Making space 

One thing I have always wanted to do since I got sober was to purge the house.

2 kids, disposable income, feeling like an inadequate parent because I drank too much = way too much stuff.

In early sobriety it stressed me out that the house was so cluttered, but every time I tried to start I was overwhelmed. This was a big job. So, instead, I decided to let it go. Messy play took, whatever. Closet crammed full, humph. Nothing for me to change. 

Then last year I read the Kon Mari book and cleaned out my closets. It was a good start. I liked the clothes that were left. It was easier. I probably still kept too much, but it was a start.

Then may came and the fire. Evacuated for almost 3 months with one bag of very randomn clothes (tee shirts, no underwear, etc). I just never expected to walk out the door that day and not return for so long…

While we were away I bought the minimum. 3 sets of yoga clothes. 6 work outfits. Jeans. And we lived in an unfurnished condo with the bare essentials – one pot, frying pan, etc. While there  I cooked a turkey and made homemade soup. I didn’t need a million tools.

So. We came back to the mess. Thankful, and with new eyes. I decided that it was time the playing room be transformed into a yoga room. The kids don’t play any longer, and it was my turn for the space. Plus, there were closets to empty, cupboards to clean, the garage to purge…

At some point i started to see this compulsion to clean was a bit of anxious avoidance. By purging, I didn’t have to leave home….and I could be safe. On Saturday night I had a little breakdown, accused craig of not helping and cried. He told me I was doing too much, and needed to eat. I cried again. Unwilling to let me stomp off in anger, he drove us to the dump with a load to dispose and I saw the reality. The city is different. And I cried more. I saw the real extent of the destruction inthe city. Thousands of homes. Destroyed beyond recognition. It was heartbreaking. And freeing. I know I can’t be home without mourning the loss of what was. Even if what is is good. Change hurts.

I had to continue what I started. I ate and slept and the next day I continued purging, giving anything and everything away that might be used by someone else. We do not need 10 knives, wine glasses or clothes that don’t fit. Even if they are still new with tags. It became a way to help myself and others. 

And now I have my yoga room. It is lovely. I have practiced on my own in the mornings and it is just what is need. A fresh spot to continue the healing. And to celebrate the life I have.

Stillness and peace


I wish I had a before picture. Imagine this room completely full of toys in boxes and bins.

36 thoughts on “Making space 

  1. That room is beautiful!!!!!
    and it is freeing and sane to let go of stuff we don’t need, wont use and can’t store. There are so many people that need our stuff too….good for you!
    glad you’re settling in, ad what a wonderful space. Now you can do privates, yes?!

    1. I never thought I would find a interest in a real, at home practice.
      My work hours are shifting and it just makes sense.

      And it is so nice to know other people want and need my stuff that’s collecting dust.

  2. Beautiful. It’s amazing how much stuff we collect. I read the folding book and now I’m decluterrong my draws! I just do a bit at a time. But once I’d cleared out the clothes and folded the rest it was so much easier. I even got to the bottom of my dirty laundry basket. It must be so strange going back to your city after the fire. I love reading your blog x

  3. A beautiful story. I’m 58 and have a lot of stuff. Been trying to clean it out myself and it feels better. Trying to take a bag(s) to Goodwill or other donation center at least once a month. Thanks for a great post. Blessings, Joanne

  4. What a lovely room Anne. So peaceful with the view of the garden. I’m so glad you are doing this for yourself. I too bought that book. I only read half of it and never went back to it. I have so much to clear out too, but like you, it is all too overwhelming so I don’t start. One of these days I will do it. I know I will feel better when I start. You inspire me Anne. A x

  5. Your anxious desire to be rid of all the excess sounds really familiar. I went through something similar, though probably not as intense, when I got back from my treatment program. I had all sorts of extra things that family members had (with generous and good intention) unloaded on me over the years, and I just kept out of guilt. Taking all those trips to Goodwill was liberating. Being able to organize my kitchen cabinets and my closets so that I could get to the things I actually do use was wonderful. Getting rid of all of my clothes and just living in two pairs of jeans, two pairs of slacks, one or two workout outfits, and a couple of sweaters for an entire season was very grounding, and from there I gradually built a healthy wardrobe of clothes I actually wear that is smaller than what I accumulated before.

    It sounds like you are going through a lot of emotional ups and downs and there is still so much to process, but you also sound strong and courageous. Reading about your new yoga room, I feel full of hope and a sense of calm. Thank you for sharing, and for including the picture, which is beautiful! I’m wishing you many peaceful yoga practices there. Xoxo

  6. The colors in your yoga room look very calming. And all the sunlight and the view out your window are perfect. I wish you much peace and joy in your new room.

  7. I think it is perfectly timed that you are going through this now. It is the purging that is bringing up all the tears, so many thoughts will be passing through your head you will only consciously catch 5-10% but somehow your soul catches more and you feel raw and ragged. I used to hold onto things thinking I could sell them, maybe? But then didn’t do anything about it. Now I put things out in front of my house with a big sign that says FREE! PLEASE TAKE. This is my thank you and pass it on as a tribute to everyone in the Chicagoland area that left free suff out when I was I was a young broke single mom with nothing to her name. I literally furnished a two bed apartment on people good graces.
    Love this post and love that you have something you need and deserve.

  8. I love your yoga room! What a wonderful idea. After all you have been though, it will take time to heal… Enjoy your beautiful space.. Lily 🌷

  9. What a great room, and what a wonderful gift to give yourself: beauty, order, space. I recently purchased Marie Kondo’s book and have started reading it. Honestly, I don’t really need it since I don’t have a lot of things and greatly value simplicity, space, and order. I think I bought it hoping my wife would read it. I know she would be much happier in a more ordered home but she can’t seem to help herself. There are boxes everywhere and it drives me crazy, even more now that I am sober and order in my life seems ever more important. But I digress. This is about you right now, and your space and your home and your room and your practice and your order. It’s wonderful!

  10. Beautiful room. I love the large windows!!! I am so happy for you. You deserve the space and I’m glad you were able to work thru the toughness of change.

  11. What a serene space! I love that book by Marie Kondo, haven’t implemented much of it yet, but your room has inspired me to revisit it and carve out a little zone of my own. Namaste😌

  12. I love your yoga room, it looks lovely. Decluttering is always good. Our home is taken over by toys. The kids still use them though, so they are here to stay for a while. Hopefully your donated items can help some people who find themselves starting over after the fires.

  13. Your space is beautiful and so is the solace that you get from your practice. It is lovely to read about and know that there are so many ways for us to get back in touch with our amazing spirit. Your’s shines through every time you post and every time you comment on others’ blogs.

  14. Clearing space for a new chapter in life. It is a necessary purge and part of the coming to terms with all the awfulness of what happened. And now you have your own yoga room! And a wardrobe of clothes that make sense! Wonderful investments in this new you. Enjoy!

  15. Must be something about getting sober that makes us hate clutter lol when I was getting drunk I really didn’t care how anything looked and i didn’t even think it was that bad. I thought everything was good lol in reality it was a mess lol now I can’t stand a mess . Everything has to be clean and organized .

  16. I feel that clutter outside of us, lads to clutter inside. A beautiful space is a reflection of how we care for ourselves. In early recovery I would marvel at how much I was able to take care of since I was not wasting my time drinking!! Way to go on your yoga space. I hope your having many wonderful practices there 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s