Making Space: Letting Go when Minimalism is not the goal.

Clutter is never just physical, at least not for me. Heading into my 28th year I decided to do something major about the clutter. I needed to make space in my mind and heart for what was coming. At least that is how the journey started in 2014. My last semester of graduate school was marked by a custody battle that left me emotionally drained and ready for a major change.

Be careful what you tell the universe you want, three months after graduation I found myself moving to a glorified closet in Chicago. In the short term, frantically throwing/giving away possessions during a move may be the worst way to purge. I spent many days kicking myself over the choices I made in those last two frantic days. I shed over 50% of my possessions and missed maybe 1%, but having to repurchase things you once had is a terrible feeling. One year out and I could barely tell you what I "lost"

Nothing will make you hate unnecessary possessions like living in a closet with a seven year old boy for a year. Between panic attack induced purging and another poorly planned move, I shed another 20% of my possessions, but in this new apartment something changed. 

I found myself filling the space things once occupied. I confessed to a friend that while I always said I was happy in my space and the current state of my life, my space did not reflect that. My space felt temporary and uninspired, but I planned on staying in this space until I got married. Revelation: By not taking full ownership of my space I thought I was avoiding feeling a sense of loss when the next phase came. In reality, I was hoping the next phase would come faster. Not taking the time to expand and fill the space I was currently in was a sign of discontent. 

It takes time and space to really get to know yourself, to really enjoy and own your free time. For some people it comes more naturally than for others. After I cleared the clutter I needed to own what was left, start making executive decisions. I started with a DIY self then DIY gold frames and put it all together to create a living space I am proud to walk into daily. 

For me a DIY living room meant making a lot of decisions, sticking with them and going out to get it done. It also meant doing a lot with a little. My custom shelf cost me less than $25, $10 for the one bottle of spray paint I used on the frames pictured below. 

Far from minimalist but a start. 

Far from minimalist but a start. 

 I am currently working on my workspace which tends to get cluttered since I am there so much. I ran across image I pasted below online and it makes my wings flap every time a see it. I have been considering making some art work based on the quote to hang in my workspace.

Do you have space? How are you filling it?