Making Space for the New
“I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet to come surprises.” Liz Gilbert
I have always found springtime a natural time to declutter – the lighter, warmer days offering the opportunity to throw open the windows and invite fresh air into life.
The process of clearing out and discarding anything that is of no use to us anymore is a phenomenally therapeutic exercise. However, it can be a very difficult task to start. Let’s face it, we often hold on to stuff for all sorts of bizarre reasons and attached beliefs.
Maybe, we will wear that top again when we lose those extra pounds.
Perhaps we might read that book for a third time.
We can’t possibly give away the vase we’ve never used – it was a birthday pressie.
How many photos of the past do we really need?
The extent to which we clear our lives is a very personal one. Having two hoarders and one ‘radical releaser’ in my family means I know what a potential battleground this can be!
Underneath much of the attachment we have to our possessions often lies a emotional cocktail of nostalgia, sentimentality and scarcity. This is why the process of clearing our physical space has a healthy effect on our mental space too, as it brings some of these feelings to light and the part they play in our thinking/decision making.
I am not suggesting that minimalist living suits us all. However, like me I imagine most people would benefit from a reassessment on what is filling their homes, heads and hearts at this time of year. After all, it is only by making space that new things and experiences can enter our lives.
Here are a few pointers to make the process more achievable and possibly even fun:
TAKE YOUR TIME
As we wade through our dusty belongings – flicking through old books and trying on pre-loved clothes – we inevitably spend a chunk of time pondering and procrastinating. Factoring in these possible delays takes off some of the pressure and should hopefully allow the process to flow far more easily.
We all have that friend or relative that has truck loads of energy – they are the one to help you get things done. Someone else who is not attached to your stuff will keep you on track. You can always pay them back in kind.
The power of music to shift our mood is undeniable, so why not use it to motivate your decluttering. Pick the most upbeat vibes you can think of and turn up the volume. By raising your energy you are much more likely to keep at it!
DELIGHT IN DONATING
Just because we choose to get rid of something, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t enjoy it. By turning our loss into another’s gain is a win/win scenario. Whether your stuff goes to local charity shops, clothes banks or by offering it to anyone in need it makes no odds. By passing it on you will feel so much better about the whole process.
CELEBRATE THEN CREATE
When the job is done, take time to give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back. Trust that you have taken the first step in creating space so new things and experiences can enter your life. It is from this clearer landscape that we are able to get more specific on what we would like to invite in.
It can be extremely useful to finish this exercise by posing these three sentences to yourself:
By creating space in my life my body can become…
By creating space in my life my mind is able to be…
By creating space in my life my emotions are…
Hope you find this helpful and encouraging as you dive into the decluttering process.
Wishing you really well,