I had a client who was perpetually overwhelmed. His phrase for it was “Everything, everything.” I’ve said before that every object in your home has a voice, and clutter speaks, too. The commonsense message of clutter is: “I’ve got too much to handle already—I can’t handle any more!”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, clutter is likely to be manifesting somewhere in your life. If you’re overwhelmed, then make it all more manageable by dealing with the clutter in stages. Each stage will make the next stage that much easier.
Floor. I’ve also said that clutter symbolizes stagnation in your life. How can you get anywhere with all that stuff in your way? So in this stage, your first goal is to be able to walk from room to room without stepping on clutter. First make pathways, then clear clutter off the entire floor.
Horizontal surfaces between shoulder height and coffee table height. Declutter those particular tables and shelves. That last sentence is, in itself, overwhelming for someone with major clutter. So, for those folks (you know who you are) it’s best to just slightly rearrange the clutter first. The goal is to see the edge of the top of every table. And you should be able to see the front edges of all shelves between those two heights. Once that is done for the whole room, and you feel ready for the next stage, remove the decorative objects from the one particular table or shelf that you’re working on. Put them in a box, and label it where they came from and when. Deal with the non-decorative objects, clean the tabletop and put on it the useful objects that should stay there. If there’s room for decorative objects, only put those items out that conform to the symbolism of the bagua of the room.
Walls. Heaven help you if you have wall clutter—some of it has got to go (at least into storage). Start with any words that are on the wall. Any decorative objects on your walls should conform to the bagua symbolism. I know I just said that, but it’s so important not to be working against yourself.