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By Bridget Baker
Goblins, ghouls, and the zombie apocalypse are the stuff of horror movies and haunted houses. Going into your closet and unearthing those skeletons of clutter can be even more frightening.
Closets, basements, garages, and even spare bedrooms are where all of the things we’ve been avoiding get shoved or stored. Even if we have cleverly disguised our clutter skeletons with fancy costumes via neatly-labeled storage bins, it is still the deep, dark recesses of what we have been putting off that lurks in the shadows.
With the onset of cold weather and less sunlight in the day than in summer, we can make the month of October the perfect time to nest and create space for our cozy winter dreams to flourish. The monsters of avoidance could be hiding under your bed; if you disturb them, you could unearth the guilt of unfinished projects or foolish purchases.
What if there was nothing to fear? When you shine a light on what is hidden and get straight with your clutter, you can don your Wonder Woman costume and save the day. Be the hero of your own story and tackle those ghosts and goblins getting in your way head-on.
Do you want to simplify your life, but you’re afraid to start? Do you feel overwhelmed just thinking about facing what’s in the boxes or bins that you haven’t looked at in years? You are not alone. Clutter-clearing can unearth lots of uncomfortable feelings and emotions. If you take it to step by step, however, you can start to build momentum and free up your time, space, and energy.
I used to have a professional organizing business called Space to Dream. My philosophy was that your clutter stands in the way of you having the living space of your dreams. Want an office? I bet you have a spare room, closet, or nook that you could clear out and make space for a simple desk setup. Want a furniture workshop? Why not let go of those boxes of unused items gathering cobwebs in your garage and put in a workbench and tool rack? For your dreams to thrive, you need to make space for them.
You don’t need to get a new house or to move to have what you want. Just as getting dressed up on Halloween allows you to be someone else for the night, you can transform your living space into whatever you want. Your clutter gets in the way of your creativity, your vision; it’s a barrier to making space in your life for what you truly want. If you can take down all the decor and clear the clutter out of a room, you can reimagine your space in a way that inspires you.
I invite you to make this fun. Put on a cape, a tiara, or a mask, and go for it! If it feels like too much, take breaks. If you need support, enlist a friend and a bottle of wine. If you get stuck, hire a professional organizer to help you get focused and make it manageable. You do not have to go it alone on this one. It may be embarrassing to admit the state you’ve let your storage space get to, but just think: what would Wonder Woman do? You can bet she’d get out that golden lasso and rustle up that clutter and send it into space!
Halloween costumes and decorations may even be a part of what your clutter is. If you enjoy getting into the spirit of the holiday, but don’t want to have to store or stash lots of decorations or costumes, take this year to simplify. Your decorations may be better off given to a school or donated to a cause that can benefit from them. If you are no longer using an item, it doesn’t do you or your home any good being crammed into a box, taking up valuable space.
You can go seasonal and stay minimal by decorating with objects found in nature. Go on a hike with your kids and collect sticks for sorcerers’ wands, witches’ brooms, or spooky tree branches. Use pumpkins and decorate them with paint and then dispose of them when the holiday is over. They are an eco-friendly and minimal way to have fun with décor, and you can get creative with them. Once the holiday is over, POOF, they go away.
The other lurking gremlins may be in the form of a project, task, or to-do that you are avoiding. What is on the other side of checking something off of your list? A chore can turn into a sense of freedom and victory once you’ve completed it. Crank up some music and get it done. Clearing out your physical space of clutter and cobwebs makes room for you to imagine your space as anything you want. You can transform your haunted house of unfinished projects into a home that feels inspiring to you.
Have you been wearing a costume every day that doesn’t go with who your character is? Are you no longer working the nine-to-five grind, but you are still wearing the outfits and style from your former lifestyle? Does your basic black attire not match your branding and style of being bold and colorful? Start by adding in some accent pieces with bold jewelry or lipstick and see what a small change can create in the way you view yourself.
Halloween can be an opportunity to let go of what’s in the way, and to make way for you to dress up your home and life the way you want year-round.