk because the piles, stacks and containers of papers was so intimidating. That's how clutter works. It's presence is overwhelming and diminishing. It takes away the energy and courage to clutter bust. By starting, we get the energy back, and this is the fuel that helps us clutter bust.
There was no place to put her legs under the desk because it was filled with clear plastic storage containers that were filled with papers. She got them because she felt they would help her get organized. But it turns out they were trash cans because we went through the papers and 95% of them went into the recycling trash bag.
I asked her if I could write down some of the things she was saying during the clutter bust. They were pretty good and I was thinking you would like to read them. She said yes. I think it helped her get perspective on what she was feeling and doing. Here's some great quotes from her:
"All this stuff I thought I needed to have, I don't have to have again."
"This stuff was taking oxygen out of the room. I can breathe again."
"I never approached this stuff because it felt like it was locked in cement."
"Every single day this stuff is dragging me down, it feels like an anvil or a storm over my head. But as I'm letting this stuff go, it feels like things are clearing up in the sky."
"I was thinking I needed to keep this stuff, so I never would look at it."
She also remarked that she felt she needed to collect and keep all the paper because on some level it made her feel secure. However she never felt any sense of being safer. The presence of the papers just made her feel more anxious. She realized that her need to keep the papers was logical, but with some introspection she saw that the need was not based on reality. She was surprised that she felt more stable and secure without the papers.
She laughed and told me that her grandmother used to tell her grandfather, "You can't keep all this stuff, it keeps you from living in the present, it makes you old."
Okay, it's back to the front lines...