Embracing Empty Space

By Alison November 17, 2014 7 Comments 3 Min Read

You would be so proud of me. Last week I helped my Mum and Dad move house, endured something rather nightmarish, developed some sort of Shingles related sores across my face and chucked out half of the things I own in a fit of the “just bin it’s”, Nike would be proud of.
It is you see, my new philosophy. Just bin it! I think I said it about fifty times last week: when Mum discovered a pile of my old school books in her loft, I said it. When Mark dragged a ladder to my own loft in search of a long lost chair, and happened across a stack of boxes filled with old magazines, I stood below him, and shouted “Oh just bin ’em!” (Yep, I binned both Martha Stewart and Mary Englebreit: so shoot me). I said it when Finley came downstairs carrying the book I was reading, now thoroughly chewed by the dog. I said it to myself when I dragged the wheelie bin in front of the front door and wandered in and out the house carrying a myriad of things that were broken, or just rubbish, or no longer necessary. And I said it when it came to the sofa dilemma I found myself presented with mid-week.
Mark’s Mum was about to saw her almost brand new red sofa and chair in half in favour of a new grey one she had acquired, and one afternoon Mark suggested that I replace my rather battered cream sofa’s and chair with Peggy’s old one before she got too happy with a saw. So because beggars must not try and get choosy, I said yes and Dad arrived with a van with said sofa and chair to exchange the suites. And I was all of a fluster because I don’t manage change very well, but even I understand that needs must. And then all of a sudden the dilemma presented itself. The old suite had two sofas and one chair, the new one just one of each. There would be a gap! Now ordinarily gaps give me horrors, but in my head was a little cherubic devil whispering “just bin it, just bin it, just bin it….” so I said it out loud because I am good at doing exactly what I am told, and before I knew it I was walking backwards helping Dad load said extra sofa on to the van, and changing my mind twenty times before he finally announced that all would be well because he had a place I could store it in for a while in case my horror of gaps got overwhelming.
I have long been scared of empty spaces you see. I have failed to understand that when we create a gap, we invite the universe to fill it with something wonderful, but that when we keep rubbish things just because they fill a hole in our heads, our souls, or our living rooms, the universe decides we are fine and dandy just as we are, even if the sofa is grey with dirt and the cat has eaten the lining. Even when the books will never be read again, the man is sending us to an early grave or the job or business is putting us on the fast track to the loony bin.
We have to embrace gaps you see? We have to create them, live with them and then trust that the universe will help us discover just the something’s to fill them. Be it the perfect snuggly armchair we have had stuck on our pin-board for many a year. The man who will stitch our broken heart together or the new idea that will revolutionise a stale career or business.
When there is a gap, energy has room to dance wild and free and whip up a storm and present us with ideas we would never consider before. People see the gap in our hearts and bookshelves and offer help and chairs and something to read. People are rather wonderful like that. But it is always up to you to create the gap: to say enough already, just bin it… or else the universe will intervene and do it for you.
Don’t believe me? Why believe me you must. Because on Saturday night after Dad had lovingly stored my sofa’s away, a gang of naughty boys came along and burnt the place where it was stored, down. No really. I wouldn’t bin it, so the universe did it for me. And though I’m not quite sure I like it’s style,  I’m hearing it loud and clear: there is no room for half measures lady – just bin it!


  1. Brunette says:

    “And all God’s people said, “Amen!”.”

  2. melissa says:

    Thanks for this. Really. I’m not too good with gaps either, preferring lots of stuff. You’ve given me courage to toss, my sweet. Oh my. Not sure where this will lead!

  3. Heather Booth says:

    It’s funny how much your writing seems to be a perfect fit for me at the moment! We are trying to have a massive clearout at the moment and it is frightening me but I keep finding myself saying – just bin it too! I’m going to make that my mantra until our house looks like a home again and i can feel at peace. Hope it works for you too x

  4. Barb B says:

    I loved this post !

  5. Sandi Moran says:

    Don’t think I can get rid of my ME Home Companions. I think half of my clutter is paper, and the rest is fabric. I keep trying though. I, too, have been “binning” lately.

  6. chrissie says:

    I have lived in 32 homes so my stuff is important to me. It is me ! I do try to clear out but painful at times !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content