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Get Used to Space

Whether it’s a TV show, a blurb in a magazine or newspaper, or your adult children uttering the words “MOM!  Just get rid of it!”, the idea of decluttering and reducing the things we own has caught fire.  Everywhere you turn there’s a tip, a hack or a new special container that promises to “create space” and keep you organized.

What no one tells you is this – If your home, your room or particular space has been cluttered for a long time, you need to get used to having SPACE instead of STUFF in that location.  

In order to get used to space on a counter, in a corner, a closet or room, follow these steps:

1) Start with small projects and ease yourself into seeing space on a regular basis, and fight the urge to fill it.

2) Recondition how you look at your world; specifically TV shows, magazines, newspapers, and anything home design or décor related that may influence your buying and acquiring habits.

Start Small and Ease Your Eyes – Slowly

Begin with small projects around your house.  For example, start with a section of a kitchen countertop, a dining room or kitchen table, a pantry or a section of your master closet.  Declutter that space and stop. Resist the urge to rush out and buy more bins to HOLD MORE STUFF. Simply make it a point everyday to keep that decluttered space clear, however you need to do that. Whether it’s by putting away things you’ve used now and not later, sorting the mail now not later, reading the magazine or catalog now and then putting it into the recycling bin, etc., once you declutter, the goal is to protect the space you’ve created and keep it clear.

It’s great to declutter a closet and move items from another closet into it, however if every closet you have is stuffed then it’s difficult to feel progress.

As the days, weeks and months pass, you will begin to get used to that spacious corner, for example, as being empty just as you got used to it being cluttered before.

Bar Yourself from Buying Anything Other Than Food

Fight the urge to fill your space with more things by taking a break from acquiring new items.  Attempt to focus your time on experiences in the local area. (Now is a great time to reconnect with friends with warmer weather and the reduced threat of Covid.)

Some people take a 30 day break from buying anything other than food.  Some go further with a 6 month or one year goal.

Avoid the mall, thrift stores or anywhere you will simply “window shop” or “browse.”  If you are not replacing an item in your home you absolutely must have i.e. a new pair of running shoes to replace the ones you wore out, then stay out of places that will cause you to pick up non-essential items.

Reconditioning.  What are “they” really telling you? 

As a former Merchandise Director for Lowe’s Home Improvement and Buyer for Sears / Kmart, I often received emails and calls from her corporate office Marketing and Public Relations staff that went something like this, “Hey Heidi, Better Homes and Gardens is doing a two page spread on how to renovate a kitchen.  What products of yours can you get for free from your vendors to put in the article?”  It was then my job to make the longest product list I could and ask vendors for those free items.  For the record, all the other departments, like cabinets, countertops, flooring/rugs, paint, home organization, etc, were doing the same thing.  Often vendors providing free products were encouraged to buy advertising in the same magazine.  The punchline here is – Magazines that are selling a “look” are really selling the stuff in the pictures and the more stuff they are selling, the more advertising $$$ they are getting.  More to the point – When you look at images of well-organized kitchens, are they selling you space OR are they selling you plastic bins and wicker labelled baskets from Target or The Container Store?  If they are not selling actual space in the photo, look for what they are selling you which is usually more stuff!

Try reading magazines like Dwell in which they celebrate the architectural structure of a home, but don’t clutter it with things.  Avoid magazines or TV shows that encourage you to buy more things.

Notice when you walk into a store, yoga studio, museum, room in a friend’s home, park, restaurant or any other space outside of your home in which you get a sense of “ahhh.”  Pay attention to the places that you enter where you feel relaxed;  in particular, the spaces that bring down your sense of rushing and instead make you breathe in and sit.  What is it about that place you are in that calms you?  How much space is between the furniture and other objects?  In other words, pay attention to space and how it affects you away from home. 

Does this mean I have to embrace Minimalism??

No.  What Life Easier is encouraging is being conscious as to how you react to newly created space in your home.  We also want you to be aware as to what is influencing you, what causes you to acquire more things and fill that beautiful space you so diligently just spent hours/days/weeks clearing.

Do you need help making space? Trust us, we will create a plan just for you and take it slow!