Does it feel good to be in your space? Does it make you smile; feel light and happy?
Sometimes when we’re thinking about wanting to make a change to the space we live in we immediately think the change has to be big. We take the attitude of needing new furniture, new paint, new stuff and can only think, “get rid of the old and in with the new” and sometimes, this is exactly what is needed. If it weren’t my job as a designer would be pretty limited. However, sometimes what is really needed is a purge. Getting rid of stuff but not necessarily the obvious big stuff but the stuff that’s hiding in our drawers and behind our closed doors. Trust me, a little de-cluttering can go a long way in completely making your space feel completely different.
When was the last time you took a good look through your closet filled with too many clothes, your over flowing shoe rack and all those drawers that you cram things into when you don’t know where else to put them. The pile of magazines and books, your kitchen cupboards filled with dishes, spices, etc. that haven’t been used in ages. I could go on but I think you’re starting to see the point and even more so, how quickly stuff collects without us even realizing.
It might seem a little overwhelming to tackle every corner of your home at once but if you start with one room and work your way through each I promise you at the end of this you will feel a shift, a physical lightness to your space!
Regardless of where you start I believe the two most important steps are to decide if you’re strong enough to do this on your own and if not, find a friend to be your conscience or hire a professional. Work with the idea of creating three piles – “things to keep”, “things to throw away” and “things to donate/recycle”.
Admittedly I think our closet is one of our toughest goes. We become so attached to our clothes that remind us of amazing moments when we’ve worn them or that piece of clothing that no longer fits but we hold on to the idea that it will some day and thinking we’ll feel amazing in it again. Unfortunately here’s what I’ve learned, regardless of what I paid for it, how amazing it felt when I wore it, whether it’s a timeless piece or not, if I can’t recapture that original feeling it feels like I’ve put something old on and when you can’t get past this feeling you know it’s time to get rid of it. I know a closet filled with the things I love to wear even if there are fewer pieces, this is, were less is more, I feel amazing, pretty and authentic. I am the best expression of myself.
Magazines, books and paper! Go through the magazines that you’re holding on to; decide if it’s an article you want to save then pull it out and put into a file or binder. If you’re still a lover of physical books keep the ones that really mean something to you but otherwise pass along the joy of a good read to another deserving recipient. If you have a home office like I do then you know how quickly the paper piles up so on a daily/weekly basis keep it simple and clean off your desk.
When it comes to your bathroom and kitchen. A simple “product” rule to follow is the “expiry date”; if it’s expired – toss! When it comes to dishes, china and glassware. Keep the things you love and pass along the things that no longer serve you and are just collecting dust; it just might be something that someone else can use and fall in love with. After all, how many serving trays does no person need!
The result of de-cluttering, purging and letting go of is a feeling of lightness. Your space will feel physically lighter, you will feel physically lighter and without a drop of paint or anything new in your space, your space will feel refreshed.
The most important and last piece of advice is, don’t have any regrets. Once it’s gone, don’t look back and think you wish you hadn’t done so. Many years ago, when I was doing a major purge I without realizing tossed a journal I had kept while my mother was ill and felt heart-sick about it, to the point that I dug through the recycling bins thinking that I could still find it and get it back and of course it was gone. What I came to realize is that ultimately I didn’t need the journal to hold on to the memories. All the stuff that we surround ourselves with is just after all stuff, don’t get me wrong I love my stuff but I like the idea of the memories created by my stuff more than just having stuff.