I just got back into Boise yesterday from vacation out east. I went to Madison, Wisconsin to spend time at my sister and brother-in-law’s. After a few days in Madison, we all (including my parents, my daughter and my nieces) drove up to Door County, Wisconsin on the peninsula north of Green Bay to a tiny town (and bay) called Sister Bay.
In Sister Bay we rented a vacation home together right on the water’s edge of Lake Michigan. About 100 steps from the water, this vacation home was incredible.
It was large and beautifully appointed. There was enough space for all 8 of us to spread out and be comfortable. There is something special about getting out of your normal space, looking at different scenery and being in a different place that brings perspective.
In my personal life I’ve been working hard to clear space both metaphorically and in my home. Purging and organizing has been the focus for about 2 years. And it’s making a huge difference! It is a work in progress, like most of us. But this vacation home really inspired me to think about the usage of space and what it means in our lives.
Books fit neatly on bookshelves. Movies fit neatly in an entertainment space. The kitchen was appointed with plenty of dinner ware and tools, but there was no crowding. Cups didn’t have to be stacked onto one another like they sometimes are in my own cupboards. Some of the shelves had only one casserole dish, not the stack of 9 casserole dishes and pans that can be found in my cupboard. Clutter was non-existent.
Why clear space matters
The absence of clutter at our vacation home meant we didn’t have to spend time looking for things or cleaning up. Things were simple, even though we were in a large home with 8 people who were all on vacation. It made me realize that the space we create in our lives is not just physical space. When we create space in our homes, our offices, and our cars, we are actually creating space for the universe to bring that which we most desire.
Think about this for just a minute. Pretend you’re walking down your hallway. Imagine that you have a box of toys that you plan to donate in the corner. You have a bag of clothing that you’ve been meaning to take to the dry cleaner for quite some time in the other corner. You have a vacuum with the cord loosely wrapped around the handle standing next to the wall. You have a stack of papers on the other wall that you plan to file just as soon as you can remember to take them into your office. Now as you walk down the hall, you were having to navigate around those bags, boxes, and files. Is that an easy track? Well, it’s not hard but it isn’t convenient. Right? And you’re probably beating yourself up and saying mean things to yourself about how you’ve been procrastinating doing those things you’ve been meaning to do.
By creating a physical space free of clutter, we are creating space for other things too. It isn’t just physical things we are creating space for, we create space of things we cannot see. You are creating space for more abundance. You are creating space for inspiration and dreaming. You are creating space for more happiness and ease in your life.
Easy ways to start clearing space
Keep things simple. You know the saying about eating a bicycle? Question: How do you eat an bicycle? Answer: One bite at a time.
- Set a timer with a designated amount of time you want to work on space clearing. When the timer goes off, give yourself permission to stop for the day. If you have a lot of spaces to clear and are feeling overwhelmed, keep the time short until you grow confidence and pride in your ability to clear space. Start with 30 minutes for particularly big jobs and then work up. Just like with exercise, if you overdo it on day one, there won’t be a day two.
- Contain the area you will work in. For example, instead of setting your goal on your whole garage, start with a particular shelf. Organize just that shelf and then check your timer to see what other project you can start. You’ll avoid overwhelm!
- If it doesn’t have a home of it’s own, it doesn’t fit there. This is my personal area of focus. Do I need 20 coffee cups? Ummm…. well…. Here is a helpful rule. If they can’t fit safely and neatly into the space, they go somewhere else. This means it the If the cupboard door or drawer doesn’t close, they don’t go there. Oh! And if you have to put your hand up to catch something falling out of the cupboard… you get the picture. Give yourself permission to thin things out a little. Remember the universe is abundant! You don’t have to hoard. Your needs will be provided for!
- Congratulate your self every time you clear out even one drawer! Celebrate!! By allowing yourself to feel good about this, you’ll be more motivated to keep going!
- If you haven’t used it in over a year, you can replace it for $25 or less and it doesn’t have strong sentimental value, get rid of it. Give it away, donate it, or trash it. There are some great books and podcasts about this kind of thing!!
- Get any discarded items out of your home very soon. I recommend calling for a charity pick up on a certain date to give you a deadline! There are usually charitable organizations that will pick up items right from your home. Another thing that I find works is that I put the items to donate into the back seat of my car the same day I get them out of the house. Then I make a point to drive by one of the local charities the next time I drive. Because I can see the bag sitting in my back seat so I know I’ll drop off the donations.
I hope this has been of service to you. If you like it, please share it!! If this is an area you would like support in, in my spiritual life coaching sessions we can dive into what you are really holding on to when you hold on to stuff. For availability you can click here.
Love and light to you!!