Finding the space to make change

One small, attainable step at a time

We all have a great capacity for change within us but actual change requires us to first clear out any stuff that is in our way. Remember that change itself requires effort, so save your energy for that. The prerequisite 'clearing out' process is easy if you allow it to be easy. You can do this! 

Before undertaking my recent life change, I had some major clearing out to do. My family was literally moving to a new place far away. Such a change can be overwhelming. The clearing out process before the moving process sounded overwhelming, too – but I learned that it didn't have to be.

Small, attainable steps

My clearing out process required me to create space in my life. I needed room to move, so to speak, to achieve my goal of actually moving across the country.

Space comes in many forms. I made space by taking old, unused items to Goodwill. I made space by letting go of binge-watching Netflix. I also made space by using masking tape to put a simulated moving truck cargo area on the floor. This took the mystery out the actual space available in the back of the truck. My family was able to visualize the task ahead of us and practice sizing up which boxes would fit and which items would fit inside them. Each box and item for consideration was a small, attainable step.

Once you set your intention to make a change, the 'clearing out' of space is easy. It usually just comes down to a matter of choice. What do you want or need to keep in your life to move forward? What expendable things are occupying too much of your present life? I learned that the process of change, the actual letting go, is an invaluable exercise in paying attention to what really matters most. This is hard to do in your head. Putting your hands on actual items – thanking and releasing, cherishing and keeping, processing and editing – clears your mind as well as your space. The process is an authentic, meaningful experience of life.

One giant leap...

Whatever change you are trying to make, big or small, there is space for it if you look. It is lying behind the unnecessary, which when removed, allows you to proceed along life’s path with more freedom and ease.

Change makes sense

To gain some clarity on what you need to let go of to make room for change, try this brief meditation while diffusing or inhaling rosemary essential oil for clear thinking.

Allow yourself to sit in a comfortable, relaxed position.
Draw your breath in slowly thorough your nose and allow the exhale to go through your nose as well.
Imagine a light at the center of your forehead, slightly above your eyebrows at your third eye point.
As you continue to breathe, imagine this light filling your head – opening you up to the possibilities around you.
Continue this practice for as long as you are able. When you are ready to return to your day, simply dim the focus of the light and open your eyes.

Charlynn Avery
Contributor & Founding Member

An avid aroma enthusiast, I have devoted my career to understanding the connection between mind, body and spirit. I come from a diverse background in education, health and wellness and have practiced and taught in the arenas of bodywork, holistic therapies, yoga and plant medicine. I've been teaching about essential oil usage for 14 years with the last six years at Frontier Co-op educating about essential oils on behalf of the Aura Cacia brand. My passions are my family, reading, writing, gardening, natural healing, yoga, hiking, & travel. I believe the world is made a better place by small acts of kindness.

Share Your Thoughts

Karen 2021

January 30, 2019 - 7:46am

Finding or making the time to meditate, goto yoga and focus on my spiritual growth is something I struggle with. These are goals of mine as well as going back to school for my LMT license and becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor. I want to dive into and learn more about total wellness mind, body, and spirit and also not only learning a new way of life for myself but to also be able to share it with others. I’m up against high demands from my family and in taking care of my step children full time. We have had them for a year and a half now and our situation is chaotic full of struggling and hindering my growth. My step daughters are in no way expendable and not something I can clear out to make space but finding the balance is what I’m in need of. Thank you for this post. It has sparked some ideas.


July 24, 2018 - 6:17am

I’m struggling with what to do about the hoards of china and silver that I received from my Mom’s passing several years ago. My Mom came from a town where the pottery industry originated in the US. Its an over abundance of not so great looking pieces. And my Dad, who is also gone was a collector of books and old things. I miss my parents but keeping them in closets is weighing on me and decorating with it is not my current feeling. I feel like its time to live in the present with respect for the past, but not with it hanging on every wall, every closet and every shelf. Help. No relatives are around to care if I keep it or not. I’m stuck between respecting the past and living in the present. Any ideas? I think I’m just more of a light hearted person and all of this stuff feels like its keeping me stuck.

