Creating Mental Space

Originally published January 11, 2018

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. The “whole new YOU” variety have never appealed to me. I am me; I don’t really see that changing just because it’s January. Last year I didn’t make any sort of resolutions, and I frankly felt annoyed by the world’s expectation that I change something. I was busy chasing a one-year-old, after all, and that felt like more than enough!

This year, however, I’m looking at it with new perspective. We moved to a more comfortable but slightly smaller house last year, so even though we pared down during the move, our closets/basement/garage are still overstuffed. This year, I’m asking myself, one closet or space at a time, if we really need what’s in there. For stuff we do need, I’m making sure the organization system in place actually makes sense. I started with my pantry and Liv’s room, and I’m already feeling better!

Reorganized bedroom

The big culmination of this project will be the basement. It’s unfinished but spacious, so my goal is to make it cozy and inspiring enough to function as live-in studio space for VanDuinen Studio. Right now, I just go down, pull out materials from the perilous piles in which they’re hiding, and drag it all up to the couch. It works in a pinch, but I’m getting tired of a) having to dig to find anything useful and b) having my art supplies stashed in corners all over the living room because Liv woke up and I need to hide my paintbrushes pronto.

Just before the holidays, I bought a big Ikea shelving unit, but it sat in its two boxes collecting dust while we celebrated Christmas and traveled for New Year’s. Then, I stumbled across an OK Dani post about “cozy minimalism,” and it kicked my imagination and drive into high gear. Last weekend I finally assembled the shelves, and I’m now working box by box through art supplies, random candles and other knick-knacks, holiday decor, and everything else we stashed in the basement with an “I’ll deal with that later” sigh.  This just in: “later” has finally arrived!

This didn’t just need to happen because the business is slowly taking off, although it will definitely help in that sense, too. It needed to happen because every time I picked up a new project, I could feel the chaos of the studio weighing on my mind. So, my resolution is to create space in our lives, and in doing so, clear some positive mental space to get the creative juices flowing more freely. I am so excited to see what 2018 brings, and I can’t wait to share the results with you all.

As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or anything you’d like to share, send me a message on Facebook or email me. I would love to hear from you!

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