Making Space for New Things

It’s Thursday and so I’m Crafting my Life! Today I am going to talk about the importance of making space in your life for new things.

I started my journey in re-creating my life when I was laid off. I think that it’s the same for many people – something big happens, and it acts as a catalyst. You lose a job, you move cross-country, a relationship ends, you have a baby. Whenever these kinds of life events happen, they often cause us to question who we are and what we want out of life.

When you want to make big, life-altering changes, it helps to have space in your life to make them. Losing my job meant that instead of directing my energy towards the work I was doing, I could direct it another way. I think that this is one reason that having these catalysts helps. When we make a life shift we aren’t as caught up in the usual day-to-day things that take up all our time.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessary to be at a crossroads if you want to shift gears. You can make a change even if your life today is the same as it was yesterday. I do think it helps to make some space for that change to happen, though, if it hasn’t been made already.

What do I mean? I mean that if you want to start a new life, you might need to clear your plate of some of the pieces of your old life. Get rid of the stuff that isn’t working for you, when you can. Take some of the commitments off your plate so that you have time for other things. Clear out a nook in your house to be your new work area. Purge yourself, physically and mentally, of whatever it is that’s weighing you down.

De-cluttering is a useful ritual for me. It makes me feel good. Sometimes, it even makes me feel like I have a completely new house without the time and expense of moving. Taking a bag of clothes that I’m never going to wear again to the second hand store is somehow liberating. Who needs a row of clothes that haven’t fit in three years staring them down every time they open their closet door? No one, I say.

When I’m feeling stuck, or like I don’t know what to do next, I start freeing up space. The kids and I fill a bag with old toys, or pack up clothes they’ve outgrown. I do some of the things on my to-do list that are fast and easy and never get done, so they aren’t hanging over my head anymore. I remove the containers filled with green, fuzzy food from my fridge. And in the process, I start feeling less stuck. Once I gather some momentum by doing the little stuff, doing the big stuff doesn’t seem quite as daunting anymore.

What about you? How do you get un-stuck and make room for change? I’d love to hear your tips!

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  1. We recently did a HUGE purge of our pantry. It was disturbing the amount of “expired goods” hiding in the back.

    The clean pantry makes shopping that much easier. Now I KNOW what I have at a glance and can buy more accordingly. Perhaps someday I will be as crazy as having a running checklist on the door…eh, who am I kidding, probably not 🙂

    Next up: organizing the kiddos oodles of craft stuff. It’s a little crazy
    .-= Carrie´s last post ..My daughter, the lab rat =-.

  2. Years ago I took some self-awareness courses that pretty much changed my life. ( The Pursuit of Excellence, the Wall and the Advancement of Excellence.) What you've just described: doing things that have been hanging around on the to-do list, clearing space, literally and figuratively, we called "scrubbing your space". It always energized and always allowed new things to come in. Jim and I still use that term and it still gets us going and feels so good when we've completed on things.Thanks for the reminder. I've been feeling a little swamped lately so will start "scrubbing" , one small step at a time. And I do love crossing things off my list!

  3. I’m brutal when it comes to clearing out clutter. It does more than liberate me, it makes me feel clear-minded and in charge. And so far (knock on wood) I haven’t truly regretted getting rid of any one thing.

    Some days it’s my clothes, other days it’s the pantry (like @Carrie), and others it’s toys, magazines, coupons, WHATEVER.

    I’m not neat freak, but I need space to LIVE and if it’s covered in clutter I feel like I’m drowning. But, I’m sorta in a different place these days and I need things to fill my space. De-cluttering actually does that for me, too, by giving me something to do!

    I should get an “I <3 Decluttering" shirt made.
    .-= Jessica – This is Worthwhile´s last post ..In other news: =-.

  4. Sorting my linen closet does MIRACLES for my morale and motivates me to go farther.

    Even easier is sorting my email and clearing out the old, useless correspondence that is just still there.

    Speaking of that, I think I need to do a pre-Christmas purge on the boy’s rooms (but I am dreading the total chaos that is in there more than ever!)
    .-= *pol´s last post ..Positive Influence =-.

  5. My husband and I had a chat yesterday (in a quiet lunch without the kids!) about the next things we ought or want to be doing. Fixing up our house is a big one, so we’ve decided to start looking room by room at what we want to do. Like for you, sorting through clutter is one of them!
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..Non Sequitur Theater Continues =-.

  6. Yeah, at the most concrete level, making more space involves literally making more space. I’m trying to achieve a zero growth policy with books and clothes and toys, with a view to an eventual shrinking growth policy. I don’t tend to do really well with big huge life changes — they set me to hiding in bed with the covers over my head for long periods of time. Both my kids are in school full time this year, which is making way for some small changes — more volunteering, re-learning how to play the piano, and this is still my first year blogging, which has been buckets of fun. Also, I just did that throwing-out-all-the-soup-that’s-so-old-it-could-actually-kill-us-if-it-doesn’t-endow-us-with-superpowers thing. Depressing and yet invigorating (why do I keep buying so much soup?)
    .-= Allison´s last post ..**************My Gay Marriage Post =-.

  7. I am at that point where I need to make space for a change to happen, however, sometimes making space can’t be achieved. Decluttering can, and when I get to do it, I feel just the same: it’s liberating. But I do have a problem with clothes that haven’t fit in three years, as I’m forever wishing they will:)

  8. I was reading once about feng shui and how, in that system, all things have an energy. Therefore, clutter is sending out vibes that make you feel chaotic or guilty or whatever energy it is. I don’t personally believe this literally, but it was such a helpful viewpoint to explain the way clutter drains me psychologically. Even if it’s stored in boxes in a closet, I know it’s there, and I know I have to deal with it sometime. It’s a task hanging over my head, a burden to protect from floods and fires and bugs, and a hassle to move. It affects my decisions — do I really want to look through twenty boxes to find something that might be in them, or do I want to sheepishly spend money and buy a duplicate to make life easier? When I move, do I have to find a space big enough to store all my clutter, or do I have to spend hours/weeks/months purging and sorting? Clearing out clutter starts letting me reclaim that energy for something beneficial.

    P.S. I’m a total pack rat, so this is one of the motivational speeches I give myself! I’m in process…
    .-= Lauren @ Hobo Mama´s last post ..Conversations with myself =-.

  9. I had a huge de-cluttering a couple of months ago. Good thing too because my house is full again. If not for the occasional purging of unneeded stuff, we would be swimming in clutter.
    .-= Maria @ Conversations with Moms´s last post ..Sunday Jokes – Thanksgiving humor =-.

  10. I just filled 3 bags with toys to go on the donation truck tomorrow. And an old bowling ball of my husband’s, thank God. 🙂

    I was feeling motivated b/c I know they’ll get a bunch of new toys for Christmas and we feel so full of clutter right now as it is. So this helps me breathe a bit. For now.
    .-= Missy @ The Marketing Mama´s last post ..Bottle picture on nursing sign (Follow Up) =-.

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  1. […] terminal lack of motivation there are a few things I’ve found helpful. I’ve mentioned making space for new things in the past, where you start clearing away the clutter from your physical and mental space. That […]

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