How To Make Space

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The problem with storage

When it comes to decluttering, it’s easy to get caught up in organisation instead. That if only you had more storage, all your clutter woes will be gone and life will be peaceful again. And won’t it be so satisfying to see and share the end results? So, off you go to buy a bunch of pretty new baskets and a bigger, better shelving unit. 

But storage solving your clutter problems is a huge lie. 

You’re still left with the same amount of stuff, just distributed across even more pretty baskets or new pieces of furniture. And let’s face it, stuff never stays organised. It likes to sneak out and hunker down in random places, then calls even more to join it. 

Even when it’s put back, somehow it seems to multiply or more stuff gets added. Clutter attracts even more clutter. Your weekends get taken over by tidying and organising yet again and wondering where all the space went. Perhaps you just need a bigger house? Buy bigger and better and your storage problems will surely disappear. 

Of course, that’s another lie that society and the piles of your stuff will have you believe. Companies make a fortune on our addiction to stuff and the need to store and organise it all. 

If you’re feeling like you need a bigger house to contain all your stuff, a new house will not solve the problem any more than a bigger, better box – it’s the same tired solution, just on a much more expensive and stressful scale. The cycle will continue, and the space you once found so attractive will disappear. 

Why put yourself through it when you can get your space back for free?

A Trick to Letting Go

When you let go of your stuff, you often find you can also let go of the box or cupboard that was needed to keep it all, but sometimes that approach doesn’t work. Sometimes, you need to work backwards. 

A simple trick to decluttering that I learned over the years is to not give the things a home to begin with. Take away the bins and shelving units and suddenly it has nowhere to go. Or, if you’re struggling to find homes for certain objects, refuse to buy any new storage at all. It’s amazing how your mindset changes when you truly have nowhere to put things. 

I found that once I took away the storage, I saw the things left behind in a new light. I didn’t want to waste time organising it over and over. I liked how free and spacious the area looked without the large glass unit or the stack of plastic boxes. More than that, I loved how light I felt. 

Maintaining Your Newfound Space

Sometimes, when you see lots of space it can be tempting to fill it. ‘I can have this now because I have plenty of space’, becomes the justification. People also tend to give you recommendations on what you can put in it, but wait! Space itself is valuable. Space to breathe, space to dream, space that’s effortless to keep clean. 

With less stuff comes less storage, but more space, more time, and more peace of mind

Just because you have the space, doesn’t mean you should fill it. If you’re used to having a lot of stuff, spend some time embracing the airy peacefulness your new space brings. Only use the space if what you plan to add is going to enhance your life in some way. For example, because you’re no longer storing loads of crap, you now have the space for that crafting nook you always desired, or the reading corner you always dreamed of. 

That being said, beware of the belief that obtaining new stuff or finally getting your desire will make you permanently happy and satisfied – it won’t.

Don’t fill space just because you feel like you should, or because it makes guests uncomfortable. Certainly don’t fill it just because you can. 

Think about the way you feel when you see beautiful homes online or in magazines, or even when you’re browsing new homes. Not a bit of clutter in sight, right? You imagine yourself in that space. Do you imagine filling it with ‘just in case’ objects and impulse buys? I doubt it.

Imagine a life not filled with stuff but with joy and purpose. A life of not organising your stuff, but your goals and dreams.

Make space for lightness, make space for living. 

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