Defining, Creating and Defending Sacred Space
Lately, I have become very interested in the minimalist movement. I don’t necessarily want to become an extreme minimalist (one who limits possessions to a certain number), but I definitely need to work on the spaces in my home and in my life to make sure that I am getting the most out of them.
I believe in keeping my life simple, but have a hard time in some areas. I like ‘things’, and have a hard time letting go of the emotional attachment to objects, particularly things from my childhood or that are attached to a memory. I also have a pretty bad case of ‘I might need this someday’-itis, and of ‘I am going to craft with this soon’ syndrome, which really makes it difficult to clear things out.
Another area that keeps me bogged down is clothing. I really am not an adventurous fashionista; my wardrobe is (laughably) fairly limited to black (with a few pieces for color thrown in once a month or so – maybe), and comfort plays a huge part in dictating what I wear – lots of yoga pants and tee shirts.
Knowing that things are veering out of control is one thing; doing something about it is another.
So, I’ve started trying to think about it in another way – from the concept of ‘sacred space’. Our Circle group isn’t as active right now, so more and more, I’ve had to adopt a more solitary role in my practice. Without having group events to plan for, the items I was frequently using for group rituals and events have become clutter, and my supply cabinet has gotten messy (similar to other areas in my life). In getting my herbs out and labeled recently, I was forced to really take stock at look at what a mess the spaces that I’ve dedicated to my path have become, and as a result, not really relaxing or fulfilling. The logical step is to clear some things out.
I am good at knowing that something needs to be done, but bad about following through, so I thought I would post a plan of action and make some progress reports to keep myself accountable. Here’s my plan, and time table:
Step 1: Bedroom – What’s my goal here? This is my personal space. I don’t share it with anyone (other than my husband), and my kids don’t often come into my room. My altar and cabinet of curiosities (herbs, oils, books, etc.) are all kept in there, and I want that space to be inviting and refreshing for my spirit. Practically speaking, I also need to move my clothes from the laundry room into my closet (which is currently full of old crafting supplies). Here’s what needs to be done:
- clear out closet
- remove craft supplies & confine to one box
- create space for clothing
- clear off bookshelves (get rid of hard copy books that I have in digital form)
- clean out trunk & organize herbs onto shelves
- clear nightstand drawer of clutter
- go through bathroom closet (de-clutter makeup, beauty supplies, etc.)
- TIME FRAME: 4 days (March 2-5)
Step 2: Hallway – What’s my goal here? This space is really cluttered right now. It’s a transitional space between my children’s bedrooms, and I feel like the ‘stuff’ that’s in there is blocking the flow of energy from them into the rest of the house. I think there’s a communication gap between them that’s affected by a lack of free movement, so I want to clear that out. Practically speaking, there’s a closet in the hallway that’s become so full of stuff we don’t use that it’s wasted space. I’d like all of that out so we can store things we actually do use, like holiday storage and sports equipment.
- clear closet
- remove clothing that isn’t needed
- remove, down-size and reorganize supplies (tools, video game equipment and sports equipment)
- add hooks and shelving
- store camping supplies & holiday boxes
- bookcases: get rid of books that I have digitally
- TIME FRAME: 3 days (March 9, 11, 13)
Step 3: Kitchen – What’s my goal here? The kitchen is the main entertaining space in our house. We have a rather small house and the living room is oddly shaped, so the kitchen has become the ‘hearth’ of our home. I like the overall feel of our kitchen; Hestia’s presence there is strong. But like many spaces in small houses, the kitchen does double-duty. We have tools in there that are better suited to the hall closet, so I’d like to re-organize so that everything in the kitchen is dedicated to family, togetherness, well-being and health, and entertaining. Practically speaking, I need to make better use of the spaces I have (limited though they are).
- clear pantry & organize (with labels)
- clear cabinet under pantry of tools & declutter/reorganize
- junk drawer
- under oven cabinets
- under stove cabinets
- under sink
- add art
- TIME FRAME: one week (March 16-20
Step 4: Living Room – What is my goal here? Our living room is an odd space. It’s not terribly small, but it has a weird flow of energy, and isn’t very inviting. There are times during the year (when decorated for Christmas, for example) when I love being in that space, but most of the time, it just feels odd. When we have company, we always end up in the kitchen, rather than the living room. I’d like to work on this space and make it more inviting. Practically speaking, I think it has to do with the arrangement of furniture. I’d like to re-arrange, maybe paint and add some art to the walls. I may enlist the children in creating something unique to decorate with.
- re-arrange furniture
- clear out china cabinet
- clear bookcases (get rid of books I have digitally)
- TIME FRAME: 3 days (March 23, 25, 27)
Step 5: Office – What is the goal here? This is our ‘catch all’ room. We tend to have office supplies, art supplies, exercise equipment and other clutter accumulating in this room. My focus is really my desk, which is the hub of my activity. My goal is to make my space more accessible, and less cluttered. When I am in the middle of a project, I need the clutter to aid my creative process, but when I am not, I like a more ‘open’ space. I am currently facing West, and I think that’s blocking my energy. I am a Fire sign, and facing Water isn’t working for me. I’d like to reorient my desk so that I am facing North, which for me is Air (more about why I put Air in the North here). Practically speaking, I’d like there to be a clear function of this space, or at least better organization and storage so that its multi-functional aspects can be maximized. We also need to add a desk, so moving mine will allow us to add another desk in this room.
- move desk to the other wall
- clean out filing cabinets
- clear bookcases (get rid of books I have digitally)
- re-home art supplies
- re-do curtains
- organize kids’ spaces
- add shelving
Step 6: Laundry Room – What is the goal here? I’ve seen some pretty nifty laundry room makeovers on Pinterest, and honestly, I’d love to have one of those lovely little spaces. We each do our own laundry, so I don’t spend a lot of time in there, but I’d like for all of the spaces in my home to be inviting. It feels like a ‘fly-by’ space right now, and I’d like for it to be a little more organized, and a little neater.
- add shelving
- add basket organizer
I didn’t add the kids’ room; that’s another whole post. We’re planning a pretty heavy makeover of their room, including paint and building in shelving, and adding new furniture. I scheduled what’s on the list right now for March, so I think I will get through that and then plan for April (spring cleaning). Looks like I have my work cut out for me!
Stay tuned for updates (hopefully weekly).