by Hannah J. McKay
One Simple Way I Create Space in Our Home
At the beginning of the year I shared my word for 2017.
I was craving more space in every area of life. The desire had been building for a while and I knew God was laying it on my heart. A desire for physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, mental… Space. Uncluttered. A clear path, clear minds, hearts, vision. More space to be, room to stretch out. Not “more” in the sense that it will never be enough, but more in the sense that I have enough and I want to settle down into it. Or even, I have enough and I want to better learn when I have TOO much so I can let the excess go.
You know how on Property Brothers someone will say they desperately need to find a bigger house because their current house is just too small, too cramped, not working anymore? They have two kids now and not enough space? Then they do the walk through and there.is.so.much.stuff. Like three houses worth of stuff crammed into one average sized house and I always scratch my head.
That’s one simple way I’m creating space in our home. I’ve talked about it before. I’ve gotten rid of a ton of stuff. I know minimalism is such a buzz word. It conjures up images of stark, white rooms with only one piece of furniture. I’m not talking that kind of minimalism. I’m talking we “only have what we need and what we love” kind of minimalism. Which ends up being something like a homey, softened version of minimalism.
I’ve always done bi-annual Goodwill “sweeps” through the house and seasonal “sweeps” through our closets, but last October I got serious. I found this lady and her message really resonated with me. I did a huge, full house purge. Car loads of stuff that I can’t even remember now or understand why we had in the first place.
In December I did another purge, smaller this time, but going back through again helped because I was braver and stronger. I’ve continued to give stuff away. It’s addictive. And it’s scary how things just creep in. Even when I’m not buying anything, somehow it shows up in the oddest of places.
But I’m wise to it now. I’m very selective about what I bring in. And if unwanted stuff does creep in, it can’t stay around for long without me noticing it. Trash, donate, sell. Unless I use it and love it. It has to meet one or both of those criteria.
Because of this I’ve ended up with a few things:
1. A house that feels like home to me: simple + beautiful with only things we need or love.
2. A house that stays clean almost by itself. Seriously. I don’t have to do much anymore. Because I’m not constantly organizing or moving a ton of crap to dust or asking the kids to pick up their billion and one toys. I have my daily cleaning rhythms [30 min total max] and we’re golden.
3. SPACE. Ha. This goes without saying, but I will anyways. There’s a lot more space, especially visual space which is so calming + refreshing to me. News flash to Self: You don’t have to fill every blank space on a wall with something. In fact, blank walls are becoming my friends.
It turns out getting rid of stuff we don’t need was the key to unlocking a bunch of other wonderful things. As if that wasn’t enough. It got the ball rolling in the “creating space” department. It inspired me to address every area of my life with the same criteria.
It’s been liberating.
Life changing even.
If that’s true for clearing the unwanted and unneeded stuff from our physical space, as I’ve delved into the other areas where I’ve been craving space, it’s been even more true. Hallelujah!
I rarely feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Oh, there are still moments for sure, but it’s not a state of being. And that in and of itself is life changing. Because I’ve realized something: I get to decide how to live my life. What comes in and what goes out, where my time is spent, my mental + emotional energy is focused, how I live out my days. At least, I better decide or someone else will.
Ok. So maybe I lied. It’s a simple idea, but putting it into practice is hard work, especially at first.
But know this, Mama: It’s totally worth it and you will never regret it.