Making Space

Normally, the new year is “the” time for resolutions. And usually, resolutions are changes, often significant, that we want for ourselves. Although I do reflect over the holidays about what shifts, large or small, I would like to see in my life, I have learned mostly through failure, that this time of year is an especially difficult time to make changes. My energy level, inspiration, and motivation is probably at its worst – dark days, cold and wet weather not too mention this current persistent pandemic. It is, however, a great time to plan….

What works for me, is taking this time to make space. I still have my goals for change, but I prepare in a different way. I start the new year by creating room, literally and figuratvily. I spend January and February cleaning out all that no longer serves me. Each week, I choose one room in my home and I remove as much as I possibly can that I no longer need or use. I push myself to be honest and accountable: why am I holding onto these seven spatulas when I only need one (or maybe two), these sweaters that are perfectly nice and in good shape, but which I never wear, etc… Have I used this item in the past year? …in the past 5 years? We often hold onto things because the decision to let go seems too hard.

Here are a few tips to make this process easier:

  • if an entire room seems too daunting, start with a cupboard
  • before you start, collect some boxes or totes for easy sorting; one for recycling, one for donation, one for family or friends (toys, clothes, etc can often be passed along and appreciated by others), and one for the back lane. It is best to take items that you are releasing directly to the car and then to the intended recipient. Make a trip each week if you can.
  • you can also have an “unable to release” but do not “use” pile. Put these things in a box, and label. If, in 6 months, you have not thought of or looked for these things, it is time. Chances are, you can’t even remember what is in the box, so don’t open it, and let it go! In all the years I have been doing this, I VERY RARELY regret having let something go.

What you will notice, is that room by room, it gets easier, and you will also begin to feel lighter and more energetic. Be persistent, and complete your home including the fridge, your car, the basement and the garage. By the time you finish, you will be in a much better place to get to that New Year’s list, and get started with making real changes!

Here is a list of a few donation options:

  • BC Childern’s Hospital https:
  • Still Fabulous Thrift (604)566-9136 on Main Street, Vancouver
  • Big Brothers (they pick up from your home)
  • Crabtree Corner: call for donation appointment (604)216-1650
  • VGH Thrift Store 2535 E. Hastings (604)876-3731
  • The Salvation Army 261 E. 12th Ave, Vancouver 96040874-4721

I am always happy to help, if I can, so let me know if you are needing some inspiration or assistance in getting started…or finished!

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