Many years ago, when I began my career as a Professional Organizer and Move Manager, one of the most powerful tools in my “toolkit” was to help my clients envision how they wanted to live in their space, rather than focusing only on their belongings. Whether they were moving soon, or not at all, this was an extremely effective way to identify what was most important to them, which in turn, helped them to make decisions about what to keep.
Below are some tips to help you envision how you want to live in your next (or current) home. Remember to focus on the space, NOT on your belongings! The purpose of this exercise is to reimagine your space and new ways you might use it:
- Make a quick sketch, or a list of each room in your current or future home. Imagine the room with nothing in it, and think about what activities you would like to do in that space. It is important, at this point, not to think of what you own, or need to store in the room, or what you have used that room for in the past. Clear your mind and jot down your ideas for each room. Try to keep the number of activities for each room to 2 or at most 3 if you can.
- Decide which of your belongings support the function of each room. Remember to choose ONLY items that support the function, or functions of the room. Add the items needed for each room to your sketch or list. Sketch or list additional items you need to acquire to make the space function better.
- Assess everything not listed. Now that you have reimagined your space, it’s time to walk through your existing home, including storage areas, and make a list of the categories of items you didn’t include in your reimagined home. Do any of the following items look familiar: Camping gear, supplies for a hobby you haven’t pursued for years or decades, supplies and equipment for large-scale entertaining, long-forgotten projects, your grown children’s belongings (see our blog post).
If you have the luxury of months or years before your move, this process will make all the difference between simply moving your stuff, to creating a new environment that matches your updated purpose. If you are not currently moving and simply want to create more space in your existing home, and have less to worry about, this exercise will help guide your decision-making process.