Love Your Stuff, Love Your Space
Sorting out your space doesn’t have to result in an overflowing trash bin and a slightly broken heart. It doesn’t even have to mean getting rid of things, necessarily. Getting sorted simply requires getting to know yourself a little better; discovering a balance between loving your stuff and learning to let go. And, when you love your stuff, loving your space becomes easy.
It took me quite some time to find that balance. I have something of a dual citizenship in Mount Minimalism and the Kingdom of Keep It All! One approach never seemed to fit for me and I’ve come to realize that this blend is indeed my personal style. It’s what works for me. It may ignite an instinct to flee to the Isle of Identical Storage Bins in others, but it totally works for me.
Love your stuff, love your space.
My home office is a perfect example of how blending more than one style produced a work space in harmony with how I work best. I’ve was a hybrid worker in the before-times and went fully remote just before the pandemic when one of my many bosses ended the lease on my office and forgot to mention it to me. True story; super funny now, less so then. All that to say, I finally had to commit to having a full-time office space in what was previously my office/yoga studio/reading nook/hideaway. I went through multiple iterations, all related to what I thought made a good home office only to discover that I hated all of it.
So, I took a look at the space from a different angle and asked these three questions:
1. What is the purpose of this space?
2. How do I want to feel when I come into it?
3. What do I already love about it?
And, that changed everything. Focusing on numbers one and two first, I made peace with the idea that this space was now an office and made a conscious decision to arrange it in a way that offered me comfort, efficiency, and a healthy dose of humor. Once I had that sorted out, it was on to number three. As it turned out, there were already a ton of things going right in this space and very little that needed to be changed. Rearranged, repositioned, and reorganized…definitely. But, no need for a major overhaul.
Balancing Stuff and Space
The Kingdom of Keep It All reigns supreme on my bookshelves. They are full from top to bottom with warmth and inspiration. Mismatched frames hold photos of the best cat ever, my person, the wonder dogs who make everything more fun, and my happy places. In combination with a few well-placed quotes from Rumi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Anais Nin, there are reminders everywhere to be grateful, gracious, and unfailingly resistant to making myself small for the benefit of others. Balancing those are thoughtfully stacked piles of my favorite books. They’re an eclectic blend from To Kill A Mockingbird and Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road to Silent Spring and Old Turtle and the Broken Truth. Every book I keep is like an old friend and an ever-present reminder of who I want to be and how I want to keep showing up in the world. There are plants with a will to live that surmounts my brown thumb and chotchkes that make me giggle, reminding me of the people and experiences that make life special.
My desk is an entirely different story. Laptop. Pen. Notebook. Plant. That’s it. In the very same room as the beloved chaos of my bookshelves, exists and ode to minimalism that would make even Joshua Becker swoon. It’s not a hardship, it’s the environment that best supports my nose-to-the-grindstone hours.
And, I love it. I love both. There’s not a single thing anywhere in that space that isn’t functional, delightful, or treasured. Love your stuff, love your space.
Whether it’s your home office or another space, getting sorted is super personal so start with the three questions and see where you land. What’s the purpose? How do you want to feel? What’s already working? For me it was a 20-year old rust colored futon that I utterly adore and the phenomenal light from a north-facing corner that helped everything else fall into place.
Once you’ve painted a picture in your mind’s eye, simply start. Start with a corner or take on the whole redo at once. You do you. Give yourself the freedom to love your unique style so your space becomes a reflection of everything that makes you, well you. There’s never a need to be just one thing so let your spaces mirror your creative spirit right alongside the part of yourself that knows spreadsheets help keep the universe in alignment.
Love your stuff, love your space. It’s that simple.