Today's couple had quite a big collection of books in their dining room. They had six bookcases full of books. The books dominated the room. It felt like it was their space. I thought it would be nice for the couple to take back their space.
I said that I would hold up one book at a time and ask them if they are reading it, want to read or re-read it, or let it go. The husband said, "This is going to be so hard. I doubt I'll be able to find at the most ten books to give away."
The main component to clutter busting is making decisions. You could say that clutter are things awaiting our decision to let them go. We either haven't gotten around to asking whether these things fit in our life anymore, or it hasn't even crossed our mind. But clutter busting is actually looking at something and making a decision, "Do I need this or can I let it go?"
I liked being in this situation with the couple. I never get tired of people saying that they think they'll only let go of a few things. Or they went through their stuff recently and there's nothing to let go of. The more certain, the more they let go.
I started asking about the books. The first ten stayed. But then the couple found themselves starting to say no to certain books. Some more stayed. Some more went. I think they started feeling the contrast between books that really meant something to them, and books that held no attraction. This made it easy to say yes or no.
I think if we get out of the habit of making decisions, that natural discriminating part of us becomes dormant. It can be hard to start it up again. But once we start, our inherent decision making ability comes back.
When I was done with the couple, they had decided to let go of over 200 books. And they felt good about it. Making decisions gives us a strong sense of vitality.