I helped a client clutter bust his basement this weekend. We went through boxes he had ignored for years. He was nervous to see what was inside of them.
It's amazing to see the power that clutter can have over us. We often get intimidated from asking whether or not our things have value in our life.
I kept reminding my client that it was his basement, it didn't belong to the stuff living in the basement. This encouraged him to keep asking of each thing, "Am I using you, or can I let you go?"
It didn't take much encouragement. he quickly got it that it was his space. The more we went through, the faster he said, "Nope, I don't need it" or, "Let's let it go."
My girlfriend had a similar experience with her hall closet this weekend. As she walked past the hall closet, she said, "Oh my God, I need to clutter bust this closest, can you help me?" I opened the door to the closet, and she tensed up as she saw the clusters of stuff that had taken over the space. It was overwhelming to her.
I said, "I'm going to ask you about each thing in here, and you decide whether it stays or goes." I wanted to elicit her sense of power. Sometimes we forget how mighty we are. When we remember, we get our bearings back.
I held out one thing at a time and asked if she was using it or not. Because she was now in a position of strength, she easily answered, "Yes" or "No." In about a half hour there was a pretty big toss pile on the floor. She packed it up and brought it out to the trash. The keep stuff went back in the closet.
The next time she walked down the hall, she stopped and said to me, "I no longer feel a drain of energy when I walk by the closet." She opened the door to the closet and took a look at the new space she created and said, "I love my closet!"