In today’s show, Peter is helping a family that is drowning in stuff…as they are drowning in life and illness. The father is sick with leukemia. The wife is holding it together by holding onto everything. So, when Peter comes in and removes it all from the room/house to put it outside, on the front lawn…I often wonder, “is this part of the therapy?” I mean…there is some shame associated with having and holding on to all of these things. Does putting the source of your shame and showing the world the problem help to start freeing yourself from this problem? Does this mean that I should move my cluttered closet to the curb so that it may finally become the vision that I would like to see? My closet alone has become a walk in that is NOT a walk in anymore. Does this sound familiar to any of you?
The story is heartbreaking….the family used to use the rooms in the house for entertaining and for guests. Then dad became sick and the rooms turned into holding rooms – holding all of the things from the past…not unlike many people, I think. As they began moving through the items, the husband stopped on luggage…finding it hard to make a choice…which one to keep? Why not keep them all?! Peter is quick to point out; the best friend to clutter is the word, “LATER.” We will get to this LATER. We will donate it LATER. We will sort through this LATER. Peter points out, “Later is the best friend of clutter.”
Another piece of gold from this episode was the following. There are 2 types of clutter. The kind that keeps us tied to the past or memory clutter. The other is our “future projects” clutter…that keeps us living in the thoughts of future. Both stop you from living in the NOW and the PRESENT. This was very enlightening and insightful. I have some of both that I am sure makes it harder to make it through life. OMG…I’m have a few of those “future projects” piles…I guess I’m a little stuck.
Here are some tips directly from the show and Peter that I thought were great lessons to take away this week:
- Get rid of the word LATER and that mindset. Deal with it now. Be done with it.
- “You should only have 3 kinds of clothes in your closet – clothes you love, clothes that fit you now and clothes that garner you compliments from other people.”
- Don’t wait to donate. Have a plan. Fill up a bag, put it in your car and get it out of the house. Again….be done with it.
- Don’t drown in your stuff, ask for help.
Peter’s steps to deal with clutter:
- Step 1: Empty the room
- Step 2: Create a vision for the room
- Step 3: Sort into 2 piles – the vision pile (things you want to hold onto, that hold strong memories for you or will help create your vision for the room) and the out the door pile (that will be sold or donated).
Anyway, Peter should have some kind of therapist sign hanging over his doorway…but that might just be clutter to him. He really helped this family work through some of their emotional clutter. The family now has a beautiful living room and guest room….and the clutter that has been moved away to help the family move more easily through the house and through life.