When you think about your home, what words come to mind to describe the physical space where you live? Perhaps you might describe it as safe, comfortable, beautiful, organized, and clean. Maybe just the opposite comes to mind: cluttered, dirty, unsafe and overwhelming. Maybe some days your home is a peaceful place to kick back, relax and enjoy life. Then other days it feels like a mound of excessive clutter that is causing you stress and anxiety. If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between the condition of your home and the condition of your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Because of this, I would like to encourage you think about how you can make some simple, yet effective changes in how you care for your home in order to decrease stress in your life.
I can give you countless tips for simplifying and organizing your living space, but then you would look at these tips and get overwhelmed and give up on even trying. It’s kind of like when people ask me for tips on exercising. They want the magic answer that will help them get results with as little effort as possible. It can get overwhelming and discouraging to follow well-intended advice and not get the results we want. That’s why making a plan for improving any particular aspect of your life requires mindful thoughts and discussions to determine the right course for YOU.
With that in mind, here are a few questions you can ask yourself (and those with whom you live) as your first step in creating a more simple home that is a peaceful haven.
- When I enter my home, how do I want to feel?
- When I enter my home, how do I currently feel?
- What is one change that can be made in the next month to make the biggest impact on improving the condition of my home?
- What motivates me to make my home feel this way?
- How much time and effort am I willing to put forth to improve the condition of my home?
- How is each room in my home currently being used, and how would I like that to change?
Once you have given some thoughtful consideration to those questions and other questions that come up, you can make a plan for creating the most ideal look and feel to your home or living space.
Again, you need to create a plan that works for you and those whom you live with. Here is one example that I like because it is fairly simple, and it has an accountability factor to it that is helpful.
Goal: Decrease stress by maintaining a house that is clean, organized, simple and beautiful.
Hourly– Notice one thing you like and feel grateful about. (eg; photos, views, or just the fact that the pantry is clean and has food in it.)
Daily- Make the bed(s) and do the dishes. The simple act of making the bed sets the tone for the day of starting off fresh and feeling accomplished. Doing the dishes helps to cleanse and remove anything that is sticking around and needs to be let go of in order to move forward in a positive direction.
Weekly– Organize one space such as a drawer, cabinet, or shelf. This breaks up what could seem like an overwhelming task of organizing an entire living space into just one little space at a time. This gives the positive results of knowing what you have and where things are so you don’t have to waste money and time on searching for and buying things you don’t need.
Monthly– Rearrange furniture and/or decor in one room. This refreshes and rejuvenates your home and therefore, you will feel the same way!
Yearly– Remove what’s no longer used or needed. Go through closets, and consider when the last time each item was used. If you haven’t used it in the past year, remove it and donate to a place or person who would appreciate the item more than you. Of course, there are exceptions to the length of time for judging whether each item should stay or go.
This plan is just one example of how you can approach the goal of making your home a place that helps you reduce stress rather than a place that causes more stress. I hope this has been helpful and relevant to you in your journey to live a more simple life where you can savor each moment.
Here’s an added bonus of de-cluttering: you have space on the floor to have a dance party without stepping on things that hurt your feet! Give this dance a try- alone or with your kids. This song and dance I created is dedicated to my daughter Jordyn. We both love music by Coldplay, and the lyrics to this song inspired me to create a dance to it that we do together and that I do with my live classes filled with fun ladies of all ages and abilities.
At the end of the day, we realize we are doing our best, and the most important things come to our mind- for me, my family is my universe, and I honor them by making sure my health and well-being are as good as they can be.