I am not the most tactful person, although I do try to be! That being said, I think that no matter how nicely you ask a person what they use a space for, there can be a certain amount of uncomfortableness when it comes to talking about things that you do in the privacy of your home or even shame because many people have this idea of what they should be doing in their home or their time.
When I talk to you about evaluating your needs or when I am asking questions like what do you use this space for or what would you prefer to use the space for, I’m not asking you what society has decided you should use your space for. Rather, I am looking for you to tell me honestly what activities or lack thereof would be most helpful for you or your family in any given room.
If you want to use that spare bedroom for storage instead of a guest room or a gym, that really is up to you… and I hope that no amount of #fitspo posts on insta will change your mind if that’s not really what you need.
That’s why I’ve started taking a priorities worksheet (which I have adapted from theblissfulmind.com) along whenever I am working with a new client. As part of our initial consultation, we will go over their main priorities in life and at home. So, for example, if physical fitness is not listed as a main priority… I would discourage that client from trying to turn their extra room into a gym……………….. especially if they listed creativity, inspiration, or even entertaining instead.
After I walk them through making a list of their priorities I will then have them describe the activities that each member of their family does at home. This helps me get an idea for how they live but also provides the basis for the next step in evaluating their needs.
After listing out all of the activities that are done at home, I will ask the client to match up each activity with one of their priorities. Anything that is left over or doesn’t seem to fit into a category becomes something to reconsider.
I will point out that obligations are separate from priorities. There are things which we must do that may not fall in line with what is most important to us. They still need to be included.
It’s also important to note that your priorities may be different from those of your partner and/or children. If you are all living together, however, the priorities you may not share can feel like an obligation. You may find that your child’s homework completion is a priority for you, while they may place higher importance on spending time with friends. Similarly, your partner may hold on to an excessive number of empty protein powder containers in an effort to document their fitness journey while you can’t let go of your grandmother’s china. Which is why I can’t stress enough that you avoid making decisions without the input of other members of your household or perhaps even an unbiased third-party.
To help you get started, I’m including a worksheet for evaluating your needs, which can be completed alone or together. Print as many as you need. If you get stuck, ask for help. I do my best to answer DMs on instagram but please keep in mind that I am not a marriage counselor and cannot tell you why your partner refuses to throw away a drawerful of holey socks and underwear.