The final part of clutter clearing is letting go of all the things you’ve realized you no longer use or need. Until you’ve done that, you haven’t decluttered at all.
So you’ve done some clutter clearing, and all the things you have decided to let go of are bundled up in bags or boxes. That’s great, but please don’t make the mistake that so many people make of not getting it all off the premises.
Don’t kid yourself
I’ve seen situations where it sits there for days, weeks, months or even years. You’ve done all the work of deciding what to keep and what to toss, but haven’t taken that all-important final step of actually letting it go.
This means you haven’t clutter cleared at all. All you’ve done is change the location of some of your stuff from wherever it was to where it’s stashed now. That’s like deciding to get divorced but never filing the papers. Until the deed is done, you’re still married. Until the stuff is out of your home, it’s still cluttering your space.
And you really are missing out because, as all seasoned declutterers know, the final act of clearing it all out is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.
Experience the joys of letting go
One woman I worked with had over fifty years of clutter in her home. She sincerely wanted to clear it in order not to leave her family with a mess to sort out when she died, but felt paralyzed to begin. Finally she took the plunge and booked a series of hands-on sessions with me.
At first her helpful husband disposed of all the things she cleared, taking them by the car load to the local recycling centre and charity shops. But one day she happened to be travelling with him when he dropped off the latest boxes she had filled. Her eyes sparkled as she told me how liberating it felt to personally jettison the bags into the recycling container and deliver the boxes to the charity shop. She realized how much more complete she felt, because this had enabled her to really say goodbye to the things and let them go. After that, she would never let him dispose of her clutter alone. ‘Why should he have all the fun?’ she said.
When Richard or I or the clutter clearing practitioners we have trained, work with clients we’re happy to help people who are elderly, sick, or disabled to remove their clutter at the end of the session. But whenever possible, we encourage people to do this final part of the process themselves, or at least accompany us if we do it for them. It’s a deliciously satisfying feeling.
The sooner the better
People often ask me why clutter clearing feels so revitalizing. The reason is that it’s not just physical items you are clearing out of your home. You are also removing the clumps of stagnant energy that have accumulated around them.
Put simply, the more clutter you have, the more stagnant energy there will be in your home, and the more stuck in life you will feel. Clearing out clutter gets the energies in your home moving again, and gets your life moving too.
So after you’ve decided to let something go, the sooner you can remove it from your home the better. Why wait a moment longer?
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2016, updated 2023
The value of professional clutter clearing help