A well designed home is one that is organised. That flows and functions. And welcomes life as it is actually lived. Having a sense of space within a home helps create a calm feeling. And not a feeling of claustrophobia due to clutter.
Our physical environments can affect our mental state and well-being. And more choice in terms of our possessions doesn't always make us feel better, but more confused and frustrated. After a busy day at work it's nice to enter a space that allows us to feel at ease.
I've always been a little obsessed about organisation (while secretly in love with it). Keeping my home orderly helps me think clearly when things have a place and I'm not having to search all day to find something. And the kitchen, where I spend much of my time, I keep at a minimum in terms of ingredients and appliances. Having an overflowing refrigerator or pantry only leads to items going off and pushed to the back of a cupboard.
I've noticed also with my kids that their ability to make a decision on what they wish to do is easier when presented with fewer choices. Or when surrounded with fewer things. So I try to teach them to keep their belongings in order and to respect the items they have.
When our homes are free from unnecessary objects, and has an flow about it, it allows us to think more clearly. To be more productive. And provides a space for relaxation and recharging. A sanctuary of sorts.
A few ways we can achieve a home that flows and functions is to first declutter. Give away those items that really don't serve a purpose or make us feel happy. For example, that collection of cookbooks. While it's rather impressive, if half of them haven't been opened in years then what is the point in having them? A chair we repeatedly stub our toe on because it's crammed into a small space is only going to frustrate us constantly. So why have it there?
We can go through our homes with a careful eye and either get rid of, donate or loan items that don't fit our current space or serve a purpose.
Then we can organise the items we do have. Sort them into baskets, labeled boxes and jars, hung neatly in our cupboards with space allowed for easy visibility. When we take pride in the items we have and care for them then we are more likely to feel happier in our spaces, and appreciative of the items we interact with daily.
Over time our possessions accumulate. We most likely all noticed it after the recent holiday gift-giving period. So it helps to do a cull and organise every six or twelve months. To keep our spaces under control and from becoming over-cluttered. Doing a 100 item purge every so often can help keep things in order.
It might seem a little daunting and like we are wasting money when we get rid of things. But those things we let go of we rarely remember since they didn't actually mean all that much to us. And it encourages us to question and be more selective about the new items we bring into the home.
In reality we leave this earth with nothing. So why not just have those things we love around us, that we use everyday, that serve a purpose and bring pleasure. Rather that all those things that only cause us frustration, or act as a dull cloud hanging over our heads. Not to mention all that extra cleaning.
Remember, simplicity is beautiful. And freeing.