The environments we inhabit can impact the way we feel tremendously. The items we interact with daily. The comfort of the pieces we choose. The functionality of our spaces. When we feel in harmony with our home it can bring us a great sense of ease and source of inspiration.
Many of us think we need more to create this. And I will admit, having a certain amount of possessions does help us go about our daily life effectively. And can create a warm and comforting atmosphere. But I don't think we need to be extremely wealthy to create a space that we love to be in.
It's finding a balance between having enough and not living in excess.
If we live with barely anything, our home can feel cold and sterile. If we have too much, it can cause frustration and cloud our minds. We can have a house filled with possessions. But if those items serve no real purpose, or don't bring us joy, then what is the point? It's just more objects to maintain and keep clean. Which equates to more stress and poor use of our time.
When it comes to creating a home environment it helps to consider the following:
1. How would like your home to feel?
For me I would like it to feel welcoming. Stylish but accomodating life as it is actually lived. So not a museum. I would like it to tell a story of our journey, without the clutter. Showing snippets without displaying the complete historical timeline. I'd like it to feel comfortable. Homely. But minimal and functional. To have a connection with nature. To have a sense of flow. And more than anything I would like it to feel calm and serene. A place that I can recharge and move freely.
So how would you like your home to feel? Asking yourself that question can help you visualise a space that you are naturally drawn to.
2. What can you let go of that no longer serves a purpose?
What items are sitting there on the off chance that you 'might' use them at some point? Chances are if a few years have gone by and they haven't been used or worn, that you're most likely not going to use them for another few years, if ever.
Are there furniture pieces that block the flow of your home that really don't need to be there?
Are there pieces that are too far beyond repair?
Decide what you can let go of and let it go. Trash, donate or sell them. Or loan them to friends and family if it's a space issue in your current home but you will still use them when you move into a larger property.
Learn to detach yourself from possessions. I have cut back on many occasions. And try to do it a couple times a year. It helps to not allow myself too much time to think about the items I'm considering parting with. The more we do the more we give our ourselves a chance to talk us into keeping it. And we get nowhere.
Remember, in the end we leave this earth with nothing. What items do you want to surround yourself with everyday? That will be used regularly. And that you enjoy.
Everything else is just clutter. And will clutter your mind.
3. Organise what you do have
Maintaining a well organised space can really help us go about our everyday activity smoothly. And with ease. Keep piles of plates stacked neatly according to their size. Give them space. Jar the grains we use weekly and display them neatly. Allow an area for that pile of books we love and refer to often. Hang neatly those pieces we wear weekly that help us feel comfortable and confident. Keep your office desk tidy. And allocate time weekly to keep it in check. The same goes for email accounts or backing up files.
When we rid ourselves of unnecessary items, and treat the remaining items with respect, it helps us feel grateful for what we have and encourages us to care for them. When we have used them to the point of them falling apart and no longer functioning, then replace it. Treat the new piece with care and respect.
4. Curate with care
We all have those pieces that tell the story of our lives. Whether it's stones or shells collected from walks on beaches with a loved one. Or pictures of our family and adventures abroad. Drawings from our children that they felt so proud bringing home to show us. It's hard not to hold onto all these things that meant something to us at one point or another.
But let's face it, if we hold onto everything that means something, then over the years our homes would be floor to ceiling with memorabilia. We'd become hoarders.
Decide which pieces you want to look at each day, that reflect the personalities of yourself and your family, and display them with care. Find a nice jar to hold your collection of stones and shells and position it on a display shelf with other items you love. If it's at the point of overflowing, narrow them down to your absolute favourites. And part with those that aren't. Frame your family photos. And store the others carefully. Rotate them from time-to-time to keep the gallery wall fresh. That trophy collection from way back - choose the one you love the most and tells the story of how hard you worked to earn it, display it proudly, and let go of the others that are less than memorable.
We want our home to feel like it represents who we are. To reflect our personality and what we enjoy in life. After all, we spend much of our time in this space. So it's nice to feel inspired. It also needs to be a place to unwind and relax in. So curating with care can help us achieve a nice balance.
5. Repeat on a yearly basis
Over time things will accumulate. And our interests may change. So making a point of doing a yearly declutter can help keep things in check. Just like how we maintain our bodies, our physical environments need equal care and attention. And evolve over time.
Maintaining our home environment can help us feel in control of our lives, calmer, and will allow us more time to spend in more productive and enjoyable ways.