Beyond Clutter, The Journey to Choose

 It is an honor to be invited into a client’s home, to be trusted in their safe space. With an open mind and heart, together we create attractive order and unoccupied space with the anticipation of good things arriving for them in perfect timing. Truly, it’s fulfilling and meaningful work to lift others to new levels of being with themselves and in the world. I celebrate with them the leaps they take into long-awaited breakthroughs that before were far away in the distant horizon. This is the reason why I do what I do.

I’ve been dubbed an emotional Sherpa.  Another client says I’m in the energy business. Both flattering observations, I can see their point.  Time spent with my clients is more about journeying together than it is about inventorying the things they own (or that own them). Organizing homes is the vehicle for myself and my clients to live in our light, our genius, instead of our shadow, our mess.

I can and have been mechanical in my approach to sorting and packing clutter, but it’s not my sweet spot. Schlepping and moving is necessary. Without my clients’ new awareness of ownership and mastery of their lives, what happens? Does the space fill up again? Do they overconsume again? And how long till clutter chaos returns?

Experiencing the pivot from the action and ongoing commitment to keep space open secures the mindset shift recognizing the need for change and acknowledging what worked in the past isn’t working sufficiently today.  It also helps to maintain the margins both in their home and consequently in their life. Calendars, like closets, can be too full. Relationships can be tired and worn like yesterday’s clothing.  Without a course correction, surely clutter will return. Clients will again be cramped and restricted from knowing and actualizing what they want in life. The cycle of excess stuff will again obstruct good things from entering. It’s like voluntarily constructing a cement damn holding back the flow of a flourishing life.

Think of the pressure of the water’s force and weight against the back wall of a dam.  Then imagine the relief as the tension of the water is released through the spillways. And then what if the water’s energy was controlled to flow safely and continuously through the gates.

This too is how it works with the congestion of clutter. Like the dam, most certainly the piles and pockets of clutter create pressure in life. It’s palpable, otherwise it wouldn’t bother us so much. Our mini dams throughout our home trap the flow and prevent the continuous stream of vitality, abundance and plentitude that lead to growing, emerging, and surging.

The longer one waits to address the clutter dams, the worse it gets. Honestly answer these few questions:

o   Will I have more energy years from now if I kick this tin can down the road?

o   Will I be as physically capable?

o   What if something detrimental happens to me or my spouse, housemate or partner? Will it then be easier to tackle the task or more complicated?

Personally, I don’t want to be caught out. I don’t want a house and garage full of stuff weighing down on me now or even more so at an emotionally challenging time. It’s hard enough to identify what piece of technology belongs to the drawer full of remotes in our TV room without my husband’s knowledge.

Someday I may find myself a primary caretaker or a widow. It is not anxiety that underlies my plea to others to act now to get organized. I think of it like creating an insurance policy that will pay dividends in the currency of emotional, spiritual and physical energy when I will need it most.

My husband and I are baby boomers gazing at downsizing to a ranch community (dare I say retirement). Currently, we have too many pets. We have five. Four are over twelve. Yes, I’m a sucker for critters. Aging in our existing residence isn’t entirely out either. The rub in doing so is the sheer amount of resources needed for home maintenance of our clapboard, Dutch colonial, surrounding gardens and large trees. We could take a vacation for what it costs to remove one of our aging sky-high trees. Ugh. My point is this, again I don’t want to be caught out. Purging your possessions at a time when you’re house shopping and/or listing your home for sale is domestic overload. The to-do list to get your house to the standard expected by your realtor alone is a part-time job - with a deadline. I’m a risk manager when it comes to monitoring stress in my life. It makes more sense to me to get ready now for what I know is coming. Removing clutter and creating order now gives me time to enjoy my home whether we move or not. Plus, I know I won’t be pitching what I’m getting rid of in a dumpster because I waited till the last minute to prepare. I would be dishonoring my values by trashing when I could be donating and helping others.

True it’s a choice. Stephen Covey says in his book, The Eight Habit, between stimulus and response is a blank space, and in that space is the power to choose. He feels this is the ultimate power we have as humans above all other creation, the freedom to choose. He also reminds us that with choice comes responsibility. What is your mind’s echo? Have you paused to examine what is the benefit of having an overstuffed home? How do you want to live your life? That’s what it comes down to, being intentional.

 I can only decide for myself and hope I have influenced you to stand in alignment with what you believe to be true and honorable. I know and have witnessed, there is wisdom in an organized home.