Episode: Caged by Clutter – Living with loss is keeping Jenni Harvey from being able to move through life and live in the present. The shame that Jenni carries with her about the clutter saddens her life and holds her back. Peter Walsh from Enough Already called the space unlivable. People wore hazmat gear just to remove the items from the house. This was a wake up call.
Peter’s first exercise for Jenni is to look around the room and find 5 things that have significant importance. Of all the things that she chooses…they have a common element – death. With the suicide death of her father when she was a young adult, it has her caught and stuck in the trauma and the past.
Since their father died from suicide when they were young adults, Jenni and her brother, Chris, have had a tough relationship. Close before their father’s death, now Chris seems sad that his sister is buried in the past while he tries to move forward into the future. This family has had a huge amount of tragedy and loss…and this is what Peter believes is the source for Jenni’s hoarding. Peter takes Jenni on a walk to have a one on one emotional clutter conversation…and tells Jenni that her clutter is keeping everyone out of her life and is being used as a defense mechanism to keep everyone emotionally and physically out – so that no one else will leave her. It’s the breaking of the shell toward understanding…and Jenni is ready to tackle the stuff and move forward with life. This is day one.
After a hard day of making it through the house clutter…Peter brings her storage unit to her to sort through for day two. He points out to the aspiring photographer enthusiast…. $2400 a year for storage x 4 years = one nice piece of photography equipment! Amen to that. I am a photographer as well and it can get expensive. Hello, new digital DSLR is what I would be saying!
Lessons from today’s show…
- You have a choice – embrace life or embrace stuff. Choose life over stuff.
- Clutter has a lot of good friends – Trauma and Death are two of them.
- Storage Units – don’t go there. Here is Peter’s stand on storage units. “They are a huge weight on your shoulders, are usually very expensive and should ONLY be used for a very short time, if at all.”
- Once you focus on the vision you have for the space instead of the stuff that you have in it, it becomes easier to get rid of the stuff.
- It’s not about cleaning up a space, it’s about cleaning up your life.
Lots of good lessons…what’s next Peter?