My client lived in a beautiful space with unique furniture that she had purchased in her travels around the world.
But then there were the partitions. There was one in every room. I could feel the tension emanating from behind them. The space behind each partition was a hiding place for stuff. There were plastic containers filled with papers, stacks of books and magazines, and unfinished projects.
I pulled away the partition hiding things in the living room. My client was uncomfortable. She said, "That's just stuff. I like to keep it behind the partition so the space looks beautiful." I pointed out her discomfort. I said just because she hid these things, didn't mean they weren't effecting her. We may not see something, but we feel it. Especially unresolved things that aren't serving us.
I asked my client to sit on the floor with me and go through these once hidden things. I opened up a plastic tub and went through one paper at a time. It turns out most of the papers were from old jobs. She needed them when she put them in there, but she didn't need them anymore. Once she was aware they were clutter for her, she tossed them in the recycling bag.
I said it's important that our homes have a flow. Hiding things so we don't have to deal with them breaks the flow that we need to feel happy and productive in our space. It doesn't matter if we hide things in a storage locker 15 miles away, in our parent's home 2,000 miles away, in the back of our closet, under our bed, in our files, hidden things interfere with our life as if they were right in front of us.
When we were finished clutter busting this space, I asked her to take in the new and open space and tell me how she felt. She closed her eyes, took it in, and said, "I feel like I reclaimed my life!"