I had the honour of visiting the Clutter Clearers’ Peer Circle once again on a recent Friday morning. They came up with a list of questions for me and while I thought long and hard about how to address them I realized I didn’t have the answers to those questions. So, my plan was to pose those questions back to them.
These are the questions with the answers from the group members:
- How can I make my home a sanctuary?
- Being in the drivers seat and in charge of my space
- Safe, supportive and comfortable
- Having a spot where I sit that is just for me
- Having a cleared place to sit, sleep, cook, eat, etc.
- Being with my cat and having more clear space for him to play (pet therapy)
2. How can I get over the fear of exposure (others seeing into my apartment when the door is open)
- I don’t care what others think. I am a self declared hoarder and I just let people know. I am working on my living situation and am proud of how far I have come.
- As I get older, I care less about what others think.
- This group helps me to feel supported and to know I am not alone.
- We have been meeting now for almost three years and everyone is making great progress.
- We would like to write to James Hind, Fire Inspector to share with him about our progress and to help him to understand the groups efforts and accomplishments.
- It is like we are “rebuilding ourselves”. This problem didn’t just happen overnight and will not be corrected overnight. It has been an ongoing process.
- We feel there is a lot of hope in getting better and improving our personal spaces
3. Why are some things so tough to let go of?
This was such an interesting question from this group because they know the answer to this one and what I heard from them in their answers is that they have already stepped beyond this question. They talked about the usual reasons that we know like emotional and sentimental attachment, decision making is tough, and having the perfect place to donate to.
Group members talked about the fact that they can appreciate the process more and they know that they cannot go from A to Z but find that they are able to get there quicker. A group participant mentioned that the same thing happens with other setbacks as well. We all have tough days but are able to bounce back so much faster.
A great discussion came up about goals and success and how we think they are like a straight line but really its more of a messy up and down, squiggly kind of line.
They had some great insight to offer like a great rule of thumb
“what goes in the box, stays in the box”
something I may have to put into practice.
Also, a great question and insight from one of the group participants in thinking about letting go of items was not “Why is it hard to let go?” but “Why is it getting easier?” There is a great exposure exercise that I was able to remind people of from the CCSG which is to let something go and then think about how high your anxiety is on a scale of 1 – 10, then think about where it is at 10 minutes later, etc. Most likely by the next day you are not missing or thinking about that item at all.
4. How to decide what I want to bring into my space?
This question really brought the group full circle which was so awesome.
“After de-cluttering, I don’t want to bring anything into my space”
“I am feeling protective of my space”.
A few popular quotes mentioned by group members:
“Does it spark joy?” by Marie Kondo
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” William Morris
“Be more excited about how far you’ve come, than you are discouraged about how far you have to go.” Joyce Meyer
Participants talked about how they are much more aware of their own needs and wants. One participant said that she has a list of things she wants and carefully keeps this in mind when considering what to bring into her space. Also, the thoughts about letting go of things no longer needed are also at the forefront of this decision making. Mistakes will be made and this is not the end of the world!! Group members talked about how much more confident they are about making decisions for themselves.
Participants talked about the challenges when the current lifestyle interferes with the ideal life that they want for themselves.
“Having more clear space means that I can live the way I want and can see my vision and goals for myself and my space.”
How would you answer these questions? Please comment below:
This sounds like you really helped these members bring awareness to how they feel about clutter in their home. For over 20 years, I have organized clients and I always asked these questions to them and to myself to keep my home organized, “How do you feel about this item? Does this item bring you positive or negative memories?” I then proceed to ask them, “Do you want to keep remembering this memory?” It helps them breakthrough the block of letting go. With all the people I worked with, every one of them had a different response to these questions. It’s quite interesting.
I love those questions Sabrina. I find it really helpful to break down the questions to help people to get to what the feeling is underneath the clutter. And hopefully, this will help them to be able to let go a little easier. Thanks for commenting.
Hi Kim, I love how you started the whole conversation off with “How can I make my home a sanctuary, very important in this crazy world we live in.