There is always more to clutter than meets the eye. The reason for this is that clutter itself is not the problem. It’s only ever a symptom of an underlying issue.
Most people don’t realize this, of course. They think that their home has just got a bit out of control and some day they will get round to sorting it all out. But the longer you’ve had the clutter, the more difficult it becomes to see the original cause, and the more challenging it is to clear. And unless you get to the reason why you accumulated it all in the first place and learn to make different choices in future, the chances are very high that if you do have a clear-out, it will all build up again.
That’s why I’m always very happy when a client I am working with has a resounding epiphany about their stuff that changes their relationship to it forever.
A teddy bear epiphany
A good example of this is a woman I once knew who truly believed that her huge collection of teddy bears was a joyful indulgence she allowed herself. She had over a hundred, of all shapes and sizes. We did a number of sessions together, going deeper and deeper, until one day she saw through her own subterfuge. ‘Oh my God!’ she gasped. ‘The reason I have so many teddies is because when I was small, I used to hide myself under a pile of them when my parents were fighting and I got scared. I’m 50 years old now, but some part of me still thinks that having lots of cuddly toys on my bed will somehow keep me safe!’
Epiphany moments like these are so freeing. They allow you to see items for what they really are instead of the stories you’ve been spinning yourself for years. In this case, she saw that her teddy bears were her version of a security blanket to help her feel protected. She also realized that they were one of the main reasons why her sexual relationships never lasted long, because she felt too embarrassed to ever invite a boyfriend to see her bedroom. She understood in that moment that it was time to let her childhood tactics and most of her teddies go.
Clutter clearing epiphanies
Epiphanies by their very nature are surprising and revealing. In relation to clutter they are also inspiring, motivating, and eye-opening. They take you to a new level of perception that allows you to see why you felt the need for clutter, how you can safely let it go, and why you don’t need to collect the same stuff again.
Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2015