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Make it Sacred: Space, Love and Time


For the past year I’ve been trying to learn a simpler, more meaningful way to live. I’ll admit that it’s been a slow crawl towards this better way of living, rather than a sprint. But this is what the path has looked like so far – it may not be what you expect.

I actually started by editing my wardrobe, and I mean really editing it. This wasn’t just a case of tidying up and tossing out a few items. I took out every single piece of clothing, and all the accessories I owned, and then I got really tough on what went back in. Basically, if it wasn’t something I truly loved to wear, then it wasn’t being granted access to the valuable space in my closet.

The result is a real sense of joy when I get dressed each morning.

After that I turned my attention to slowly de-cluttering the house. This is not by any stretch of the imagination my dream home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be my sanctuary, only filled with things I love and a space I like to keep looking beautiful and fresh.

And whilst there is still much work to be done, what I do know is letting go of ‘stuff’ and only keeping items that have a purpose or mean something to me, has brought a wonderful sense of energy into my home.

Yet I still felt overwhelmed on a regular basis. Despite paying attention to simplifying my life, the rhythm of my days were still being dictated by the size of my to do list.  And life is so much more than a to do list.

So I’ve decided to change my approach. I’ve decided to get choosy about the people and the projects in my life. Maybe I can’t take much off the existing list, but from now on I’m being careful when it comes to giving people my time, and I’m being choosy when it comes to the work I commit to.

And since then, I’ve started to wonder if this isn’t the missing link – if not the key – to living a better life? Reducing the excess in our wardrobes, homes and most importantly, our lives is a wonderful thing.  But maybe if we were all a bit more mindful about what we allowed in to begin with, and started to think about our space, love and time as being sacred, then we’d have less need to simplify and let go later on.

I no longer feel like I’m getting glimpses of that life I’m working to create. I feel like it’s actually within reach.

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Esther Zimmer is an Australian writer, lifestyle coach and personal stylist based in London. She believes everyone has a calling, and it’s not necessarily just one thing. The home she shares with her husband, David, is filled with art and books, and her favorite pastime is packing a bag and heading somewhere new. Esther writes about life, relationships, body image and travel and can be found at

21 thoughts on “Make it Sacred: Space, Love and Time”

    • Hello, Carol! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. My natural tendency is to hold onto things but I’ve found with practice that I’m now almost too keen to let things go! I think the key with decluttering is to give yourself time. I used to think I had to do the entire house in a weekend, whereas this time around I’m allowing myself all the time I need. I went though all my cooking/kitchen items for the second time recently! We can do this! Esther xx

  1. A beautiful piece! I have been downsizing too, but I’m a collector, so it’s difficult. I find it a life long process!

    • Thank you, Judith! I think it’s about finding balance, perhaps? There is a lot of attention being paid to the subject of simplifying and having less things, and whilst I agree (obviously!) that it’s a good philosophy, I also think that what may seem like a lot of clothing or belongings to one person, won’t be a lot to another. Like everything in life, we can only decide for ourselves what we love and what works best. Best wishes with the downsizing! Esther xx

  2. I also wrote about this on my blog. It fills great to let go of the things we don’t need. I need to work on me next. Great post thank you!

    • Hello, Sherry! Thank you for commenting, it does feel great to let go, quite cathartic! I think the ‘me’ part is the hardest though, or at least I’m finding it harder. We hear/read so much about decluttering wardrobes and homes – less so about ’emotional decluttering’ and we all know that it can be a challenge to say no! Best of luck working on the me bit, and just know you’re not alone! Esther xx

  3. So well written Esther and a great reminder for everyone! I have been doing the same thing. I feel its partly my age. I’m comfortable where I am and I can be more selective how I spend my time and who I spend it with. With regards to my wardrobe, home, etc., I have learned less is more and quality over quantity. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much, Elaine. I love that you’re already being selective about how you spend your time and who you spend it with, life is too short and I’ve realised that by trying to do everything for everyone, I don’t have enough time for the people and projects that I really love. And amen to quality over quantity. Always! Esther xx

    • Hello, Rena! Thanks for your comment and I couldn’t agree more. Whilst it can be somewhat tedious to go through the decluttering process, it’s SO worth it in the end! Esther xx

  4. Essie,
    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. A new person… a needy person, who doesn’t fit in my life, has asked to become a part of it. The soft side of me says they need a friend, but the other side knows it would be opening an endless door I would regret. Your post made me realize I need to protect myself. I need to be choosy about the people to whom I give my time. Thank you!!

    • I hear you, Brenda. It’s very hard for me to hold people at bay. I realize that because I’m a naturally extroverted person, people are drawn to me and since I’m a good listener with a soft heart, I’ve become convinced that I have a sign on my forehead that says “Tell me your hard luck story”! I have to be better at setting boundaries. I’m working on it!

    • Brenda, thanks so much for sharing how this has helped you! It’s so easy to write these things but much more challenging to put them into practice, so I’m really pleased that it’s been a timely reminder. It’s sometimes difficult to know when to open our hearts fully to others whilst also protecting ourselves, isn’t it? I know that frequently when I’ve acted upon my soft side though, it’s only ended up getting me into situations that were difficult to extract myself from! Essie xx

  5. Amen to that, Esther! I’m still “in process”…wardrobe first, house next. But it’s all happening in the midst of a house renovation, summer vacation (You wouldn’t BELIEVE how many friends you have when you live by the ocean!), getting our youngest ready to apply for colleges and start her Senior year of high school, AND I’m looking for work. Talk about overwhelming! Some days, when it gets to be too much, I take my beach chair, a book, and a beer and head to the beach to soak up the rays and let the sound of the waves lull me into a nap.

    • Oh, thank you so much for your comment! My goodness, you are busy, you have a LOT going on right now! I’m so pleased (and slightly envious) to read about your relaxation method when it all gets a bit too much – good for you, there is rarely anything that needs to be done so urgently that we can’t take the time to sit back and simply enjoy life. Best wishes with getting everything done, I’ll be thinking of you the next time I’m tempted to complain about my to do list! Esther xx

  6. I thought about this the other day…the pruning I want to do. I think the things we need most as we get older are easier to accomplish and make us happier than we expect.

    • Susan, thank you so much for your comment! I love that expression…’pruning’ what you want to do. And yes, that’s what I’m finding too, getting older means more clarity around our desires, and needing less in order to be happy. I love the wisdom a few extra years bring! Esther xx

  7. As someone who is lucky enough to call you a dear friend, I can say that I have seen this transformation happening:) I am so proud of you, Esther ! You are walking your talk and creating such a beautiful and authetic life for yourself. Your friends, family and the clients who are lucky (and smart!) enough to work with you all see this. You’re a constant inspiration to me. I can’t wait till we get to catch up in real time on the same continent again and have a giggle and a wine or two and share more fun times (I was going to say like the old days— but in all honesty I think this will me soooooo much better than the old days of our 20s!). xx

    • Dearest Laura, thank you so much for your beautiful words and I’m so very sorry I’m only replying now – I missed your lovely comment before! And as always, thank you for your constant support and encouragement, we’ve known each other a long time now so it means a lot to me that we’re walking this journey together! And I couldn’t agree more – who needs the old days – the lives we’re creating now are so much better than anything we’ve left behind! Fingers crossed we get to catch up and giggle, have a wine or two and no doubt talk from dawn to dusk when I head back to Oz next year. Love you! xxxx

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