The truth is, we stop really "seeing" what's in our homes after awhile. In those brief moments of clarity when we do, the idea of changing anything means we actually have to make some serious choices. It's not just one thing that has to be considered either. Often it becomes this ridiculous domino effect, right? Like a house of cards, one consideration leads to many. When you're tired, distracted and feeling vulnerable, needy and dinner is STILL not on the table, it's the last position you want to put yourself in...I get it!
Well, the good news is, you probably should not be making physical changes without a plan anyway...but before you exhale, know this, there's still emotional work that can be (and should be) done first.
Often when we consider making significant "change" in the home, we leapfrog right past the real issues that are inhibiting growth and jump right into to the interior design part because it's fun. Decorating the cake is, hands down, a lot more creatively rewarding than baking it. (Duncan Heinz figured that out a century ago!)
You start looking at room photos and furnishings and start dreaming about the day (Code for: there's money, time, know-how and zero opposition) when you'll be able to start from scratch. Well without having the courage to accurately examine how you're really living by default, you'll be doomed to repeat the mistakes you already made the first time around. Like it our not one doesn't arrive at a reinvented home that inspires, nurtures and supports simply by throwing money at it. I have visited more interiors than I care to admit where a freaking fortune has been spent. Yet the home doesn't reflect the people who spent all the dough in any way shape or form, because they ended up emulating someone else's idea of a "lifestyle" rather than taking the soulful time to create and customize one for themselves...sad!
Like anything, there's IS a process and that starts with setting aside a few hours to ransack your own home. Yep, think of yourself as a burglar trespassing in someone else's home. Step outside your front door, and take a deep breath and tell yourself you have no idea who lives beyond the threshold because in truth, you actually don't! Once you really ransack every drawer, every closet in every from attic to basement you'll soon realize that about 50% of what you own (stash, accommodate and award valuable square footage too) is either obsolete or no longer fits into your current lifestyle let alone the new lifestyle you're in search for. Staggering isn't it? Now I'm not asking you to actually start purging your home; I'm asking you to take a visual and mental inventory of what you currently own.
When researching my best-seller "The Seven Layers Of Organization", we put hundreds of people through this process, and many of them said it was a huge eye-opener. Many said they laughed at what they hung on to. Stuff they didn't even know they still had.
While you're pillaging your abode, keep a mental check of things you haven't used in over a year. Things that are damaged in any way or that
were carryovers from your last home. You know, the things you couldn't bear to part with because they're was still 'perfectly good."
That people gave you that you've only kept out of politeness.
Things you only use once in a great while but are occupying space with things you use every day.
Duplicates that you bought by mistake because you couldn't find the one you already had (or forgot you had it).
By the time you finish this process ( it takes about 30 minutes a room) you'll soon realize that the "can live without' column starts getting as long as the "must keep" list. Because about half of what you own does not, in fact, tell an accurate story of who you are today. However, you will rediscover who you were, who you thought you were, who you tried to be but got off course.
Those great folks who we put through this home "self-ransack" effort (while writing our book) told us that just going through the process revealed so much for them emotionally that it spurred them on to go to the next step which I'll share in another blog.
The upshot is that there are no too small homes, only space too full of unconscious choices.