Getting Out From Under the Influence of Clutter

Clutter fractures our lives. It sits amidst the things that matter to us and shatters our serenity. This clutter creates an emotional drama in us. The emotional turbulence makes us feel confused which makes it hard for us to do something about the clutter situation. This is why some of us can be stuck in our clutter for months or years.

One of my clients' homes was saturated with clutter. It reminded me of a tree that was completely covered in moss. Her home had become her clutter's home. She was miserable and exhausted by this situation. Living this way had weakened her and made it impossible for her to get the energy and have the emotional wherewithal to clutter bust. She had a great emotional storm of blame going on within her.

She spoke on and on about how horrible things were and how bad she was for not doing something about it. I had a thought that if she'd stepped on a tack, it would hurt and she would immediately lift her foot and pull out the tack. In her current situation, she was also in pain, but she didn't have the ability to pull out the culprit, to let go of the clutter. I saw how insidious the effect of the clutter was on her.

I wanted to break her from the clutter's spell, so the first thing I did was interrupt her. Her complaining wasn't helping. I knew she needed to slow down the force of the gale storm of emotions so she could get some clarity. Solutions rarely come out of panic. New possibilities come when there's a quiet space for them to appear.

I said, "The great thing is, you don't have to live this way anymore. Today we can do something about it. If you spilled some soup on the floor, you might be upset for few seconds, but you'd clean it up. So today, we're going to find what doesn't need to be here anymore and we're going to let it go." She was quiet and I think it was odd for her because she was so used to being caught up in the emotional involvement with the clutter.

I invited her to come with me to her home office. I had a trash bag. I got down on the floor and started picking up little items in the carpet. There were pencils, wires, pennies, and other things. I didn't get into the psychology of what we were doing. I simply asked about each item, "Do you need this or can we let it go?" I wanted her attention off the storm and onto something stable. She went into sync with the process.

After getting her answer from one thing, I went right on to the next thing. This helped her get out of her thinking mind and operate with her working mind. If you're overwhelmed and dwelling on something, chances are you're stuck in the thinking mind. It feels like something is happening, but it's not. Doing gets us unstuck. We have very reliable working minds. We're great at doing. It took my client about an hour and a half to clear the room of the clutter. The great thing was she was no longer under the influence of the clutter in that room and she was feeling better and inspired to move on to the next room.