CLUTTERFREE LIFE TRANSITIONS

This is the third article in a series: ‘Preparation of your decluttering/change project’.

So far, you have started to think about ‘Where you are now, and ‘Where you want to be.

Now you take the next step to prepare your project, – you get to know your home better.

How ‘mapping’ your home can help you to understand it – and yourself – better

If we have been living in our home for some time, we tend to no longer ‘see’ how it actually looks like:

  • We don’t pay attention to the order or disorder of things,
  • we don’t think much about how we use the different rooms,
  • and why we keep our belongings where they are currently stored.
  • Often, we forget what we have, and where and why we actually got it.

But all the things in our life profoundly affect us, either at a conscious or at a subconscious level, either in a positive or in a negative way.

If you wish/have to change your living situation, you first have to understand its current condition and core elements. That’s why it makes sense to get to know your home again.

Walk slowly through your rooms. Take notes about what you see, and what you think and feel.

Taking photos also helps you to see your place with fresh eyes. Don’t judge about what comes to your mind, just write it down.

While you walk through the various areas in your home, take three different perspectives

to ask yourself some questions:

First, pretend you are a stranger, visiting for the first time. Ask yourself:

  • What’s this room’s purpose?
  • What do I like about the room? What not? Why?
  • What should be in the room? What doesn’t belong here?
  • What do I think about the people who live here?

Then slip back into your own current shoes and start the second round of observation and discovery. Ask yourself:

  • What are the major activity areas in this room? How often do I use them? What exactly do I do in these areas?
  • Which are my preferred areas? Which are the most neglected? Why?
  • What do I store in this room? Why here and not somewhere else? Do I know what’s in the cupboards, drawers, boxes, behind the wardrobe doors?

Now imagine you have already arrived in the future stage of your life, the time after the change. Pretend you’ve already done the hard work. Ask yourself:

  • Which pieces of furniture and other belongings will no longer fit into my life?
  • What has become obsolete and now takes (storage) space that I should reserve for things I really need, use or love?
  • How would this room look like if it was fully adjusted to the necessities of my new life?
  • Do I actually need this room any longer?

Finally, go through your notes again and ‘digest’ what you have learned about your home and your belongings (and yourself).

Your observations will come in handy when you start to analyse the ‘clutter hot spots’ and the ‘treasures’ in your home.