From Clutter to Clarity – A Client Story

woman with flowers

My client Carol came to me for support with some big decisions to be made with her upcoming retirement.  She felt unclear and overwhelmed as to what to do.

The situation became even more interesting when during our first call she described her life as “itchy”.  I hadn’t heard that one before, so I asked her to tell me more.  She shared that her home felt like a burden instead of a sanctuary, volunteer work and other obligations were filling up her time, and she didn’t feel like there was space for her in her own life.

No wonder she was having trouble making decisions.

Carol was surprised when I shared that external clutter (things, people, or activities) could be contributing to her feeling of being overwhelmed and blocking the clarity she needed to find her answers.  I could tell that she was doubtful at first, but something inside of her knew it felt right.

So, we created a plan to simplify her life. 

We began with a journey through the things she owned.  While her house was neat and well organized, she had a lot of stuff.  Each week she cleared out an area and sent me before and after pictures.  Her goal was to only keep what was meaningful, beautiful, or used on a regular basis.

After experiencing how great it felt to clear out the first areas, Carol became motivated and moved quickly through her home.  Some areas were easy and others a little more challenging.  Going through her photographs brought back joyous memories and also facilitated healing around the death of her husband.

Before moving on to other areas of her life, we clarified her core values and personal intentions.

This gave her guideposts she could use as she reviewed her calendar and the people in her life.  She was surprised to see how many people were draining her energy and how many things she did out of a sense of obligation.  She started making changes.

Carol says that simplifying her external life gave her that space she craved for herself.

Clearing the clutter brought a sense of peace and clarity into her life.  The answers to her decisions became clearer and clearer as she made space for them to come through.

She decided to sell her larger home and continue her journey of living simply in a smaller space.  Her time is focused on her grandchildren and re-connecting with her love of painting.  She feels like this process of right sizing her life has allowed her to be happy and live whole-heartedly for the first time.

Most people don’t realize that feelings of being overwhelmed, stuck, or indecisive can be related to their physical space.  Clutter is a symptom that can show up in both your environment and your mind.  Clearing one often helps the other.   So, if you are feeling stuck with a decision or project, check your space.  Taking a few moments to de-clutter may be just what you need.

You don’t have to wait until you are challenged.  You can de-clutter your life now as a preventive measure and start experiencing that same peace, calm, and clarity that Carol found.

Cleaning out your junk drawer has just become your new therapy.

If you would like support in resolving a challenge or creating a better life, please feel free to contact me for a consultation.  I would love to talk to you. 

Thank you Carol for allowing me to share your story.

12 thoughts on “From Clutter to Clarity – A Client Story

  1. Linda,

    I love this technique not only for preparing for retirement, but for getting more clarity around our goals and activities.

    Your advice to Carol is exactly what I need to do as well. I’ve started and stopped this decluttering process many times. It’s time to revisit it. Along with decluttering I’m discovering that refusing to add unnecessary possessions to my life contributes to my clarity.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • Linda Luke says:

      Clearing space in our lives can be a journey that happens over time. The only issue with that is that by the time you get to the last area, the first is ready to be redone. Ideally, we would take a week or so out of our lives and get it done all at once. This allows us to see and experience the beauty of our lives without clutter and commit to maintaining it in a deeper way.

      The right way is the way that works for you, and sometimes that is with starts and stops. If you want to make it happen faster, you can always ask for help or seek out the support of a coach.

  2. Erin says:

    Years ago I used to live in a tiny apartment with a lot of boxes because there wasn’t space for me to unpack. Then I had the opportunity to move to Malaysia and went on a mission to get rid of a bunch of stuff and when I moved back to the US and into a bigger house, I got rid of more cuz I realized I just don’t need it anymore. I don’t collect knicknacks or things like that, but I have a bad habit of holding onto things people give me, clothes I don’t wear anymore, books I read and know I won’t read again and electronic things I’ve upgraded from. Finally getting rid of those things made me feel lighter and more centered. Crazy how that works.

  3. Adrienne says:

    Hi Linda,

    We recently did this with my Mom. We moved her from a home she had lived in for 47 years to a one bedroom condo next door to me almost three years ago. Over time we kept having her go through things and get rid of a lot of it. I’m a minimalist anyway and I don’t have or need a lot of “things”.

    Having done that and then have an estate sale, she soon learned what was the most valuable to her after all. All the rest of that was just stuff that she thought we might want someday but soon realized we had no desire for it at all.

    I wish more people would do this though with people too. I’ve done this myself throughout my life and ended long term friendships due to their negative ways and how they just drained my energy. I really have such a better life now and am thrilled with where I am now. I’m so happy to hear that your client is as well.

    Retirement should be one of the most enjoyable times of your life so now it can be for her.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    ~Adrienne

    • Linda Luke says:

      I imagine that your Mother felt more confortable with her simple life. she is certainly blessed to have you. My intention is to spread the word about inner and outer simplicity. It is that important to me. I appreciate your sharing and honor your choice to lead a simple life.

  4. christine says:

    This is so unbelievably true. When I started to simplify my life and begin my journey I didn’t even realize how clear my life would be. It has been such an amazing experience and I can not wait to see what is coming in the future.

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