Creating physical space - why I think it's important
Two weeks ago I started a mini-challenge called 'Creating Space' over on my Instagram and FB page. The idea was for it to be simple enough that people wouldn't feel overwhelmed to give it a go, but also effective enough that people would notice even a small change. Each challenge lasted the week and people could choose to do it across the whole week or choose a day/s that worked for them.
The first week focused on creating mental space, you can read my top five ways that I create mental space in my life here. Week two was a challenge to create some physical space, the challenge I set was:
Creating Physical Space Challenge
Every day this week, remove/repurpose ONE thing in any of the following areas:
+ Living room/kitchen/dining
+ Office/work desk
It can be anything! A bunch of pens, an old bag lying around, papers that you haven’t looked at in 2 months. Anything!
Note down what you remove/repurpose each day so you can look back on it. If you end up removing more, amazing! Note it down! I’ll touch base again on Sunday!
GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN!! You got this!
So how did it go for me?
In April I actually did a big clear out of my wardrobe, bedroom, bathroom and office/living area and ended with removing 122 items from those areas. Most of the bathroom items were to be thrown away but ALL of my clothes were given to my good friend, Phil who volunteers at the Women's Refuge. I also handed over bedding, blankets and teddy bears that I no longer needed.
I wasn't sure what more I had to remove in this challenge, but that was the fun part. We always think we NEED every single thing we have in our homes, but we actually don't. Most of the stuff we have is there from subconscious consumerism, gifts we were given but don't actually want, or things we think we need to keep "just in case", but actually we haven't looked at them in over six months.
So, I removed...
Clothes - 16 pieces - 10 of these were over 5 years old that were too big for me and I wouldn't fit into again, 6 had been replaced but I didn't remove the old ones. These are all going to women's refuge
Books - 6 - 3 I had never opened or read, 3 I could buy the Kindle version if I wanted to read them again. Donating to the library
Toiletries - 3 - Replaced the hairdryer, toothbrush, and the nail polish remover was empty. Hairdryer to women's refuge, the others - rubbish
Old wallet - I was trialing a wander wallet (eco-friendly), I kept my old one thinking I'd want it again, but I don't. Maybe women's refuge?
Loyalty cards - 6 - I downloaded the "Stocard" app and uploaded my loyalty cards to that and cut up and tossed the physical versions. Rubbish.
Total - 32 items
When you're looking through your house 32 items doesn't seem like much, but as soon as you start to put stuff in the "get rid of pile" it can suddenly feel like you're throwing away a lot. We tend to get attached to our material possessions and our minds trick us into thinking that the more stuff we have the better we will feel and the happier we will be. In reality, we can feel more overwhelmed, tired, frustrated and irritated by the mess and clutter that's around us every day.
Joshua Becker, founder of 'Becoming Minimalist' recently quoted that the average Amercian owns approximately 300,000 items in their home. ISN'T THAT JUST INSANE!!!! 300,000 things!!! 32 items isn't really that much at all, is it?? How much time and energy do the things you own take away from time and energy you could spend with your family, on projects or hobbies? How much space is being clogged in your life by things that you hardly use?
I'm not advocating that we get rid of everything we own, what I'm advocating for is intentionally creating more space in our life. Creating space by removing things that don't bring us happiness. Things that cost us more in money and energy than we get in fulfillment. Creating space is about creating room for the things that really matter, the things that add the most value like family, laughter, fun, love, and money (yes, money). The fewer things we have, the more money we will save!
So, do I feel lighter after removing 32 things from my life? Absolutely. I look in my wardrobe now and see fewer clothes hanging there that never get worn and I see fewer books on my shelf that I've never even opened.
I also feel happier knowing that the things I haven't used or worn can be passed on to people who genuinely need them and will actually use them.
Does my life feel a little cluttered?
Do I own stuff that I haven't used in the last 3-6 months?
Could I be of service to my community and pass on things that I no longer need and that they will be so thankful for?
If you answered yes, then sign up to join my 'Creating Space' programme/challenge that will launch in the coming months. You can sign up here.
Honestly, you will feel amazing knowing that you are clearing out and creating more space for yourself to thrive as well as potentially serving your community by passing on things that will be of use to others. Come join me :D
- TashTastic -