People often say to me, ‘I’ve had my clutter for years. Is there a quick-fix way I can clear it?’ Yes, I say. But that is not the best way.
A while ago, a woman once called me in desperation to book a clutter clearing consultation. She had lived for 20 years surrounded by boxes of personal belongings she had never unpacked. Now she urgently needed to move from her 4-bedroom house to a place that was half the size. Could I help?
But as we talked it soon became apparent that she had totally unrealistic expectations. Because she was hiring a professional, she thought the whole task could somehow be accomplished in a day, including personally opening and checking the contents of each box to decide what to keep and what to throw away. She seriously believed I would be able to wave some sort of magic wand and single-handedly make 20 years of clutter painlessly disappear.
The cruelty of quick-fix clutter clearing
With a team of people to help and the client out of the way, I can declutter any space very quickly. But not in a way most people would thank me for or be able to live with.
If someone has kept a house full of boxes for many years, it’s usually because the contents have some perceived value. To ruthlessly dispose of them in a matter of hours or even days is the stuff that traumas are made of. You can see this done in hoarders’ homes on TV. But what you don’t see is that one year later, the person has usually acquired new stuff and cluttered their home to the hilt again.
It certainly doesn’t have to take as many years to clear clutter as it did to accumulate it. But, like weight loss, it usually takes longer than most people expect. And that’s actually a good thing. In the same way that rapid weight loss is usually unsustainable, rapid clutter clearing can cause a rebound effect that causes the person to start accumulating again. Each person needs to clutter clear at a pace that’s right for them so that they can move through any emotions the process may bring up.
The title of my most popular online course is Fast Track Clutter Clearing because it’s designed to motivate people to clear their clutter as quickly as they can. But I have deliberately split it into seven steps so that each person can proceed at their own speed.
Clutter clearing to move home
Many people end up moving home with their clutter instead of first sorting through and discarding things they no longer need or want. This may make it easier to meet the moving day deadline, but in the long run it involves more time, more effort, and more expense, not to mention the stagnating effects of continuing to live with clutter in the new home.
So if you know you have a move coming up, don’t delay. Start clutter clearing now. And if you need professional help to do it, don’t wait until days before the deadline to make the call. I have special methods I use with clients to help many of them clear more clutter in a day than they’ve been able to clear by themselves in a year. With the right approach, any amount of clutter can be cleared. But there’s no quick-fix or magic bullet solution. It takes a lot of time and energy to acquire clutter so it’s reasonable to expect it to also take some time and energy to let it go.
How to clutter clear your home 20 minutes at a time
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Copyright © Karen Kingston 2019