The days between Christmas and New Year are a kind of holiday limbo for me. I am not quite ready to move into the New Year but as the days go all the pretty holiday stuff begins to feel a little bit stifling; a little bit like clutter.
Clutter and chaos are closely related. They might even be sisters (I think the kind of bad-girl sisters who one up each other for negative attention – things can go downhill fast with these girls, folks).
During the holiday rush to get things done – my studio, my house and my life – get a little bit cluttered, often a lot cluttered and sometimes they even move into chaos territory. If this feels familiar to you, creating some space right now, before launching into 2014, can build a more solid foundation for all the 2014 magic we want to be attracting.
Creating space first allows us to set our 2014 intentions from a space of .. well, space … and clarity, so we get what we want and not what we think we should want, we make better decisions that support those intentions and we allow the space for something new to find us.
There is a reason for the word new in the New Year after all.
Space clearing is about simplicity. Simplicity is not about reducing ourselves to a smaller size (that’s scarcity thinking) – it’s about clearing the path to connect with and grow into our true selves.
Simplicity is why as good as it feels to put up that Christmas tree and those sparkly holiday decorations, it feels equally good to take them down.
1. The Make Your Own Bed Rule
Establishing rules (yes, these rules are in our heads and may be a little bendy at times – think summer camp and not regular school here) that things that get messed up every day get cleaned up every day helps set the stage for order and simplicity.
Organise your every day studio materials in a way that works best for your process and put them away at the end of the day or the end of the project (whatever makes the most sense for you). If you leave things out thinking it will be easier for you tomorrow, maybe you have not organised the space to fit your process.
Work through your process and see what makes the most sense.
I once bought an adorable key hook to hang my keys near my front door. And even though I tried to remember to use it, every day I would come home and drop my keys on the coffee table. Finally I bought an equally adorable key bowl for my coffee table and used the hook for something else. Work with your instincts with this stuff. If your hand wants to go right with the scissors when you are finished cutting, don’t store them to the left.
A five minute studio reset at the end of the day clears our mind and signals that we are finished.
2. The Toss It Rule
If you don’t love it or use it – toss it. Ouch!
We’ve all heard this one before and if you are a maker like me who likes to have different materials around for inspiration and doesn’t allow things to end up in a landfill – this is challenging (but do-able). There is also the whole “as soon as I give it away, I need it” thing that happens – this is actually about the focus we put on the thing while we work through whether to toss it or keep it that attracts the need for it – the law of attraction in action – it’s not a signal to hold onto it, but that’s a whole other post.
If we must store things we don’t love or use, make sure it is properly labeled and we know where it is. That’s why all those cute storage containers go on sale in January. There is no point in storing anything if we can’t put our hands on it easily if we do need it. And remember one girl’s junk is another girl’s treasure – pass stuff on and yes, that includes gifts – your friend really gifted you with the loving thought and positive energy, it is perfectly OK to re-gift the green bath towels.
The toss it rule applies equally well to our email in-boxes.
Having a bunch of unused and unloved stuff in any area of our life tells life that we are full up and signals a stop to the new stuff – the stuff that lines up with who we are now and not who we were yesterday – from connecting with us.
3. The Things Don’t Really Look Good on Paper Rule
Any information that you can find easily online can be stored there.
I have a maker friend who stores, in a nice neat metal cabinet, (and I do admit a total jealousy over that cabinet), the shipper receipt side of shipping labels by date order in sturdy manilla folders.
I do not ask her why, (since this information is available online in seconds), she needs to do this for every order because I can see this extra organisation gives her peace of mind and I do not underestimate the importance of peace of mind… but maybe we can let go of things like this and free up some space and time for ourselves.