Roberta B 1479703581

January 8, 2019 - 8:55pm

Letting go is very difficult.  I had lots of my mothers things, then we moved into a much smaller space. Perhaps there is someone or somewhere you can donate that there is a need.  We have a church run resale shop that makes it possible to help others who are in need.  Or you can get rid of one or two objects a week so it won’t seem so overwhelming.

Ana G 286893923

June 28, 2018 - 4:16pm

Great daily exercise !

Amber L 1652333964

June 20, 2018 - 3:30pm

I love this, I need to try find time just for my self, I kinda found someone, but I want to take it slow, but I do need when it is time to clear some things out, I think I’m going to like this, and thank you for your advice to clear things out and to relax

Gail Z

June 16, 2018 - 9:50am

Thank you and I look forward to reading and learning new ways to improve from you.

margie r 79315474

June 14, 2018 - 7:08pm

This read was very helpful.  Am going thru a breakup.  This post will definitely help to clear him easier from my mind and move on.  Thank you!

Audrey L 1849010298

June 14, 2018 - 1:33pm

Wow this what i was looking for because am in the process of reinventing myself. Change is good For me right now, so thank you

Peggi Y

June 7, 2018 - 8:27am

Thank you for this.  I am a recent widow in the process of trying to move on.  This was a wonderful article.

Sandra M 614173587

June 4, 2018 - 8:17am

Thank you so much as I am in the cleaning out step in my dream builder course.. awesome tips that I will now implement

Felicia F 351399118

June 3, 2018 - 7:13pm

Thank you Mrs. Avery for that BIG PUSH!!! Now to put one foot in front of the other and get to work. Be BLESSED and have a good Sunday.

Pj J

March 4, 2018 - 7:33pm

Thank you. This was perfect timing. This is exactly what I am doing with my life right now!

Kathleen P 2043706

January 27, 2018 - 12:30pm

Thanks, Charlynn, That was motivating and very helpful.  I loved the visual of the truck on the floor.  My roommate might think I was going nuts, but i’d sure do it if I lived alone!  I had 3 storage compartments a couple of years ago.
The one on the opposite coast for 15 years which represented about $5500. Isn’t that stupid???

Charlynn Avery

January 29, 2018 - 11:02am

Thanks for sharing, Kathleen!  You are very welcome.  Go easy on yourself… sometimes we need to hang on to the stuff for a bit, so that makes it worth the money spent.  Letting go of the physical/material can be terrifying - especially if it isn’t the right time in life.  Maybe your time for letting go is now rather than during that 15 year duration.  It was meaningful enough for you to keep it then, so no, not stupid in the least :-)

Angie O 195775537

January 24, 2018 - 5:42pm

I love this. I am trying to make a significant change and this brings my focus back to the small steps. The big picture is daunting.

Charlynn Avery

January 25, 2018 - 11:15am

From the other side, Angie, all I can say is I know that now that I am here (not just in my new physical space, but where I am at this moment in my life) I only regret that it took me so long to just take that first step.  Keep stepping… every little step will take you to where you are supposed to be and the daunting factor will be a distant memory.  Sending light and well wishes to you as you move through your own change.

Donna D

January 23, 2018 - 1:40am

Absolutely beautiful!!!
Thank you!!!

Mary R 1631281647

January 18, 2018 - 10:19am

Thank you Charlynn for your positive thoughts and vibes. I am a new member and look forward to seeing more posts from you and others. I hope your move went well. We aren’t moving but sure do need to clean out and restructure so many things. WHEW!!! With that said for now i hope everyone has a great day!

Charlynn Avery

January 18, 2018 - 4:40pm

Absolutely, Mary!  I will have more posts moving forward and have some others on the site.  The move went exceptionally well - and due to the simplification beforehand, we were all settled in our new home (completely unpacked and snuggled in) in less than three weeks.  The big win from the work ahead of the move was that our new life post move is simpler, more family focused, and our home is full of only the things we absolutely love.  A big game changer!  Thank you for the comment and good luck with your own cleaning out!  Share with us as you do your own clearing and restructuring - we’d love to hear about it.

Laura R 1426957215

January 16, 2018 - 9:18pm

Thank you, absolutely ready for positive change!!!!

