“Change happens slowly, then all at once.”–Your Spacious Self.
No sooner had my husband and I returned from a six-month sabbatical in Mexico than we went on a top-to-bottom tear of reorganizing our entire home. We had barely unpacked our bags.
What prompted this sudden and unexpected musical-chairs makeover became very clear: spending time away from home has a way of changing your perspective.
Things just didn’t feel right. Energetically we had expanded, while the house and its contents had not budged an inch.
A lot of our clothes looked old and tired. Art and furniture felt stagnant in places. My north-facing home office was too cave-like to inspire any writing about lightening up. Our TV technology had not caught up with the 21st century. The marvel of watching World Cup soccer on a big screen was a revelation and no match to the 26-inch “squint-TV” that we could hide behind a beautiful cherry wood cabinet.
It wasn’t just things that needed changing up. Moving things also meant moving on, which in our case meant embracing a new chapter as empty-nesters. There is no getting around the past when everything in the home points to it.
We had no big plan, mind you. We followed our nose, and took it one step at a time.
Clothing and household items went first. Sentimental attachments, like the shoes I wore only once at my wedding, amazingly made their way into the piles without a second thought.
We rehung art work that elevated us, replaced pieces that we no longer loved.
We upgraded our television with a super sleek, Smart LED TV that does just about everything but cook your meals. In the spirit of “one thing in, one thing out,” I cleaned up the small TV, put it out on the curb, and sold it for 40 bucks the same day.
We moved the cherry armoire into our dining room, which nicely filled a gap the had opened up when we sold the piano (we never played). Instead of a TV, this beloved piece is now the repository for our family photos.
We were on a roll. Moving things out of the house created a momentum that gave us the umph to keep moving forward, onto bigger ideas that proved to be even more radical – like repurposing some of our rooms.
We moved my office – desks, file cabinets, shelves, books – into our daughter’s childhood bedroom and put her things into my former work space. By replacing her twin bed with our still-decent queen size bed, we created a new space that could serve a dual purpose: a bigger room for our daughter when she stays with us, and a guest room we’ve never had. Turns out the north facing orientation makes it perfect for sleeping. Who knew.
Bequeathing our bed yielded yet another unintentional and pleasant outcome for us: a brand new bed with a top-rated mattress that promises to support every aching body part. I can already feel the difference.
And if that’s not bed enough, I was able to keep our daughter’s cooshy twin bed in my new office space to lay on when I want to work lying down. Or nap.
It’s like we are living in a whole new house!
You never know what might be revealed when you move things around – like the bright, nurturing dream of a home office I didn’t know I needed (and always wanted).
If it sounds too daunting to contemplate moving your life possessions around, consider one of my favorite aphorisms, coined by my husband, Jay: “Change happens slowly, then all at once.”
You don’t need to go full-throttle, go away for six months, or have a life partner to refresh your home. If you’re willing to take it on as a journey that you experience instead of a task that you have to complete by a certain deadline, you’ll get on a roll too.
Start small and keep it simple. Follow the rule of one: address one thing, one pile, or one area in your home for one minute every day – with awareness. Pay particular attention to your breathing, and how the energy feels before, during, and after. Repeat every day until the process becomes natural and effortless.
Even better, if you can take the time, go away for a few days and set the intention that you’ll return to your home with fresh eyes.
Then ask yourself:
- What doesn’t feel right?
- What seems off?
- What can I change about my space right now?
- What am I ready to let go of today?
- Who can I call to help me?
And follow these simple guidelines:
- Take one step at a time and allow each subsequent step to reveal itself.
- Allow resistances (attachments, annoyances, fears) to arise without taking them personally. Think of it as stuck energy that will shift and lift if you don’t feed the fears.
- Take lots of breaks; do only what you can handle and your energy level allows.
- Drink lots of good water.
- Keep breathing.
Let us know how it goes in the comment box.
Note: This post first appeared as an article in the Huffington Post entitled “Refresh Your Home and Life: The Renewing Effect of Moving Things Around.” You can check it out here.
p.s. If you found this message helpful, please forward it to someone else (or share, like, tweet, pin… ) and let’s build the clearing energy together that will help to lighten all of our loads!