I have never read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, but I totally agree with her and guest blogger DEBBIE BOWIE about the need to find a little personal space that we can stake out and claim. There is something freeing about having your own space, a place that no one else gets to use, decorate, or criticize.
It can be crazy hard to find that space. Sometimes we have to resort to creating our own space in our head (think of the commercial with the Mom sitting in the car just to get a little alone time). Sometimes it takes someone else looking at our life or our home and saying “you know, if you just move that sofa a little, you could have this space to work with.” Do you know a girlfriend who is just screaming (perhaps silently) for a bit of space? How can you help her find a room of her own?
All the roles we play can be so all-consuming that we often have no clear ideas about what really matters to us. In a sense, sometimes we lose our identity. Many women I’ve worked with can tell you what they want for their children and their family much more easily than they can tell you what they want for themselves. It’s as if they don’t have the time or energy to figure it out because they are consumed with the responsibilities of being the CEO of the home. When their children grow up and leave home moms come face to face with themselves. And they often don’t like the person staring back at them in the mirror. Years of self-neglect can leave women over-weight, exhausted, sick, and sometimes depressed.
My solution–give a busy girlfriend a room of her own. If the house is so small that having a whole room is not possible, give her a section of a room that is off limits to the rest of the family.
Why give a woman a room of her own?
- We need a place where we have complete control, a place that no one else can mess up
- We need a place to pull together and organize the objects associated with our many projects and responsibilities
- We need a place where we can express our creativity
- We need a place to retreat to refuel that is calm, beautiful, and organized
- We need a place to ground ourselves and get clear about what matters
I once had a client who had all her projects piled up on the floor next to her side of the bed. That was a real recipe for sleep problems! There was no way she could sleep peacefully with piles of work-related items in such close proximity.
When I suggested that we find another home for those things she informed me that there were no rooms available for her to claim as her own. Not to be deterred, I asked her to show me around the house to see if we could identify some space that would work as her personal cockpit. We finally settled on a corner of the family room. She claimed as her own the desk and filing cabinet that were already located there and informed family members that the area was off limits to them. Several weeks later she wrote me to thank me for giving her life back to her.
Are you a woman who is unable to get clear about what really matters to you? Are you distracted by a million-and-one things to do, places to be, and people to care for? Do you want the opportunity to have more clarity, more peace, and be more organized? Find a part of your home that you can claim as your own. Make it your own. Make it lovely. Fill it with your projects, books, and precious personal items. Then set boundaries by informing family members that the space is yours alone and guard it with your life!
Others that are accustomed to spreading out all over the house may need to be reminded to stay out of your space and keep their things out of it. Do it! It’s time for you to have your own peaceful place to get reacquainted with you. It may feel selfish, but do it anyway! You deserve it! Claiming a space for you is really an act of self-love and self-respect that will make you an even better wife, mother, and girlfriend. Go for it!
DEBBIE BOWIE, Certified Professional Organizer®, feng shui practitioner, and professional speaker, helps women clear clutter to get more of what they really want from life. She makes clutter clearing fun by combining feng shui wisdom with simple organizing principles. Author of Rock Scissor Paper: How Environment Affects Performance on a Daily Basis and creator of The 12 Month Clutter Clearing Community, an online membership site, Debbie provides information and support for life transformation by clutter clearing.
What are your tips for claiming space in your home?
By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)
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