Turn off your brain!
One reason you might hire a me to help you declutter is because it can be really hard to stick with it on your own. You get distracted. At least that’s what you tell yourself. What’s really happening is that you’re hitting decision fatigue within minutes of starting.
Your poor overworked brain, which has to choose EVERYTHING from which phone case to buy to what color to paint the dining room to what excuse to use to get out of ANOTHER book club invitation, is tired.
Let’s give it a rest!
Over the last year I've come to believe that intuition is always trying to set us on the right path, but then the brain butts in and takes over and messes things up. Because the brain wants us to be LOGICAL. Which is fine when you're choosing a 401K plan but not all that helpful when it comes to just living your life.
When I help people declutter, I can see the moment when the brain gets in the way.
Here you are handing me the contents of your junk drawer, saying, "Take it all, I never use any of it." Then there's one item that snags your attention. It might be a miniature sewing kit, or an ancient flashlight, or a questionable tube of Superglue.
Suddenly you're THINKING, and your brain is telling you that you might NEED this thing someday.
The flow is gone and you're starting to question your decisions.
Because your brain is wired to protect you. Safety is its number one priority. And it has rather arbitrarily decided that a thing that has even an infinitesimal chance of being helpful some day is a brick in the wall that holds off catastrophe.
For real, there is no way that little sewing kit is going to save your life.
If you needs to replace a button, you're going to go find your real, robust sewing basket. And this tiny thing that lives in the junk drawer is NOT going to get packed into your suitcase for use on the road. It's going to sit in this drawer until the end of time.
But there is just enough potential utility for your brain to glom onto it and derail the whole process.
Let's try this instead. Let your intuition answer for you, and keep that brain turned off. I like to declutter while I'm listening to music or a podcast. Once my brain is occupied by David Bowie or 99% Invisible, I quietly sort through the socks, keeping the whole process under the radar.
If I start to question whether a thing might be useful someday, I just ask my gut, aka my intuition, "Yes or no?" It usually gives me a quick answer. And then I politely tell my brain that we’ve got it all under control and she can go back to listening to Roman Mars being fascinating.
You could try this.
See what happens. You might be surprised at the answers.
(If you’re not already listening to Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible podcast, you’re missing out!)