I just finished a big project working with a client who is getting ready to sell her home. She needed help going through her stuff so the home could be staged.
My client, Joanna, really likes stuff. She just does. Some people do. A lot of people do. It’s comforting for her to have a lot of books, a lot of extra scarves, a lot of extra Costco toilet paper. And she has a lot — of everything.
I was working in the large crawl space under the stairs. It was full of an array of things; Christmas decorations, extra household items, cleaning products, wrapping paper, ribbon and greeting cards for every occasion and then there were a handful of large shopping bags full of paperwork and what looked like bank statements and bills.
“Hey Joanna!” I called out, “Can you come take a look….” before I could finish my sentence she was right there at the crawl space door, peering in, half covering her face with her hands, like she couldn’t bear the sight. “All that can go in the garbage, I don’t need any of it. It’s just all old paperwork. Junk. Throw it away!”
I’ve been doing this work for a looooong time. No, I was not taking the bait. We were NOT just gonna “throw it all away.” This was classic resistance mixed in with exasperation, frustration and a little bit of embarrassment.
I kindly smiled and then gently but firmly said, “Would you mind just taking a peek into what’s here, just fan through the paperwork. I can help you if you want!”
She rolled her eyes and sighed,”NO, I CAN DO IT, GIVE IT TO ME,” and then stuck out her hand. I handed her one of the heavy bags.
A few minutes later, I heard the most gleeful, sing song, happy “OH MY GOOOOOOSH, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BEEEEEELIEVE….”
I came barreling out of the closet. She was holding a large, unmarked white 8×10 envelope.
“It’s the fifty thousand dollars I lost!” She beamed.
Of course, I thought she was kidding. But there it was, $50k in cash.
There are so many directions I could go with this but to keep it tight, I’m going to zone in on one key kinda obvious but subtle takeaway here: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO FIND!
There is this phenomenon I’ve been witnessing forever in my work. Clients finally say “yes” to Stuffology, they get excited and momentum starts to set in. But then what happens is, their stuck-ness and inertia turns into a propulsion to simply get rid of everything, sight unseen. This can cause problems! Why? Because, what is so potent and will have long lasting and powerful results, emotionally and literally, is when we consciously and deliberately go through our stuff, item by item. It will feel counter-intuitive because our energy will not want to slow down. But I guarantee you, if you don’t slooooow down during this process, things will get overlooked and discarded. (And then, you will not be happy with Stuffology.)
In other words, endeavor to do this work when you have some time. Pace yourself, set a designated amount of time aside to get into one closet or one box or one drawer and then, STOP. Move on, do something else, go on a walk, go get a Green Tea Almond Milk Latte.
Because otherwise, you might, oops! by accident get rid of something very valuable to you.