Years ago I helped a woman who could barely see the floor in her living room, bedrooms, and hallway. While sorting clothes, she shared something as she noticed it was happening.
“Kacy, everything I touch, I want to keep. Everything you touch, I want to let go of. How about you hold everything up as talk it through.”
She nailed it. Then, we really started cooking with gasoline.
In the recent New York Times article The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter, psychology professor and researcher on the effects of clutter on our moods, Darby Saxbe, stated what my client had discovered firsthand:
“If you’re going to declutter, don’t touch the item. Don’t pick it up,” he said. “Have somebody else hold the pair of black pants and say, ‘Do you need this?’ Once you touch the item, you are less likely to get rid of it.”
If you too are motivated to let go, but notice you hit a wall when rummaging through your things, solicit the help of a family member, friend, or organizer to do the manual work for you, keeping you mostly hands-off, so you can feel a little more free to let go.