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Decluttering - A Life Changing Activity - 10th June 2016
It's only recently that I've been describing my service as "working with clients to help them achieve
Really? That's an extravagant claim - aren't you just tidying?
Oh, no - there's a whole lot more to it than that. I expect you'd like me to explain?
There's a kind of magic that happens during the decluttering process, when a client makes the change from feeling overwhelmed to feeling inspired. From feeling drained and depressed, to energised and happy.
Are you suggesting these changes are prompted by decluttering?
Yes, and at more than one level. To an extent the shifting of old and unwanted items is bound to have an impact on a person's wellbeing. Having a tidy room that is fit for use, rather than a room that is bursting at the seams; it's just bound to feel better. However, there's more to it than that.
A secret decluttering ingredient?
Honestly, it's no secret. It's just a different way of looking at the problem. It's more about what goes on in someone's head. When I work with a client, of course I show them how to approach decluttering from a practical perspective. My method aims to make it easy and effective.
Clients often know they've kept things they no longer really want or need. It's relatively easy to help them identify these items and work out what to do with them. The big challenge for clients is things they own that they can't get rid of - when really there's no logical reason for them to be kept.
Oh, you're talking about emotional attachment, aren't you?
Yes, I guess I am. Before I go further though, I'd like to make it clear that I'm not against sentimental keepsakes. I have some of my own in fact.
I've worked for people who have kept everything and have an attachment to all of it. I've also worked for people who are sentimentally attached to items they don't even like!
The main issue here is that often someone has a feeling of attachment to an item but they don't really understand that feeling. Or they think they understand it but actually there's a whole lot more going on under the surface.
My role in these situations is to gently help clients uncover the hidden stories of their stuff.
The revelation of the story is in fact a revelation of the client's emotions in connection with a specific item. Once this is out in the open, then it is much easier to take action. Clients are often surprised at how they can suddenly decide to send something to a charity shop when they'd previously felt 'stuck'.
Imagine you receive a gift from a very dear friend. Not only is this gift incredibly useful, it's also beautiful and you enjoy using it. Every time you use your gift you have the added bonus of a reminder of your friendship. Years later your friend lets you down very badly and the relationship comes to an end.
You continue to use your gift though, because it's so useful. Unfortunately, now, this 'thing' is imbued with all the feelings you have around how your friend let you down. Not to mention feelings of loss.
So it's not just about tidying after all?
Most definitely not! The tidying is almost a side issue and is so much more effective if the emotional side can be addressed along the way.
Clients often declare they feel a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. Others are positively euphoric. All those who take this 'magic' step become decluttering converts. It's like breaching a dam!
If you'd like to know more about accessing the story of your 'stuff' then do please get in touch.