Putting Up the Red Velvet Rope on Your Space

In last month's newsletter, I suggested using the image of a "red velvet rope" (a popular metaphor in the coaching world) to keep everything but your very important tasks from creeping into your schedule.The same concept applies to your space: Only those most important items make it across your red velvet rope (or front door). Otherwise, your stuff ends up controlling you. How to decide which items stay and which ones go? What is your red velvet rope criteria?

You can use the question I suggested last month:

Does this help me create the life I want?

Expanding on this question, you can ask yourself: Does this object align with my values, with what is most important to me right now? Does this object reflect who I am? Does it support the actions I want to take?

Is my stuff supporting my valued action or does much of my action go to supporting the storage and maintenance of my stuff?

As I write this, my living room is not a living room. It has become a photography studio for a few days. There is a huge white backdrop covering a wall and the floor. There is a large octabox (a source of soft light) and various flashes and other technical gadgetry I could name if I was less distracted when my husband explained it. Although I value simplicity and prefer a clean, clear room, I accept this  because it supports something very important to my husband right now - building a photography business. If you have kids, there was probably a time when you had a baby swing, bouncer, and toys in your living & dining spaces (or perhaps you have that now) because those items supported your parenting. When you look at your home right now, what does it tell you about what is important to you?

When setting criteria for what gets past my red velvet rope, I like to ask these simple questions from 1880's designer William Morris:

Is it useful? Is it beautiful?

Here, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, offers nine tips to help you decide what to keep and what to let go.

Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful. -Williams Morris