Helen S 1867771370

January 14, 2018 - 8:18am

This is awesomely awesome! I recently downsized from a home where I lived with my growing children for 10+ years. As an empty nester, I was holding on to everything!  Downsizing into an apartment, this creating space process is life changing! I’ve created a beautiful peaceful, non cluttered space just for me! Thank you!

Charlynn Avery

January 15, 2018 - 9:41am

Thank you!  Your space sounds lovely—it’s amazing how clearing out can open up new possibilities and new space for our own selves to grow!

Lew Ann W

January 13, 2018 - 7:04am

Learning to “clear the clutter” can come at any age. I am happy to finally learn this. I will have to put extra effort into doing this, but I believe it will make retirement so much more joyful. Thank you for coming into my life.

Casey S 564835581

January 12, 2018 - 9:01am

Thank you beautiful soul! Namaste!

Sandra S 1344646911

January 11, 2018 - 10:35pm

I am so ready to give this a giant try.I need to learn how to relax and be content.

Kelly L

January 10, 2018 - 8:28pm

Thank you so much for this! I find myself in the midst of change though I don’t know all the answers and “the way” yet. I have been doing some clutter clearing to help cleanse. This inspired me to believe that it can and will happen when the time is right.

Charlynn Avery

January 15, 2018 - 9:45am

Absolutely!  In the clearing, ‘the way’ can become more visible.  Just trust in the process of clearing and know that what you are clearing out are the physical obstacles that can obscure your vision.  As you create more space, you create opportunity!  Best of luck to you as you find your true path.

Deborah K 13421602

January 10, 2018 - 5:27pm

Thank you for sharing.
I find that when I clean out an area of my home, that it gives me such a sense of freedom, physically and mentally,  to be able to let go and create more space for me. 
I know I am in need of a cleansing like right now because when I open my closest door I am overwhelmed.

Cassidy D

January 10, 2018 - 2:41pm

What a great post! Breaking a big job down into much smaller jobs is a great way to relieve some of the overwhelming feeling that can hang over you.

Donna D 1149626762

January 10, 2018 - 8:24am

I am ready for a “Positive” Change


January 7, 2018 - 6:12pm

When do I do this?  I am sitting in bed with a migraine and asthma.  Looking at a table and closet full of formal dresses.  I have a cleaning schedule for my house. Bedrooms are on Wed.  Would I do this exercise in early morning.then BKF, and go walking and swimming.  Should I get up do my BKF and go exercise, come home do this breathing and then start on the bedrooms.  This is what I usually do.  Girlfriend counting on me showing up.

Charlynn Avery

January 10, 2018 - 9:36am

Sometimes the time to make change doesn’t seem available.  However, if you are looking for space and time even the smallest increments can be found.  Maybe you only clear out one shelf on one closet preceded by one giant deep breath. Or you take one type of clothing to a resale shop or donation center and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s done.  The more of these micro adjustments you make, the easier it gets, until one day you realize that you have all the time and space you need.  Believe me - I have found it to be true and seen that happen for many others.  Best of luck to you in finding your space!


January 6, 2018 - 12:13pm

The clearing of space is really resonating with me. I’ve been divorced for almost 2 years and I still have some of my ex husband’s belongings in my closets. I bagged up some stuff that was in one closet but it’s sitting outside my bedroom door and has been sitting there about 3 or 4 months. The other closet I haven’t even begun to touch. Reading this article made me realize by holding on to his things I’m not allowing myself to move on and start my new life. I also realized I need to clear space in my mind, body and soul so I can live the life I want and to live the life I deserve. So I’m setting the intention to clear out ALL of my closets because I LOVE ME!!!

Charlynn Avery

January 10, 2018 - 9:31am

I hear that intention!  So wonderful and yes - you deserve to have the life you want.  Best of luck to you as you clear out the unnecessary and make more space for Y-O-U.


January 4, 2018 - 6:26am

I am looking forward to finding focus. Thank you

Jenny M

January 1, 2018 - 1:38pm

Love this! Thanks for sharing, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Charlynn Avery

January 2, 2018 - 12:32pm

Happy New Year to you, Jenny!

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