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My Life Has Shifted…Now What?

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A child’s room begins with a crib, tiny clothes and baby toys; it transitions to a big-kid bed, new clothes and more complex toys. Eventually the toys are gone, the clothes are adult-sized and the train/princess decorations are replaced with posters of rock stars. What kids like and what is important to them evolves as they grow; their interests change and they develop into a new, grown-up person.

These shifts don’t stop once we turn 18, but sometimes we forget to adjust our environment as we move from one life phase to another. Whether it’s by our own choice, circumstances beyond on our control, or simply due to the natural passage of time, our lives are not static. We experience marriage, a new career, relocation, death of a loved one, a new baby, children growing up and leaving home. Sometimes we feel happy about the next phase in our journey and other developments bring sadness; sometimes we feel a mixture of both.

Honestly, I have never been a big fan of change! But I have learned that my attitude can help or hinder me when I find myself in a new place. We can choose to look at our new situation as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves, to grow and learn about ourselves, to be daring and try new things. When you find yourself in the midst of a life transition, ask yourself these questions.

Who am I now? What is important to me in this next phase? Have any of my values changed as a result of this life event? How do I want to spend my time, energy and money as I move forward?

Once you have clear answers to these questions in your mind, you can begin creating a home that supports you. Evaluate everything you own, room by room, and consider some additional questions.

Does this item still make me happy? Will this be useful to me now? Is this old baggage that will hold me back from building the new life of my dreams?

Ridding your home of possessions that don’t bring joy, serve a useful purpose and that feel like a weight on your shoulders will open your mind, your heart and your space to all kinds of new possibilities. One of my clients, a recent empty-nester, said it best as we transformed her craft room. “I am intentionally saying ‘No’ to some of these old crafts and ideas so that I have space to say ‘Yes’ to whatever new inspirations come my way.” ■


Written by: Joanie Nicholas


Organizing Coach Joanie Nicholas, owner of All Things Organized, is not an ordinary organizer. She approaches your home from a soulful place. For over 20 years, Joanie has led people across the metro area in creating lasting, positive changes to their space. Joanie brings professional guidance, enthusiasm, empathy and humor to her hands-on work with each client. Connect with her at, or by phone at 913-390-3432. For regular tips and inspiration for your home projects, follow All Things Organized on Facebook and @ATOJoanie on Twitter.