In my early teens, I had a friend whose life was in chaos. She was thirty-something years old, her marriage was on the rocks, she had two unruly pre-school children, had put on weight, lost touch with her friends, and never seemed to have time for the greatest passion of her life, which was painting. She had been slowly going downhill like this ever since having children and was becoming more and more depressed. Her home was a total mess with clutter everywhere.
One day I could stand it no more. There was nothing I could do about her marriage or any of her other problems, but something I did feel I could help her with was getting her home back in order. I offered to visit and do just that. Frankly she was beyond caring and told me I could do whatever I liked.
The next day I worked from dawn till dusk. The kitchen alone took me until midday. Every dish and pan she owned was caked in decaying food. Every cupboard and surface was filthy and littered with debris. The fridge was a nightmare. I cleaned and organized the entire space and threw out three big garbage bags full of stuff.
Seeing the kitchen restored to its former glory, my friend suddenly became interested in helping. Together we polished off the rest of the house, throwing out a further seven bags of broken toys, magazines, and general clutter, and a whole car load of clothes, books, and other items that were donated to a local charity shop. At the end of the day, exhausted but jubilant, we surveyed our work. Her home had been totally transformed. She was speechless with delight.
A few weeks went by and she invited me to visit. Not only was the place still spotless and tidy, but propped up in pride of place in the front room was a magnificent new painting in bold, joyous colours. My friend looked radiant and so did her husband and children. By taking control of her home she had taken control of her life or, as she herself put it, ‘I’ve reclaimed my spirit!’
This was my first experience of clutter clearing as a means to personal transformation. I watched as the months went by and she created her life anew. She regained her figure, rebuilt her marriage and social life, tamed her unmanageable children, and became a fairly well-known artist. Time and time again she told me she dated the changes from the day we clutter cleared her home.
Since those early beginnings, I’ve seen this same effect many, many times. Over the last few decades I’ve helped hundreds of people to clutter clear their homes, my online courses have helped thousands more, and my books have reached millions. Clutter clearing works because it frees up energy and creates space for new and better things to come into your life. It’s the most effective way I know to get things moving again if you feel stuck in any way.