Learning What's True for Us

When we clutter bust, we learn what's true for us. We're changing all the time. Something that fit us emotionally and physically ten years ago, last year, even last week, may no longer be true.

Because we don't normally question our things, we assume that everything we own and live with has its place. But some of our things become stale for us. This stagnation intrudes on what matters to us now.

For instance, I recently worked with a client who had hundreds of record albums in stacks on the floor against his living room wall. He owned a dust covered turntable that was hiding under some magazines. I asked if he listened to the albums. He said no. I asked if we could let go of the albums. He got scared and said he couldn't.

I suggested we get out an album and play it on the turntable and have it in the background while we clutter busted. He had a moment of anguish. There was the part of him that remembered the fun he had listening to the albums vs. the part of him that now had no interest in playing records.

I said the emotional turmoil he was feeling was going on in him even when he wasn't facing this. Our talking about it shed light on the side-effects. The presence of things we don't love creates conflict. I said, "It's kind of like when you were constantly growing as a kid. One week something fit you, the next week it was tight and drove you nuts."

My client got the sober look of understanding and decided to donate his records and turntable.