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#063: What It Means to “Make Space” In Your Home and What Might Be Holding You Back from Creating Your Dream Space

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We are changing it up today and I am doing a solo episode because I really wanted to dive into what it means to “make space” in your home. When I named this podcast there was a double-sided meaning here. On one hand “making space” means making your spaces, taking charge of DIY and projects, and really just stepping up and taking charge of the process of designing a home that you are obsessed with and everything that comes but it also is about making it all apply to you and what you want out of your space.

I thought this was the perfect time to take an episode to really unpack what it means to “make space” in your home because I think as we begin the year there are a lot of additions you feel you need to add to your life. Those things feel like they can pile up and be overwhelming.  So listen in as we dive into what it really means to “make space” in your home. 

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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in this episode:

[05:44] More is not always the answer

[06:54] Making space also means taking things away

[08:44] What in your space needs to go?

[10:04] Access all the things you do in a day & your ideal day

[13:44] Look at areas to see what is working and not working

[19:17] Making space in terms of clearing out opinions and expectations of others

[26:41] Making space for the now (in the house you have)

[28:31] Our dream home can hold us back right now

[32:16] Creativity & reinventing spaces

[34:34] Where to start 

[05:44] More is not always the answer

It’s not always more, that’s the answer. So this additive cognitive bias is essentially just the tendency to think automatically that adding something is going to fix the problem, that adding something is the easiest solution and it’s just kind of the immediate solution. We go to it but it’s not our fault. We’ve just been taught to think this way because of how we’ve kind of grown as a culture. But I think when we can break away from that and see if we can rearrange, take away things, or even purge things. Getting rid of things is so popular, because it’s such a reaction to this, wanting more. But it’s also so hard for people because we struggle with decluttering and letting things go. Because of this bias and this mindset that we think we just should add more and it will fix the problem.

[06:54] Making space also means taking things away

Making space also means taking things away and editing out things that are not serving you, bringing you joy and things that are not working in your space. The lowest hanging fruit is clutter because that’s the visual things that we can easily get rid of to transform a space. But to really make space in your home, you have to go deeper than that.  You have to look at how you want to live, what things are supporting or not supporting that, what you do in your daily routine,  and what things are making that easier or harder. So as we enter this new year, I think it’s easy to look at all the ways that we need to add to our homes, add to our lives, and all the projects we want to tackle all the new additions we want to make. Those are beautiful, there’s a place for those I absolutely like that is the main part of my job, But there’s a flip side of the coin. That is you also have to subtract, you cannot always just add into infinity because that’s not going to get you where you want to be.

[08:44] What in your space needs to go?

So I just want you to take some time and really sit with what in your space needs to go. Not just clutter, not just items, not just the visual things that you’re like, Okay, I could probably get rid of that. But what about your space needs to change or needs to be edited so that it’s serving your best life. It’s so funny because I think making space in your house isn’t just about physical space or objects. It’s about making space and clearing out the clutter of other people’s opinions, design trends, old habits, approaches that haven’t worked, things you’ve accumulated because they’re sentimental or they’re sentimental to someone. I want you to sit with and think about all the areas in your home where you can make space and to do this practically.

[10:04] Access all the things you do in a day & your ideal day

You can make a list, you can journal, or you can just wander around your house and look at things if you’re more visual. But I love first sitting down and just going through my day-to-day life, writing out all the tasks I do in a day, in my routine. If you have a partner, you can do this together with them. If you have kids, you can also do it together as a family, but just take some time to assess all the things that you do in a day. Don’t write down your ideal day, write down your actual day. For some people, you might have to do this as your living the day you have to go through and write down what you do as you do it, but track it for one day and write down a list of everything you do in your home on an actual real day in your life. Then separately, write down your ideal day. Then you can kind of compare and contrast these lists of the person you are the person you’re living as right now and then the person you want to become.

