"It's an unbelievable amount of stuff!" My client was describing the clutter in her home over the phone. I could feel the intimidation in her voice. It felt like the stuff had taken over and she was relegated to being an unwelcomed guest in her own home. That's how it gets when we're overwhelmed with the clutter.
My client blamed herself for mistakes she made to get to the current state of her home. I said blaming won't help make things better. Cutting ourselves down or trying to figure out how things got so bad won't reverse the state of the place.
I said it was like she drove down a one way street and got to a dead end. She couldn't keep going forward, living the same way. It wouldn't help to get angry with herself for taking the road. The best thing she could do was back out slowly. That means slowly dismantle the clutter structure.
This means kindly picking one place in her home and starting. Going through magazines, papers, books, and whatever else is right in front of her and deciding with each thing, "Is this helping me, or can I let it go?" "Am I actually using this, or can I toss, recycle, donate it?"
I like the backing up analogy because when you back up, you really have to look where you are going. You're not used to driving that way. To clutter bust, you have to consciously look at the things in your life in a new way. Rather than allowing things to be as they are, you question whether something contributes to your life or not. There's no room in your life for intimidation from your surroundings. You're looking to remove the impediments on the freeway of your life.