Filling the Void: Getting Comfortable with Empty Spaces

Once you declutter the categories on your checklist, you probably have more space. I mean, it's completely expected you now have (possibly gaping) holes where stuff used to be. Cupboards may now look lopsided from things stacked up on one side while the other is nearly empty. Drawers might go from barren to brimming.

You have all this space and you still have your stuff. How do we put it all together?

Your Mission: 75% Full

First and foremost, congratulations on your efforts. It does pay off in the end. However, having space can feel a bit strange at first. Especially if you’ve grown accustomed to needing a padlock to keep the doors closed, or giving that drawer a good shove to keep it shut.

It can feel oddly nerve-racking.

You might even feel like you need to shove things in there just to fill it up. Or, run out and start buying things just to fill this empty space.

This is completely normal! If you do nothing else, don't rush to fill these spaces to the brim.

Your goal is:

  • 75% full

Too full and it feels cluttered. Too empty and it doesn’t feel quite lived in.

Quell the Fill-Me-Up Monster

Remember why it is you're doing this. It's almost like going on a kind of house diet. A stuff diet maybe. And as we all know, diets are tough to maintain, especially if you don't have a good reason for wanting to succeed.

Do you want to tidy so that you:

  • Always know where your things are?

  • Know what things you already own?

  • Have less to clean and deal with?

  • Can spend more time on other things besides cleaning?

  • Feel healthier in your house?

  • Can invite people over on short notice without melting down?

  • Feel more in control of your stuff rather than the other way around?

These are all especially powerful reasons to tidy your home. If you can keep in mind your reasoning, it can help you stop and breathe a little into your newfound space.

Fill-Me-Up Monster vs Conscious Spending

There is a difference between the two. You'll know because you'll feel it.

The fill-me-up monster comes from nervous energy. An anxious need to fill up what's now empty. It doesn't want to wait. It needs "something" right now. It needs a fix. It's addicted to stuff.

Whereas when we consciously spend, we've made up our mind ahead of time. We know what we want. We know the dimensions of what we want, where it's going to go, and the purpose for it. We've weighed the pro's and con's of both getting and not getting something and determined that yes, we actually need this something to harness this space for the better.

I encourage you to start noticing which beast is tugging at your side before rushing out the door or jumping online with your wallet open. If it can't wait? It's probably the fill-me-up monster. Just FYI :)

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post! Learn how to fill your space in a way that feels "just right!"


Cover photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash