For anyone who feels their home experience could be more satisfying, here’s a three step guide for performing Spatial Therapy on your own.
1. Distinguish and Discard
A couple things to keep in mind during this first stage.
First: The word useful can be interpreted in more than one way. Not everything that’s useful in the home is a tool or utensil. A pair of scissors is certainly useful but so are beautiful decorations that make you feel good.
Second: If we want to experience change in our lives, we have to make room for it. If we crowd our space with clutter, chaos, worry and doubt, there’s no room for anything new. When letting go of long-owned items (or thought patterns), remember that something better, something more useful will take it’s place.
During this first stage we distinguish between active, inactive and stagnant items.
– Active items are used on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, once a year).
– Inactive items may sit for longer than a year without use but are still considered necessary for the household (fire extinguisher, generator, etc).
– Stagnant items sit for longer than a year with no use or interaction.
Distinguish what’s useful and discard what’s not. Items can be donated, gifted or thrown away. This stage can be revisited as often as needed.
Spatial Therapy emphasizes balance over neatness. Not everything has to be perfectly straight and in line to achieve a feeling of balance. So once you’ve established what to keep, it’s time to play. Arrange and rearrange until you feel you’ve found the perfect flow. It looks different for everyone, so listen to your own desires. Try moving furniture, organizing shelves, hanging art on the wall, hanging art from the ceiling, creating displays or buying new things. By the end of this stage, it might feel like you’ve created a whole new home, but the process is not over.
Getting organized is not a one time thing. The true benefits of organization are long term; and to see long term results, you must put in long time work. Like sweeping, it must be done periodically to be effective. The same way we end up with trash and empty bottles, we end up with clothes we no longer wear and products we don’t use. This is natural. We experience new things, we find new information and our perspectives change. We must sweep up the debris of this change and remove it to make the space livable.
Recalibration should happen regularly. There’s not a specific time frame to follow because everyone’s pace differs. You’ll know it’s time to recalibrate when you get a fresh idea about how your couch might look on the other side of the room. This means you’re seeing through new eyes. Or things in the environment might start to feel off and don’t flow like they once did. This means your perception is different now. Listen to these impulses. Follow that energy to dress your home in new skin. Recalibration could be as simple as moving a lamp or as drastic as remodeling an entire home.