Last week, I told you about Rebecca West’s Spring Cleaning Challenge, which is part of the initial work we do in The Goldilocks Movement, my yearlong virtual retreat for women who want to create the life that’s just right for them. I’m doing the challenge myself now because my apartment has been driving me crazy and I thought this would be a good opportunity to make it feel more relaxing.
So, in week 1 (you can read the recap here), I listened to Rebecca’s guided meditation to help me envision my ideal space, I did some really powerful writing exercises to get clear on how my home is making me feel and how it could support me better, I chose a room to tackle (the kitchen), and I made a list of categories of stuff in that room.
Weeks 2 and 3 are both focused on clearing out the clutter, so I’m going to share my progress from both weeks together.
But I’m not going to talk about the actual details of decluttering.
I could tell you how I worked on getting everything off the top of the fridge, how I finally took down Jamie’s booster chair which he’s refused to sit in for months, and how I’ve been able to remove the coffee maker, espresso maker, and rice cooker from our small amount of counter space so that we actually have a counter now!
No, I’m not going to talk about the nitty gritty details. What I really want to talk about is why I wanted a spring cleaning course in The Goldilocks Movement in the first place. After all, The Goldilocks Movement is all about guiding women towards finding their own “just right” and it’s very much grounded in meditation and going within. So how does does spring cleaning fit in with that?
Your home is a microcosm of your life.
When I asked Rebecca to create some content for The Goldilocks Movement, I had the thought that finding your own “just right” also means living in a space that feels just right. But what I’ve realized over the last few weeks of decluttering is that your home is a microcosm of your whole life. I’m now seeing all the connections between the look and feel of my home, and the look and feel of my business and relationships.
What we create in our homes, I’ve realized, is what we create everywhere in our lives.
So if our homes feel disjointed, chaotic, dirty, or even unsafe, you can bet we experience those feelings in other areas of our lives as well.
On the other hand, if our homes are perfectly designed and so beautiful that it looks as if no one even lives there, that might be a reflection that we’re living too much of our lives on the surface, focused on what other people think, and not going within to make our lives truly our own.
So let’s look at what I’ve noticed in my own home as I’ve been decluttering:
- There is zero sense of cohesion in my home. Furniture is a mix of hand-me-downs, random items I got at thrift stores on a whim, and more hand-me-downs. How do I see this in my life? Just as I take on other people’s hand-me-down items, I’ve spent a lot of my life taking on other’s ideas of how to be happy rather than figuring out what would really make me happy and owning that. Finding my own “just right” is something I have really been working on over the last couple of years, and 2016 feels like a game changer for me, so it makes sense that I should make over my home space so that it can better represent the life that feels right for me.
- I have a tendency to live in the future rather than focusing on the present. I’ve always noticed this in my apartments because I usually don’t take the time to really decorate, knowing that at some point I’ll be moving. And so I always feel like I’m in transition rather than feeling grounded in my home. And even though I live in a rented apartment, it is my home for now. And so just as I want to look towards the future in my life but be grounded in the present, I want to be aware that I’ll be moving someday but really make my apartment feel like a home today.
- I get antsy, and when I get antsy, I need change. And so I randomly find myself completely reorganizing a space in our apartment at least once a month. I do this in order to make things feel more organized and functional. But what inevitably ends up happening is that I can’t remember where I put things since they’re constantly moving, and then my boyfriend ends up annoyed when he comes home and can’t find something. Now this is something that has come up over and over in my business since I started in 2012. As soon as I would get an idea for a service, I would change my mind and start offering something else. Just like my boyfriend gets confused about where things are, potential clients were likely confused as to what I actually offered!
- Although my home is small and temporary, I really love my little apartment. I know we won’t be here forever – nor would I want to be – but it feels right for where I am in my life right now. The problem? My boyfriend has never liked it, not since the day we moved in almost two years ago. This is absolutely a mirror of our life as a whole right now, which for me is a dream (I’ve been waiting my whole life to be a mom!) but for him involves a lot of pushing down of who he is in order to be a responsible dad and partner. Our apartment fits me just perfectly but feels constricting to him. And honestly, the same is true of our life right now. Blending two lives and making them work together is hard, and so apparently is home decorating when you have extremely different tastes! But I’m realizing that if we can work together to make our little apartment feel good to both of us, we can do the same thing in our life as a whole.
So taking all of these things in mind, here was my goal for the final week of the Happy Starts at Home Spring Cleaning Challenge (which I’ll be sharing this Friday, along with my before and after shots):
- I wanted to make the kitchen feel cohesive, with an actual color scheme, and to feel complete rather than just a space we’re making do with until we move. I wanted to walk into the kitchen and actually enjoy the thought of cooking in it!
- I also wanted the kitchen to feel more functional for both my boyfriend and me, and to get his feedback and help on changes rather than doing it all while he was at work and then saying, “Ta da!” when he got home. In other words, I wanted it to feel good for both of us.
Okay, it feels like I’m leaving you hanging – mostly because I am – but now you have a sense of the internal changes I wanted to work on through making these external changes in my home. On Friday I’m going to reveal the big BEFORE AND AFTER pics and the changes that I’ve already noticed throughout my life just by making some simple changes in my kitchen.