As we kick off 2022, millions of people are talking resolutions; making major shifts and changes in their lives. For me, I’m not a big fan of resolutions. We’ve seen it before and all know what happens five days, maybe a week later. Most people just give up. Instead, I am a big believer that what comes with a new year is a fresh opportunity to invigorate our lives, maybe set some goals; and there’s no better place to start than at home. 

Carrie Leskowitz is a certified life coach and award-winning interior designer with over 20 years experience transforming both spaces and lives. In this episode of The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide, Carrie shares tips to help create a more aligned space —  simply and inexpensively; and she shares what not to do if you want more love, peace and abundance in your life. 

What are some mistakes we might be making? Carrie says it’s all about energy. “A lot of us live in our home, we put something down and it stays there for 10 years, and I think we forget to really see our environment.”

Carrie suggests an exercise from her new book, Om for the Home, called “seeing with new eyes.”

If you were to walk into your front door as if you were a guest in your home, what are you seeing? What are you feeling? How would you feel when you walked through the threshold? And then go from room to room, really assessing, does this reflect my authenticity? Does this tell somebody who I am, and what I value? Do I love this? Is it in good repair? I think it’s more about sharing the story of you, but in a really healthy, authentic way. 

Did you read that? It’s about not holding yourself to who you were 10 years ago, but reflecting who you are now. So how do we do that? Carrie says it’s all about awareness, what she says is our biggest change agent. ” I call it messages in the mess. If we have work that we need to be done, oftentimes it does show up. It can show up as clothes that we’re hanging onto in our closet, piles that we can’t get through, boxes. It could be, you know, a myriad of things. So, it’s really a matter of becoming aware of where you are now, how you’re feeling and how something makes you feel. And once you pinpoint that, then I believe getting to the root cause of why it’s making you feel this way or how this clutter accumulated. Once you become aware, you begin to learn what the root cause is. Then you can dissolve it and move on in a healthier way.”

It’s no secret that our space can impact our emotional, mental and physical health. But sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. Carrie says if you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with attacking the clutter. “Everybody’s different, but a unifying kind of universal thing is clutter. When people have just a lot of overwhelm in their life, they’re over-extended. They’re people pleasers. They try to do too much. I’ve noticed people who have like a lot of drama-filled relationships also tend to have clutter. Just like a lot of chatter in your brain also equates to a lot of stuff in your house. Or if you don’t put yourself first and value yourself, you might allow your house to fall into dis-repair in some way. Like, you’re just not paying attention to it.”

Before you start to hyperventilate when thinking about decluttering you house, Carrie says it’s okay to start small. Take just one item and decide if it’s something to keep, or maybe it’s time to let it go. “Just being intentional, ‘do I love it? Does it serve my higher power? Does it mean something? Is it useful?’ If not, let it go. I think a lot of the calm is between things like Coco Chanel used to say, “Look at yourself in the mirror before you walk out the door and take off one thing.” 

If you can just like take one thing away at a time, see how feel; ‘oh, how am I feeling? Do I feel like I have a little more space? Am I feeling a little more–‘ Take one more thing away, and see how you feel. Just keep asking yourself. 

More Carrie tips:

Maybe you’re going through a divorce or breakup and your stuff has been divided up. Carrie’s certainly seen that more than once. “For somebody who was newly divorced, their wife took half the furniture and they were living like in a half empty house. 

And I said, you know, “You’re not half of what used to be a whole, let’s make a smaller seating arrangement. Let’s add a few things again. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you need to have the look of completion.” There’s always things we can do to shift energy, shift our perspective, tell people who we are, and live with things that bring us joy and live in a joyful way. 

So it’s not about running out and buying out the furniture store.

Ideally, if you could buy a few things, great, but there’s trauma involved. And there’s a process that you need to go through emotionally. And some people don’t know where they’re gonna end up; so they’re hesitant to buy anything. I totally get that. So, take the furniture away from the wall and put it in the center of the room, anchor it. You’re going through something. Your home should reflect that.

And if you’re a recent empty nester…

That’s like a perfect time. As a mother, you’ve taken care of your kids. That’s been job, your goal. And now they’re gone. You’ve done your job, now back to you. So many people are like, I don’t know what to do next, and it’s an opportunity for exploration. Turn it into something for you. Take the time to get to know you again. What does that look like? Women are stumped, but look at it as a wonderful opportunity. 

I would love to hear about the shifts you are ready to make in your home and your life in 2022, join the conversation in our free and private Facebook group. Be sure to subscribe, follow, rate, review all the things with the podcast and share it. I cannot say enough how important it is for women over 40 to share this podcast with each other. I am so honored to create The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide for you, and I would love it if you would spread the word.

Connect with Carrie:

On her website, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram