I knew that coming between people and their stuff, or at least delivering messages that made it look like I wanted to, was going to be tricky. I knew there would be a fight. I begged and pleaded the powers that be to show me how to serve, what I could do to be a “major player in the loving transformation of the world.” I wanted this assignment. Then when it came in, I freaked out.
Here is what I heard: Prepare them to travel lightly through what lies ahead by releasing attachments to things and old wounds.
After working as a professional organizer off and on for 10 years, I transitioned into life coaching with pure delight that my trash-bag-holding days were over. It’s not that I didn’t love that work. I really loved it. In fact, clutter clearing is like play for me and it goes all the way back to childhood. But the results were disheartening, only about a third of the clients never needed me again, which may be bad marketing but truly, I wanted people to heal what caused them to attract those conditions. I didn’t want them to continue to need to work with me, they deserved a better way of life.
As with calories and weight, the health of our space depends both on what comes in and goes out. To keep a nice, stable, physical environment. We want to strive for balance, to have enough space within the walls in question–whether it’s 400 square feet or 12,000 square feet, a single room or multiple homes, to hold our possessions and to live. This is about living within our means, not just storing our stuff. We need space to live–room to relax and play, dance and learn, love and grow, breathe and feel–and if it’s full to the brim with stuff, it seems to me that we’re not living very well.
The basics are simple. If the space is empty, then there is room to receive incoming goods. Once the equation is balanced, meaning that there is enough room for the stuff AND the living that needs to take place in that space, it’s important to find a new ‘stuff strategy’ to keep that balance. After finding a healthy balance in the clothes closet, for example, some people commit to an even exchange strategy. This means that for every incoming piece of clothing, you chose an outgoing item in exchange.