Our spaces are a mirror reflection of what’s going on on the inside. They can give us many clues to what our boundaries are like with time, our belongings, money, relationships, and even our work. Most of all they can give us insight to what boundaries we set around self care and what we are choosing to focus on in our lives.
Over the next three months I’ll be looking at how boundaries play a role in our spaces, time and our belongings.
This month I’d like to begin with spaces and how you can become aware of the types of boundaries you have with them, the benefits of having good boundaries with your space, and what you can do to improve those boundaries.
Boundaries And Your Spaces
Boundaries are the relationship with yourself and your own values, these can be physical or emotional.
We all have boundaries around what we are willing to accept and not accept. It could be not answering the phone while eating dinner with others or choosing not to put personal items on the floor, like dirty clothing, at the end of the day.
Life can be hectic and where one life activity ends and another begins – coming home from work, putting the mail on the kitchen counter, then cooking while also paying bills on the phone is an example of not setting boundaries around your time and spaces. This is also seen as multitasking, which I’m not a fan of, creates stress, leads to errors and takes you away from being in the present moment.
What does this have to do with boundaries and space, well boundaries are a reflections of your core values, intentions and your relationship with yourself. They are key to your mental health and well being, they help create emotional and mental stability. Boundaries are not only reflected in our actions and relationships but also in our spaces.
Here are some examples of lack of boundaries reflected in your spaces:
Having multiple types items in one place ie. paperwork, technology, clothing, keys etc. on the kitchen counter.
Dumping items on the floor at the front door when you come home and not unpacking your bags.
Only doing tasks half way, ie. folding laundry and leaving the rest on a chair
Why It Matters
Boundaries in your spaces help support the boundaries that you set in your overall life. Here are some reasons why being organized and creating zones is beneficial:
1. It’s actually good for brain!
2. Creating boundaries with zoning spaces and items has an effect on how you spend your time. It helps stay focused on one task at a time.
3. Zoning spaces also help you to be more intentional with your time and aware of what you need to be doing. When everything is mixed together it makes it difficult to be calm and clear minded.
4. Self care. It’s easier to take care of yourself when you can access items and use your spaces efficiently. You waste less time trying to find things and you’re more likely to have spaces that you can relax and enjoy.
How You Can Create Healthy Boundaries in Your Spaces
Before creating go through the process of creating boundaries with your spaces, it’s important to remember to focus on yourself and your belongings. Getting others involved, especially if they are not interested in it, complicates things. It’s also helpful to focus on yourself so you can see your patterns that created the life clutter and what boundaries you need to work on. If you live with someone and they too are interested in the process, dive in together, just make sure you get some support and guidance from someone along the way.
Steps for Creating Healthy Boundaries in Your Space
Intentions + Planning: What are you life intentions, values and what do you want to change in your life. Make a plan of the areas of your home that need to be zoned and the types of items you will have to go through. Ie. Kitchen, dried goods, cook ware, paperwork.
Minimize: Choose one area at a time to work on, even if you don’t have the time to do a major rehaul. Do a quick declutter each week, of one category at a time, and even subcategory if that’s too much. For example, clothing, just do long sleeve shirts one weekend and move onto short sleeves next weekend. As you get the hang of it, you’ll find it easier and quicker to do, especially when you experience the benefits of having only what you need and love and it’s organized.
Organize: Taking the items that are left and the zones you have mapped out. Then organize items by zoning them into their new permanent locations. For example having all of your paperwork in one location or all of your books in one place.
Sustain: This is so key to making the change last. Take some time to reflect and see where you are not setting boundaries in your life and your space. As you go through the process you may have gained some insight, especially if you are working with someone during the process.
How I can Help
I love working with people on addressing the inner patterns that created the outer clutter or challenges in their lives. For me it’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. By working with a professional who focuses on all the factors involved, takes away the stress of trying to figure out all the steps needed, how to organize and what changes need to be made. Like a job, it’s always easier to go through the process of a project with a team of enthusiastic and cooperative colleagues, than do it all on your own.
Everything in life is a mirror image. How we greet someone, to how we interact with our spaces. Taking the time to see where you have weak boundaries in your life, will also help you with creating healthy boundaries with your space and in turn have a positive affect on your time and wellbeing.