I was working with a client recently who said that she wanted to give up, because it seemed like she would never be able to let all of her clutter go.
I reassured her that it takes time to dismantle the clutter. You're going through piece by piece, and in the beginning it can seem like it will never end. But as you progress, you start to feel a momentum carrying you through the process.
She said she understood intellectually, but she felt like she wasn't making a dent.
I said that after I had my lung transplant last year I couldn't walk. My legs were too weak. The doctors weren't sure that I would be able to walk again. But they sent over two physical therapists to visit me in my hospital room every day to see if that would help. At first they held me up as I got out of bed. My legs were like jello. I couldn't even support myself to stand.
But then after a week I had the strength to stand for a few seconds.
Next I tried to walk while the physical therapists supported me. It felt impossible and I wanted to give up. But they were insistent, and after a few more days I was able to walk a couple of feet. That gave me the feeling that I could do more.
It took me about two months of embarrassing, exhausting, and relentless attempts of taking one step at a time, and then another until I was finally able to walk on my own.
I told her clutter busting is the same way. You go through one item at a time. You don't concern yourself with all the items. You're most capable when you focus on one thing at a time. And then you move on to the next item.
Over time you let go of a lot of things that are no longer a part of your life. You're able to do this from the momentum that comes from letting go of one thing at a time.
You're able to let go of clutter because of the strength inside of you.