Over the Christmas holidays, I began to bemoan to my husband that our cute little home was too small. “Our kids are growing, we need more space!” and “There is no room in this kitchen! Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a larger home?” were the sort of things that could be heard coming from my mouth more than once over the course of the past few weeks. I struggled with kitchen cupboards, a walk-in closet, and an assortment of plastic bins that felt full, full, full. My husband, on the other hand, took all of this as a challenge.
Before we headed out to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends, he spent the afternoon reorganizing the kitchen. Now if you had told me that the problem of space in our kitchen could have been resolved by a couple of hours of moving things around, I would have laughed in your face. However, I will admit that while decluttering is one of my strengths, organizing has got to be one of my weaknesses. By the time we went out to ring in the New Year with some close friends, our kitchen was in impeccable shape. My husband managed to re-order sufficiently several drawers, and areas where I thought things had previously been overflowing had become minimal, all without throwing anything away. I was overjoyed – what a great way to start the year!
I’ve realized that when we look at things day in and day out, that we tend to form opinions about the stuff that surrounds us that may or may not be true. My issue was that since I spent so much time over the past year looking at our stuff critically and deciding whether it needed purging or not, I had failed to spend any time whatsoever putting into order what is left. Looking at situations with a fresh set of eyes is something that takes practice, but I think the more we practice, the easier it is to change the stories we tell ourselves on a daily basis. I really don’t need a bigger home – I just need to look at things differently, and to try to avoid falling into a rut of only doing things one way.
So whether decluttering is a new challenge or an ongoing project for you, consider doing it with a fresh set of eyes. Or borrow a fresh set of eyes from an enthusiastic family member: ask for your spouse’s opinion or your children’s thoughts. Get a conversation going and you might just discover a way of doing something you hadn’t even considered. And when all else fails, let someone else organize for you and celebrate their success when the work is done.