How does your current home look to you? Messy? Cluttered? Just right? Neat and tidy? Needs a new paint job?
Or do you find it’s hard to notice and see what is going on around you because you are living in it day to day? It’s not messy or neat, it’s just home right?!
When you are heading on your clutter free journey to create a home space that is just right for you and your family then you need to sit up and take a look around you at your space with new eyes.
- Eyes that:
- take notice of the paint chipped walls in the living room (raising my hand here).
- notice that all the furniture is lined up side to side and there is no breathing room in your room.
- spot the laundry basket of clean clothes beside the dresser of clean clothes and notice that they don’t all fit.
- notice that the kids don’t play with mega blocks anymore and it’s time for them to go.
When you don’t notice what you have
This was us a few months ago. Too much furniture in our living room was our problem in our small house. And no matter how many years went by that my husband said to “Hey, why not get rid of the treadmill?”. (You know —— that treadmill that took up 30 square feet of our living room in a less than 1,500 square ft house that is home to 7 people.) I kept saying “no way, I’m not getting rid of the treadmill” —— I knew how much the treadmill cost me.
But after years of moving it, cleaning it, and tidying the toys around it plus the lack of space to move around in our living room, I finally saw it.
I saw it with new eyes. Eyes born of frustration.
Walking into our living room everything had a place and spot like our living room was tidy. But there was furniture lined up everywhere, zero breathing space to be found. Treadmill to the desk, bookshelf to toy bin, couch to tv, pantry to the closet to doorway. There was hardly any white space in our living room. Hardly a spot to hang a picture because it was packed with stuff.
The worst part was that I didn’t use the treadmill anymore.
- Did I use our treadmill? When I first bought it but that was 5 years ago.
- Did it cost me lots of money? Yep.
- Was the cost of what I spent worth the anxiety of a clutter space living room with no room to breathe? No
… eventually, I saw the light and sold it for $225 on FB! YAY! There is a breathing room now in our living room.
Related Post: Why You Need To Declutter Your House Now
Seeing your space with new eyes to know what needs to go
Looking at your whole space with a mindset shift
The point is … look at your space around you with an open mind.
Where before I said “No way I’m not …” I needed to change that language to “I wonder what it would be like …”
Experimenting with your space is okay. Letting go of your stuff is okay. Everything eventually gets worn down, worn out, needs to be replaced, refurbished, broken, or rotting. It’s stuff. It’s not meant to last forever.
And looking around your place with a little emotional detachment and saying to yourself “Do I really need my treadmill?” is a shift in your mindset from a fixed thought (”I can’t”) to a growth thought (”I wonder”). I say try the mindset shift. It’s subtle but will make the biggest impact.
Before I said “No way I’m not…” Now I say “I wonder what it would be like…”
Check to see if you have white space
Do you have any blank space in your room? Are there open areas where there is nothing? If your home has no breathing room, no white space, no blank areas, that is a great red flag that you have a lot of stuff and need to look around with new eyes. Seeing your space as filled with stuff. Do you need all of it?
Related Post: When You Don’t Know Where To Start Decluttering
Is your room a furniture line?
Walking into your room and trying to look at it with new eyes is great to get a sense of what other people see. You get so used to what you are living and seeing every day.
Another great way to get a fresh perspective on your stuff is to see if you have a furniture line going on in your room. As in do you have zero wall space or floor space left for that blank space we just talked about?
Is your living room desk – to toy box – to a fish tank – to a couch – to tv stand – to another couch – to a closet – to a doorway? Is everything tucked into your space with zero elbow room?
If you have a furniture line this is a great indication that you don’t have any breathing room in your space, and therefore too much stuff.
And yes, no matter what the size of your house.
Walking into the room like your mother-in-law is coming over
Another great exercise to try is to walk through your main door and pretend your mother-in-law or mother is about to come over in 30 minutes. What do you want to toss, tidy up, and hide away? What would you do in the next 30 minutes to create a good first impression when she walked through the door.
Remember you are tryingto get a fresh perspective and look at your home and see it for what is really there and not what you are always used to and what you always accept. You are trying to shake things way up.
Related Post: What You Feel When You Walk Into Your House Matters
Know your home vision
What do you want your home to feel like when you walk in the door? Fresh? Clean? Bright? Warm? Like a hug? Cozy? Tuscany? Inviting to all? Friends welcome here?
Creating a vision for what you want your home to feel like is a great way to look around what is and see things for what they are. Even if you tell no one about the vision you have for your home, if you know the direction that you are heading you can slowly work with what you have and move toward that feel.
Wouldn’t it be great if your friend came over and said “Your home is so cozy!” YES! Exactly what you were going for.
Find your contentment
With this exercise, you are looking for what is good, what you should toss, and what needs to be fixed to make your home feel like the home that you dream about. Not a dream about your dream home, but how does your current home look when it feels cozy when you walk in the door.
What does your current home look like when you shake up what was always done and do something a little different (like disturbing that furniture line). We are not looking for discontentment, but we are looking for step one in what is cluttering up our space.
I wholeheartedly believe in working with what you have.
There are some days when you walk into your home and you are just over it. It’s messy and cluttered and you’ve no idea where to start because the house feels like it needs a complete overhaul.
But no, live in contentment, with gratefulness of what you do have, but knowing that you are not stuck! You do not have to accept what is. You can get creative with what you have and make something beautiful in your home. Make it warm and cozy.
Step one is looking at your space with new eyes, How can you use it? What is too much and what needs to shift? What needs to be decluttered? Starting here will fuel your ‘why’, and give you your ‘how’.
Happy decluttering busy mom.
By Sharon Schuler