Patience with Client Readiness

Patience….. Today I found myself nudging my client to let go of items that are contributing to severe clutter in her home. I’m encouraging her to purge because she’s drowning in papers, clothes and bric-a-brac. There’s no room for her to store all this stuff. She has very little space to move around. If I don’t nudge, she tends to keep almost everything. I told her I’m sorry if she feels like I’m pushing her, but we both know she called me in to help her “downsize”. I wasn’t hired just to move her stuff around. In fact, I only work with clients who are ready for a dramatic transformation!

My client, let’s call her “Susan”, is a good-natured person who doesn’t take offense to my nudging. In fact, she says “Patty, I’m so glad you’re here to help me. You’re doing a wonderful job! If you don’t push we’ll never get through all this mess.” So, we continue to create a vision for how she’ll use her space, and we develop a plan to help her get there. We clear box after box, and pile after pile, hauling out bags of recycle, trash, and charitable donations. Susan says she knows she’s keeping too much, but when she’s ready she’ll go through the stuff again and find more donations. Patience…

Susan’s doing the best that she can do to reduce her possessions, such as discarding nearly 100 pairs of socks today. That’s a LOT of decision-making for a person who struggles to let go. But at the same time she chose to keep another 200 pairs. I shared with Susan that many clients have told me the letting-go process becomes easier with experience.

We’re both patiently awaiting her breakthrough.