Moving Through the Force Field

The resistance to clutter bust can feel like a force field that you can't penetrate. You see all the clutter, you want to do something about it, but you can't find it within yourself to make the change.

I worked with a client by Skype today who felt this stuckness amidst his stuff. He said that he had been afraid to really look deeply into what was there. He was feeling guilty because he thought he should have been able to do the clutter busting on his own.

I said that’s normal. He was feeling overwhelmed by the presence of all the clutter. As a whole, it shut him down. That’s the power of clutter. It creates a stagnant fog that saps your energy. It’s like having an allergic reaction that weakens your mind and body.

I said it helps to recognize what’s happening. You can get the strength to begin the clutter bust by being aware of how it’s hurting you. That it’s not you being weak personally in anyway. But it’s like you’ve been drugged. It’s an outside influence that’s negatively affecting you on the inside.

I had my client go to the murkiest of the clutter: some old filing cabinets that were hidden in his closet which he hadn’t looked in for years. He felt trepidation to open the filing cabinets.  I reminded him that was the effect they had on him.

My client opened the filing cabinet. I told him to only consider one thing at a time. This would help him focus and shut out the thick influence of all the other papers. He found a folder that had some old high school and college transcripts. He felt overwhelmed and wasn’t sure what to do with them.

I asked if he had any need for the transcripts. He thought about it and said he didn’t. He surprised himself by letting these papers go. He said, “This feels good!”

I said that’s because he got a piece of himself back.

He moved on to the next folder. He had a similar experience. He said, “Old crap – not necessary!” and tossed out the whole folder.

From this point on he moved at a brisk pace. Within a half hour he had cleared out two full file drawers. He was astonished and empowered.

I've seen a lot of people move through the stuckness by starting in a simple way that was possible for them. I encourage you to find a way of starting that is within your means. It's a gentle way of moving forward.