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The Importance of Clearing Space for Something New

declutter for new stuff

We’re only two weeks into 2019 and you might still be considering changes you would like to make in your life over the next year. I’d like to introduce a concept that can help you transform both your physical space as well as how you spend your time, and that is the importance of clearing space. It’s a simple idea but one we often overlook: in order to bring anything new into our lives we need to first make room for it.

Let's start with an example that relates to our physical stuff. Maybe you got an Instant Pot pressure cooker for the holidays or you picked one up on a great Black Friday deal. If you haven’t tried yours out yet, odds are it’s because you haven’t cleared space for it (and the Instant Pot needs a lot of space!). Are you going to store it on the counter? Think about what current appliance you can put away to do so. If you’re planning to store it in a cabinet you’ll need to first go through your cookware and get rid of some unused items. Your success in using this new appliance is dependent on the ease with which you can access it, set it up, and put it away.

We also get excited in January to try new activities: an exercise routine, meal planning, or a new hobby. We feel committed at the start of the new year, but after a month (or less), that new habit has been abandoned. Maybe our failure to follow through isn’t because we lack discipline but because we haven’t made space for that new activity in our life.

Here’s a personal example: one goal I’ve had for the last several years is to spend more time reading. I would borrow a few books from the library in January, never finish them, and promptly give up on this habit. I needed to take a different approach this year, so I looked for opportunities in my daily schedule that I could clear for this activity. I decided to forgo my lunchtime habit of scrolling through Facebook or watching videos on YouTube to pick up a book. I’ve been practicing this for two weeks and found I’m enjoying it so much I’m reading during other meals as well. I’m happy to report I’m already on my second book of the year using this method!

Your failed New Year’s resolutions in the past may not have been due to some failing your part, but the fact that you simply didn’t make space to accommodate them in your life. Whatever you want to bring in, whether it’s a new object or a new behavior, you need to get rid of something else first. Think of the objects and activities that are no longer serving you and consider saying goodbye to them in 2019. You’ll set yourself up for success if you do this step first.

If you found these tips helpful be sure to subscribe to the Pretty Neat weekly email! You'll get a short and sweet message each week with my best advice for a more beautiful and functional home. Click here to sign up, and you'll also receive my FREE guide: How to Get Rid of Stuff!

Make it fab!


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