Before I was a clutter buster, I used to worked for a moving company. We got used to showing up with the moving truck and finding the clients frantically packing. They'd often be throwing everything into packing boxes without considering whether they wanted to bring each of their things to the new home. I'd try and help out, but the customers weren't in a place to take it in. When we got their stuff to the new home, the clients were often dazed and confused. I got the feeling that on some deeper level they sensed they'd brought their trash with them. I think one of the reasons I became a clutter buster was to present a kind and comforting solution.
Last week I worked with a client to help him prepare his office for a move that would take place in two months. I said that it's important to start finding the things that he wasn't actually using for his business so they wouldn't get moved to the new space. It was initially hard for him to understand that he had things in his office that he wasn't using. I told him that clutter busting is downsizing. It made more sense practically and economically to only keep the things that were actually being used. It's kind of like taking inventory, but bringing the trash can along with you so you can immediately toss the things that you don't need or use. I said since he had two months till the move, he had the luxury to take his time and think clearly enough to be able to do that.
I asked him about the three full bookcases in the front hallway of his office. Books were double stacked, one row in front of other. There were some books stacked on the floor. He said he didn’t want to spend any time talking about the books. He felt they were necessary for his business. I sensed the books presence made him feel irritable. I asked if he read the books. He had to stop and think about this. Then he laughed. He said he never reads the books. His clients send them to him but he has no use for them. We packed them up in boxes for library donation.
This experience reinvigorated him. He started walking around the office finding things that nobody was using. He found multiple stacks of blank VHS tapes still in their packaging. He tossed them in the big trash bin he was borrowing from the building's maintenance crew. Within a half hour the bin was full. He was so excited.