I read and then wrote something in another thread recently (the over 2000sf homes thread) that got me thinking in a newly-inspired way about decluttering.
It's not the stuff, it's the space.
By that I don't mean the shape of the space, or what you do with it, or what you can or can't change about it. I'm talking literally about the area in your house where there is No Stuff (or where you would like for there to be No Stuff).
I am still working on this idea, but wanted to offer it as food for thought. We give SO much of our energy to our stuff - picking it up, deciding whether or not to keep it, deciding where it goes, thinking about your attachment to who gave it to you or feeling guilty for not doing X with it, putting it away, etc.
Why not put our energy into maintaining the space instead? Space is so simple. It just *is* - if we let it be. It's free. We already have it. There is just some stuff in the way, and so decluttering is about keeping the space healthy (and clean/clear/empty/tidy) rather than micromanaging the stuff.
When I look at my house and think about all the tidying and projects that need doing, I'm thinking about this stuff or that stuff and how it's in the way and how I need to solve it somehow. But I forget to be thankful for the spaces that are there...the places that are NOT cluttered, thank heaven (it isn't every single square inch of my home, to be honest, and except for really deeply ingrained hoarders, I think everyone's house has at least some space that can be appreciated and tended and expanded.
So I'm going to let the space inspire me, even if it isn't perfect around the edges, and I'm going to tend it the best I can, and I'm going to remember to breathe and be thankful for that space...rather than getting all worried and tied in knots about the stuff, because that is what gets in the way of my enjoyment of the space.
Even if it isn't perfect it can still be great to recognize that this chair has no clutter on it at the moment (so I had better not add any and ruin the moment), that cabinet has lovely shaped spaces around the stacked bowls (yay for me for stacking them neatly), hey, I can walk through the kitchen without stepping over stuff right now!, the corners near the ceiling are 100% spacious and lovely (so take a break and look at them when the floor clutter starts making my head spin), this counter is covered with dishes but the end of it has an empty bit and maybe I could make that empty bit bigger if I tidied up...
Clutter overwhelms me. Space inspires me.
- homeschooling mom to four teens