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FEATURE - July 2017
Downsize and Organize to Make Room for Growth
by Kathleen Kelly
Downsizing and Organization seems to be a trend which I believe is generated from our need to feel better. When we downsize and organize we create Space. What is space? Why is it so important in our lives and in our living environment and what happens when we don’t have space? Space is the empty part, a continuous expanse that is free, available, and unoccupied where no activity is happening. There’s nothing to activate the mind or the eyes.
As we grow and change throughout life, we expand. Expansion needs space. When we limit our space and don’t allow ourselves to feel the expansion, we start to have repercussions. Here are three basic reasons why space is critical.
Without space, we work harder.
We don’t feel as good as we could.
Our energy is affected.
So, let’s look at how lack of space makes us work harder. What if we want to find something, but when we open that drawer, we can’t see everything in it? Rummaging comes to mind. What if we don’t remember what we have or where? Hide and Seek? Expending more energy looking for items?
Now it’s time to clean. Owning more things mean more cleaning. We might start to put off cleaning or neglecting things because of the dread of the job dealing with the clutter. This is when we start inviting in overwhelm. We may have to move things in order to get to other things. It often becomes frustrating work simply locating the things we need.
Next, we buy things to feel better. However, if we don’t let go of the things that no longer serve us, we end up with too much. From this, we may not feel as happy, our creativity may be stifled, or we may feel overwhelmed as we no longer can manage what is around us. We might find ourselves not breathing deeply and feeling as free as we could. We might get ill. Our sensitivity level can also affect how deeply these physical and emotional reactions show up in our body. It’s endless how we might be affected.
Thirdly, let’s look at our energy. In cramped spaces, we can tend to hold our breath, affecting our overall being. Recent articles have shown that shallow breathing can actually bring fear into our bodies, where as deep breaths help us relax and feel calmer, even increasing our energy. When we’re overwhelmed, our energy can become sluggish or can halt us from moving forward.
Can our belongings and environment really affect us to this degree? The answer is, yes!
Our belongings become so out of desire and/or need. If we don’t map out a little time to review these things in our life, over time we can start to suffer, especially if we bring more in than what is going out.
So, what can we do about our lack of space?
There are many ways to address the areas of our living environment. Usually, it’s best to start with the one/s that drive us the craziest! Many times, we’ve waited so long, we now no longer know how or where to start?
Next, I address my things with questions. Of course, it depends on what we’re looking to let go, but here’s an idea of questions we can use to lift our load. Do I really need this? Do I feel happy just by looking at it? Do I have more than one and how many do I really need? Does it feel crowded? Can I have fewer and feel better because I’ve created space? Are there ones I like better than others? How often do I use this? Could I borrow it if I needed it again or rent it, or purchase something else? Could I substitute something else I have to do the same job?
There’s a shift that happens in our thinking that allows us to let go or keep what we have. Holistic means “the whole of,” thus downsizing and organization involves many aspects of ourselves.
If we feel this process is beyond us on any level, a few solutions would be to hire qualified help to get us started and support us in this process. Professional organizers can also aid, giving us ideas, or doing it all. Another option is reading books or watching YouTube videos. Finding pictures of designs we like are an option and then emulating those in our own living environment. Maybe there’s a friend who has downsizing/organizational skills to help? Find what feels best for you.
Another important aspect to this process is where to release the items! Hopefully this list be helpful!
1st step: Making the decision to let it go.
2nd step: Looking into Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and any other resell places if we feel we must get some financial return for the item. The best way to sell is by having a great description, the exact measurements, pictures, and even unique, creative ideas of how to use the item.
3rd step: If we’ve gotten to the place where the idea of space and not wanting to be reminded about a purchase we made is greater than trying to sell the item, maybe think of gifting it to a friend or family member we know who would appreciate and use it. Sometimes it’s the easiest, less stressful solution.
4th step: Donate it. Many people have a hard time donating valuable things. However, by donating it, taking a picture of it before hand, putting it in our receipts, we can deduct it off our taxes and many times get a larger financial break than by selling it!
5th step: Get creative! Can this be adapted into something else? If it were painted, would it work somewhere, especially if it could help in organization?
6th step: Find a group or organization that could use it?
I applaud you for readying this far! Cheers to everyone having a little more space!
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Throughout Kathleen Kelly’s life, she has found a common thread in all her endeavors that involved organization. With pulling this common thread out and focusing on downsizing and organization, she found her heart’s desire. HDandO.com gives you more details about Kathleen and what she can help you with! Kathleen works in Des Moines and Kansas City. 913-827-3324