I asked my client to tell me about her clutter situation. She said, "The worst is the paper! It is an albatross around my neck."
I had her get out a box of papers for us to go through. She said the bulk of the papers, which were in her bedroom, made it hard for her to sleep. She looked timid next to the box of papers. They were a bully in her home.
Suddenly my client's cat came in the room. She picked up the cat and introduced him to me. She said her cats weren't clutter.
I said that feeling of love and joy she got from her cat was how she
could know when something was a part of her life. That feeling could be her gauge marker for when something supports her life. She doesn't have to go, "Do I like the cat or can I let it go?" She just knows it fits her life.
I said when she feels the opposite feeling of uncertainty, uneasiness or indifference, then it's a red flag that something isn't fitting her life. It's clutter. For instance how she felt uncomfortable standing next to the papers. Plus the fact that they were wrecking her sleep and were, "an albatross around her neck."
The presence of the clutter interferes with the enjoyment of what she loves and uses.
Setting the gauge for what fit and what didn't made it easier for my client to go through the papers and make good decisions.
I encourage you to do this when you are clutter busting. When you begin, think of something that you obviously love and use in your life. Sometimes it can be what you are wearing in the moment. It can be a book you are currently reading and liking. Perhaps it's a meal you love to cook. Or a plant you enjoy looking at. Maybe it's a near and dear friend. These things can be your gauge to know when something fits your life. It can be your measuring stick that you can use when you get stuck.
Also thinking of what makes you happy fills you with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. You don't feel like you need anything. This makes you not want to hold on to something that you don't love and use.
Feeling satisfied is the opposite of feeling lack and emptiness. When we feel something is missing in our lives, a sense of desperation arises, and we try and fill the lack inside with things. Feeling empty makes it harder to let go of clutter.
Reminding yourself of the experience of a current joy in your life at the beginning of the clutter bust makes it easier to let go of clutter.