[13:44] Look at areas to see what is working and not working

It could take a while for you to go through this and assess everything that’s working in your house and not working but just let it be what it is. Just let it allow it to take the time that it needs. So now what we’re going to do with these two lists is we’re going to walk through our home and kind of look at the actual areas where we’re doing these activities and really break it down. Let’s say we’re getting ready in the morning, and we go and look at our vanity. What about your vanity is supporting your routine? What is really, really good? If it’s great and it’s working, write that down. Give yourself praise or a gold sticker, or however, you are proud of yourself. Then write down what’s not working about this space. Think about what is going to make your day better and what is more functional. 

As you go through these activities and you go to the spaces where you’re doing these activities and living your everyday life. Think about what is working? What about this makes me happy? What about this makes it easy? What about this space supports the tasks that I’m trying to do here? And then what is not working? What could be better? What do I need to get rid of? What could I swap that’s maybe really simple?

[19:17] Making space in terms of clearing out opinions and expectations of others

The second one I want to dive into is making space in terms of clearing out opinions and expectations of others that we have taken on for ourselves. This can happen in many, many ways. It’s all the things we do in our home that are actually for others. The only people that are allowed to have an opinion about your house are the people that live in it. That sounds so simple but it can be so hard, especially if you like me and are kind of a perfectionist and a people pleaser. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get to stay. So this piece of the process is hands-on. You can take a walk through your house and you can look at areas. It’s easiest to start with areas that are bothering you because those are usually like screaming for attention and change.

[26:41] Making space for the now (in the house you have)

The third phase is making space for the now. This sounds very abstract, but I promise you it’s not. It’s best to start with the concept of our dream home. So our dream home is this idealistic home that we’ve built in our heads.  It’s the version that we’ve created in our head of perfection and what it looks like for us and we measure up everything against this. So the current house that we have, we look at all the ways it falls short of being our dream house. This can be really good. 

It’s like that gap between who we are and who we’d like to be our ideal version. The bridge between that gap is what motivates us. It’s what pulls us forward to grow and become better. So there’s nothing wrong with building this dream, idealistic version of the best life in your perfect house in your head. There’s nothing wrong with that, it can actually be extremely motivating. It’s giving us a goal and something to work towards and it’s pulling us to grow and be better. Where it goes wrong is that we start viewing that gap as inadequacy as insufficiency. 

[28:31] Our dream home can hold us back right now

The idea of our dream home holds us back when we’re using it as an excuse to not be the person today that we actually want to be if we had that dream home. When I say make space for the now it means to make space in the house you have and to do the things that you want to do now. We need to do the things we want to do now and not wait on a future space or a future version of us to do them. We’re doing them now.

[32:16] Creativity & reinventing spaces

This honestly, is where creativity comes into play. If you’re in a tiny space, and you have nowhere to paint, then you’re magically faced with a challenge. Now you go to your closet and you create a little corner and you go vertical with everything. You’ve made a little space in a little corner of your closet to do the thing you want to do. This can be all kinds of things, no matter your hobby, or no matter what you want to make happen. 

That’s one of the beautiful things that’s come out of the pandemic and the time at home is that for those of us that were fortunate enough to stay at home and not be working on the frontlines tirelessly. For those of us that stayed at home, we had to get really creative with a dual purpose. It really led to so much reinvention and redefining the conventional way we live in our houses.

[34:34] Where to start

The starting place is actually working through how you can make space in your home. Make space for you the version that you want to be and who you are right now. Do the things that you want to do now.  

Only you can decide how you want to show up in your space. Only you can decide whether or not to let trends and expectations define your home. Only you can decide that you want to start now working on being the person you want to be, instead of waiting for one day. You’re taking charge of your life right now, not waiting to feel fulfilled and satisfied later, when you have what it is you think you want. So my challenge to you is that you take time, not pile on all the additions of resolutions, but take time to really carve out space for who you want to be and what you want to do in the home you have right now.

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