Changing Places Workshop - Clearing Process

WhyOnce you’ve determined that you’ve got the legal right to clear the house out, and you have talked with all the people associated with the house and the results of the clearing process, you next look at the emotional aspect of this process.

Then plan blocks of work time. The more systematic and automated this process is, the easier the whole process may be.

People can work in 3-5 hour blocks before they get tired. If you will be working with others, you need to schedule mutually-beneficial blocks. If you’re working under a deadline, you can work about 14 hours a day before collapsing. People report they can work 3-5 days in a row before they need to take a break before continuing on.

Plan your wardrobe: work pants with pockets, work shirts easily washed, jackets with pockets, vests with pockets and study socks, boots, and scarves to cover your head if areas are especially dirty or dusty.

Assemble the tools: masks, gloves, bags, boxes, post-it notes, sharpies, writing pads, tape (many different kinds), grabbit tool, long stick, timer, white sheets, towels, plastic bags, box cutters, camera, and other items as needed.

Now you get to work. This is also the point where brain science makes everything really complicated.


Taylor walked into the main door of the community where her dad had lived. She was hungry, as she’d been too anxious to eat today. She started to walk to the check-in desk, then turned around and ran outside. She stood, gasping. She slowed down her breathing and forced herself to count random numbers backwards and forwards.

Her heart rate slowed. She counted random numbers forwards and backwards and felt herself relax.

When she felt calm, she sipped of water. And ate a small bites of a PB&J she’d packed in her work bag.

She looked at the building. She heard laughter and visualized her dad talking to the staff members he’d adored. She visualized her work to clear out his space. She took another deep breath and wished him well. He’d had a complicated life, and she was here to clean up his space and clear it of all negativity and suffering. She wanted to send her dad on his way with as little baggage as possible.

You will touch each item and make decisions what to do. If you are clearing your own stuff, you can ask yourself a series of questions to access wisdom from these items and discover you’ve kept them for a long time, sometimes 50 years.

If you’re clearing space for someone else, you’ll need to get their permission (if they can give it). If the person has passed away, then a legal entity or estate now owns the items. The estate will have to do something with the items. Beneficiaries will be expecting items. The estate will want to give some items to neighbors and friends not named in a legal document.

What initially is simple can quickly get complicated. Keep good documentation of your progress. When roadblocks stop you, figure out whom to contact or what to do in order to proceed with the clearing process.

This is the last blog entry about the Changing Places process. If you want to take the Feb 4, 2017 workshop, register at

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Karen Hallis is an organizer, certified professional coach and an attorney. She brings all of her skills to this work to help clients change their circumstances and create more spacious lives. Call or contact Karen for a complimentary conversation to see if you’ve reached a Change Point and are ready to move forward.