Like many of you, we have been on our own decluttering and organizing journey. We had many of the common causes for our clutter (guilt, sentimental value, might need it, etc) and reasons why it seemed so darn difficult to deal with our stuff. It finally got to the point that we needed help. Professional help. We are still so thankful for Maggie Meganbir of Calm Cool and Uncluttered; an impartial professional that gently helped us realize how we wanted our space to be used, what we really needed to keep, and what we could let go of (read more on our professional organizer sessions here).
During the sessions, it felt so good to purge, let go and see the potential of our home unfold. Once we finished organizing what we had decided to keep, I hit a wall. We had a couple of empty drawers, a few bare shelves, and some free baskets.
“What goes in this drawer? What goes on this shelf?” I asked.
“Maybe we can keep ‘that thing’ that we thought we didn’t need because now we can put it in here?” I suggested.
I was so perplexed by not knowing how to fill the vacant places that I was determined to find something from our donation pile to put in spots that “needed” something. Literally, I started digging through the boxes for something that could be kept. Maggie reminded me that we had already determined we didn’t need or want those items.
I was bewildered – surely the empty spots couldn’t stay empty? Or could they? Maybe I didn’t need to fill them? Maybe it was ok to have empty spaces? I turned to Maggie for confirmation while these thoughts sunk in. Slowly, uncertainty turned to acceptance to delight. It was ok to have nothing in the drawers. It was ok to have nothing on some shelves. It was such a simple and powerful notion: It was ok to have empty spaces!
I felt foolish that I hadn’t understood this before. Then I realized that I’d never had an empty drawer or clear shelf. This organization session was the beginning of a different way of living for us. Our lives can be full without our house being full of stuff. I have embraced this lesson and now use it as my decluttering and organizing mantra (repeat after me):
it is ok to have empty spaces
What has your biggest organizing “a-ha” moment been? Let us know in the comments!
-Denise and Sean
P.S. follow us on Facebook for tips and updates