As you may or may not know, in October 2016, our family moved from our new, large, 4200 square foot house to our much older, much smaller home that we now live in. We’ve grown to appreciate how much easier it is to stay connected simply because we are much more likely to all be in the same room more often!
Over the last year we began to declutter and say goodbye to many of the things we had acquired over the years of living in much bigger homes. Saying goodbye ranged from easy (there is no place for that couch in this house so who wants it?) to very hard (I only have space for 2 small bins of “memories” – not 7 large ones – but how can I possibly throw away letters from the last 30 years…even though I’ve only looked at them twice in that time?). But the experience has been cathartic and transformative and I would never go back to my old ways.
Over the last year we’ve made this house into a home that feels quite good for us. We’ve renovated a bathroom, re-painted kids’ rooms and re-done some flooring. But over this holiday season several very small things have emerged as a powerful reminder that not everything we choose to do (or choose to ignore) needs to be big to be impactful.
The first was a painting. My husband Mike had a student from his school paint it for us in our last house. It is an enormous canvas and it has been sitting in front of our upstairs fireplace for the last year. We’ve talked about where it should go. We’ve discussed several walls. We’ve even discussed giving it away entirely. In the meantime, it has sat in front of the fireplace in the middle of the living room. For over a year.
The second was a toilet paper holder. You know the kind of thing where you put the roll you’re currently using? For some odd reason neither bathroom in this house had one installed. And I get why – there is no obvious place to put one in either bathroom. But really, for over a year we have had a roll of toilet paper wandering all over the bathrooms. I’ve never liked it, but I obviously got used to it because I wanted a perfect solution, and I couldn’t figure out what that was.
On Christmas Eve we were having some people over for lunch. Because our house is small, we had to change the living room configuration to include a Christmas tree. This reduced the seating options in the living room to even fewer than usual.
And Mike said, “I think we need to move that painting so people can sit on the hearth”.
So, we did.
In less than 30 minutes, the enormous painting was hanging on the wall, exactly where we knew it should be many months ago. Over the holidays, most people who have spent any time here all commented that the living room looked larger and more spacious than before! They didn’t realize the painting was gone, but knew that the energy of the room had changed.
The ease of the project made both of us laugh. And wonder what else we’ve been avoiding that we could take care of.
The toilet paper situation came to mind. A quick Boxing Day trip to our local kitchen & bath store provided us with 2 great toilet paper solutions so we no longer have any floating rolls!
That made me wonder, how many “things” are there in our lives that we just get used to?
Not things we’ve consciously chosen to not do (like NOT remodel the kitchen) but things that bothered us once upon a time, and yet, over time we’ve forgotten about them, or even worse, ignored because the task just felt too “overwhelming” to do anything about (like putting up a painting or finding a toilet roll solution).
If you have any of these in your life, I have an early 2018 question and challenge for you…
First, the question…
“What have you gotten used to that is standing in your way of moving forward?”
Second, the challenge…
Since our “original” two tasks, I’ve found myself motivated to take on a few more things! I’ve been able to create space on a bookshelf, clean out two bins of stuff that had accumulated in my bedroom and actually sold some furniture sitting unused in the carport. All things that seemed too overwhelming to start but once begun seemed so easy to accomplish!
Getting started was the key and the impact has been positive for my house and my head!
I hope the same goes for you!
If you're ready to "de-clutter your life" and you haven't already, get your free e-book here...
5-Days to Simple and Clear will walk you through 5 areas of your life that could be holding you back!
Also, please share below what "task" you've decided to take on! I'm excited to hear!