Highlights from the Clutter Busting Talk

I gave a clutter busting talk in Chicago today. I loved traveling the other week for my clutter busting talks on the West Coast. But today it was really nice to drive only a half hour.

The group asked a lot of great questions. Here are the ones I remember:

"How do you inspire someone with a clutter problem to let go of their clutter?"

You don't. Unless someone comes to you and asks for help, chances are they are not open to receiving help. The openness is the key to transformation. Being open includes the ability and adaptability necessary to makes changes. If someone is not open, they are fixed on continuing to do things as they have been doing. Your suggestions will seem intrusive. If you continue to be fretful about what you see as the other person's clutter situation, then it becomes your clutter. There's not enough time and energy to fix other people. That's why it has to come from them or not at all.

"What if I one day it turns out I need the things that aren't currently serving me?"

Then you might as well own one of everything that exists in the world. But you're better off not making your home a warehouse. It's hard on us to live with things that aren't serving us. They take up our living space. When you need something, you can drive to a store, order it on the internet, or borrow it from a neighbor. In the meantime, it's of greater value to you having the empty space in your home because that's the thing that will actually give you peace of mind.

"I have no idea how to start clutter busting. Where do you even begin?"

It helps if you pick one small area to begin. It doesn't matter where. Wherever you look, you'll find clutter. Things naturally turn to clutter over time because we change and we no longer need certain stuff. You can pick a stack of stuff on a counter, a pile of clothes in the closet, a drawer in the kitchen, your car's glove compartment, a shelf in your bookshelf. When you pick only one area to focus and work on, you are kind to your heart and mind. And in that gentle place, you'll be open to finding things that no longer fit you emotionally or physically. In the same way you find old food in the fridge, when you discover it, you let it go. What helps is to begin. There is no finishing line. Clutter busting is a valuable skill you'll be using for the rest of your life.