Whether it be in our homes or on our smart phones, it seems that we are constantly vying for MORE space. Our virtual space is easier to manage by merely increasing our megabyte storage to gigabyte, or even storing data to the Cloud. Ah, thank G-d for the cloud. There’s infinite space up there. More importantly, there’s no pain and no heart wrenching decisions to make.
But the reality is that we do have finite spaces in our homes. We live in an over-acquired society and without a practical exit strategy for our undesirables, we are in danger of running out of space. We fill our attics, basements, and garages with overflow, and when those spaces are maxed out, many even resort to storage units to accommodate their overabundant spillover.
While purchasing storage units are certainly a vial option for specific situations, it’s not the ultimate fix. If their sole purpose is the result of decisions not made on unused items, then there will be no end to the amount of units to manage. Entering dangerous territory, for sure. More often than not, I’ve met many paying clients that have no idea what items are living in their storage facility, or have never needed to access their contents. Ever.
When we consider maintaining our things within the confines of our home, there is work to be done for sure. Busy households are crowded with multiple people and activities, and must accommodate many diverse possessions. All the more reason that managing the incoming and outgoing be paramount. Failure to discard old, broken, or unused items will only result in untamable cluttered spaces.
You may not realize this right away, it accumulates very slowly. Suddenly, one day you look around and are overwhelmed and not quite sure how you lost control, right?
When lack of time marries procrastination, it’s a perilous combination. All the while, the unattended stuff (that rarely returns to their home) accumulates. The mounds of paper piles grow taller, and the new and preferred incoming items barricade the old.
But there is a bigger picture here. The challenge is more about managing your spaces, not at all to do with the size of your home. When “busy” encounters “not today,” you can run out of room very quickly even in the largest of homes.
Ultimately it’s rarely about the space at all, it’s more about the “relationship” with your things and the ability to let them go.
If you’re yearning for a more serene setting in your home, consider applying these very basic principles to your thought process. It may evoke change. Without this call to action, your personal spaces will potentially remain cluttered and be at risk for overwhelming your life.
No doubt, negotiating things and space will require some challenging decisions. The hard-hearted may have an easier time; others may need to enlist help with these methods. To reclaim your spaces, you’ll first need to clear space. Here’s how:
- One in, one out. (limit multiples)
- Use it or lose it. (toss or donate what no longer provides you with value)
- Keep only the items you use and love.
- Identify the most active spaces in your home. Designate and discriminate what appropriate items and activities align with those spaces.
- Consider the zones. Create specific homes for like categories. Tame the clutter routinely.
We all aspire for a Home Sweet Home setting. Making our home a place of sanctuary is very achievable. We must remember that it’s an ongoing process and requires maintenance and family cooperation.
Look around. What do your spaces look like? No need for push notifications, reminders, or alerts. You will know. If it feels crowded, then it probably is. This could be the wake-up call you needed to smack you in the face.
Now you’re ready to ask yourself, is it time to change your settings?