I was talking with someone this morning about her clutter situation. She said, "My clutter affects everything since there is a lack of space for the stuff that 'matters'. I can't always tell what even 'matters' clearly. I've barely scratched the surface in terms of de-cluttering."
That's the thing about clutter: it distorts our life. It makes it difficult for us to think clearly. We can see that there's a problem but it can be too overwhelming to actually do something about it. It's like the stuff has drugged us and we can't take care of ourselves.
She said, "I have had a hard time with the courage to de-clutter on my own for fear that I will forget something or someone forever. And then the stuff stays here and I just feel worse."
I told this person that she's been in the habit of living this way for a while so it can seem odd to question these things that are poisoning her life. So along with the uncomfortableness and resistance to questioning the stuff, we start the process of questioning the stuff. "Okay, I feel like if I let this picture of an old boyfriend go, I won't remember what it was like to have love in my life. But I also notice at the same time that this photo makes my heart sad and tired, and I stay stuck in my sadness. I feel caught up in a downward spiral. I can't see how this feeling makes my life a better place to be. Maybe if I let it go I might start to feel better."