There are times when things (objects, projects) in our lives seem to fit the bill of clutter, but are hard to let go of. This is a time to be especially kind to yourself because there is usually a reason for holding on.

Sometimes, holding on to the past is a way of keeping the door open on a part of your life that is almost over. It is similar to being immersed in a book you really enjoy or strongly identify with. When the book ends, your experience of being a part of the story will end as well, and often there is a bit of reluctance to finish the story.

So, in your life, holding on to something may be needed in order to:

  • give yourself permission to let go of a part of your identity that you’ve outgrown.
  • allow time to absorb changes in your life.
  • get closure on a part of your life that is over.

So when is it clutter? It is individual. No one else can really tell you what clutter is. For me clutter is an awareness of the ‘mind chatter’ attached to the item in question. Examples of mind chatter are self-criticizing, admonishing, and energy-draining, unpleasant thoughts that do not feel good. If there is no mind chatter, it isn’t clutter.

If something you’ve been holding on to you begins to ‘talk back’, you will know that you are getting close to being ready to release it. When the time is right, you will be ready to come to completion – whether it is finishing the project or finally letting something go. Until then, trust your feelings!


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