This might sound like a strange question, but it’s one that I think about a lot. I meet so many people who say that they need my help, and many people hire me and accept the help, and they are usually anxious to get started. They work with me to purge the items in their lives that are keeping them from living the lives that they want to live. Once they get their homes or offices looking uncluttered, they are then free to create and live passionately and happily. However, I also meet a few potential clients along the way who meet me, talk with me, and even set up a consultation to show me their homes, but then they explain to me all of the reasons why they need to hold onto each and every item in their life. These folks often don’t hire me. They are not ready. They say that they want to live with less and have uncluttered, efficient space, but they can’t let go.
These are also the people who break my heart; I feel for them. It’s very difficult to part with our stuff especially if that stuff contains happy, wonderful memories. But that stuff is also oftentimes blocking doorways and windows. That stuff gathers dust and causes allergies to flare up. That stuff makes them late for appointments and work because that stuff blocks other stuff that they are trying to find as they rush out the door, and that stuff also halts creativity by becoming a visual distraction. And ultimately that stuff prevents future memories from occurring.
These folks also often tell me stories of all of the things that they are going to do but that they are not currently doing. “I’m saving that stuff to someday make a work of art,” they tell me. “Oh those are recipes that I’m going to make someday when I have a party.” But that party has not happened in 20 years. “I’m saving these extra dishes and towels because someday I’m going to have people over for a weekend.” This is where I find my job to be challenging and heartbreaking. I hear them, but I also see the reality of the situation. Because of all of the I’m-going-to projects, the house is too cluttered to actually do any of the projects or to host any of the events. They are not living; they are planning to live.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us to live life. Embrace it! Don’t put off that event, trip, party, task, project, or leap of faith. You can let go. There are specialists out there to help. I can help with the clutter, but I definitely recommend getting help with the emotional and psychological aspect of letting go. You can do this! Let’s all stop planning to live, and let’s actually start living life.