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Blank space may be the way to a great space

After the holiday rush, when the last crumbs have been collected, the last glitter swept, and the final needle vacuumed, while a little sad, I always breath a sigh of relief. The house is back to "normal," -- whatever that means -- and the clutter is gone.

I also find it's a time I'm inspired anew to breathe a little extra life into my space. One way to get creative, see your room in a new light, and make changes -- without throwing everything out and running up the credit card -- is to simply not put everything back the way it was.

If you're like many of us, you have to take down a few decorative accessories (maybe a vase, some pillows, several photos, or even just a candle or two) to make room for the holiday items. Instead of just rotely putting them back where they've lived for the past ten years, stop! Wait. Think.

Maybe you like your space without them. Maybe they work better somewhere else in your home. Play around a bit; after all, nothing is permanent. Think about what you truly love, what makes you happiest. Maybe the vase you picked up at a little flea market on a long weekend trip really is perfect on the mantel. And perhaps the "antique" you inherited from deat Aunt Betty just isn't. Give yourself permission to edit.

Sometimes if I'm just not sure, I stash the pieces away somewhere for a little vacation. When I run across them next -- either intentionally or accidentally when I'm cleaning out that closet (but that's another story) -- I have a new outlook. If I decide to bring them back into the fold, it's a deliberate and thoughtful decision. And if I'm truly done with that item, it gets boxed and Goodwilled.

You look at your rooms every day. Each angle should make you happy, make you remember something or someone, or inspire you. If it doesn't, edit until it does.

Every holiday is a chance for celebration -- then an edit. And who am I kidding, the glitter is never truly all swept up!

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