When I work with a client, I know they may have preconceived ideas of what's of value to them. But I want them to put their things to the test so they can see how they actually feel about their stuff now.
This weekend I was working with a client on the phone about the things in her bedroom. She came upon stacks of VHS tapes on her dresser. They were shows that she had taped and wanted to watch. To her they seemed valuable. But I could sense conflict in her voice.
I asked her how many VHS tapes there were. She said over 175. I asked if she actually watched the tapes. She discouragingly said she didn't have the free time to watch them. She said she wanted to hang on to the tapes though in case she became unemployed again. She said she had been out of work for a few years and during that time she got bored and wanted to hang on to the tapes in case she was unemployed again. I could feel a heaviness in her voice.
I asked if she was in danger of loosing her current job. She said no.
I said it sounded like it was difficult on her to have the videos taking up space in her bedroom, knowing she didn't have time to watch them, and fearfully keeping in her mind that she could end up becoming unemployed again.
The VHS tapes weren't serving her. I told her she was using the time when she had been unemployed as a gauge for her current needs. But she had a job. The little time she had free was spent taking care of errands, visiting her mom, and spending time with her boyfriend. The VHS tapes made her uncomfortable. They distracted her from the things that mattered in her life now.
She got it and decided to remove the tapes from her life.