Our house and our home is the base from which we leave and return to each day. It is where we rest and sleep each night. Where we cook our meals and where we raise our families. So, we could say, it has a very important role to play in our lives. But do we honour it that way? Do we recognise the importance it has in our everyday lives…and therefore how it has the potential to greatly support or greatly hinder us? Living with a sense of flow and simplicity has huge benefits on our physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being. And so how we set up and live within our homes supports this on every level. More often than not we live our lives depending on the space we have – if we have rooms we fill them with stuff, and we move around rooms as and when, statistically only actually using 40% of our homes. Seldom do we create our space to fit with our lives first and foremost – thinking about how we live and what we actually need and love. We have bought into the world of consumerism and our houses are bulging with purchases, hand me downs, sentimental items and much, much more. We are spending hundreds upon thousands of dollars on keeping hold of our ‘stuff’, be that out of town storage, a bigger home to house our things, additional insurance, the list goes on. It wasn’t always this way, but it has become our norm and as such we accept it this way. Is it possible for you to imagine a life with… LESS stuff, clutter, stress, debt, discontent, fewer distractions MORE time, meaningful relationships, contentment, growth Would you choose this way if asked this simply? I am sure many would rely YES! And it really is that simple. Ask yourself if your home is filled with only things that bring you joy? “How can my can opener bring me joy?” I hear you cry. Well this exercise allows you space to develop your levels of awareness and appreciation for everyone and everything around you. By stopping and taking a moment to value the role of everything in your life you may see things in a whole new light. Perhaps the can opener was a gift from your favourite aunty and makes you smile every time you see it. Perhaps actually you hate this can opener, it never properly worked…so why not evaluate what would be the perfect can opener for you and treat yourself, rather than get frustrated every time you use this one? Perhaps you just love the can opener because it means you can open your favourite tin of tuna – and that definitely brings joy. Any which way or reason, we can actually discern whether these items have a clear and present purpose in our life and wether they are supporting us to feel joyful in the way we live within our homes. So how do we go deeper and support our homes to support us? Here’s a little checklist of activities to set you off on your way…
Let go of the things you think, or have been told and sold that you need, that in fact you may never have needed and are taking up valuable real-estate in your homes.
Be honest about how you live and what you use. Open your eyes to see how you move within your home and the objects that you use.
Choose and surround yourself with things that you love, and I mean truly love. Things that bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Reconnect to what is really important to you.
Enjoy life and your surroundings more by appreciating the simplest things in life. The washing machine that humbly and persistently does its job each and every time that you ask it to clean your clothes so that you may go out into the world clean and fresh. The nail scissors that make sure your touch is smooth as you gently stroke your son’s head as he sleeps on your lap. The list goes on. In this deep appreciation we begin to love our things more and in turn this feeds us back.
Treat everything with the same level of care and respect as you would treat your most favourite person, animal, pair of sneakers, whatever it may be.
Sew on that button that’s been missing for a couple of months, perhaps even years, now. Throw out the frayed jumper the dog chewed that you only wear in secret on Sundays. Make yourself a cup of tea in the best china that normally only comes out at Christmas.
When we start to look after ourselves and our homes in this way life gets simpler and we get to enjoy the ‘more’ list.
Statistically, people spend 55 minutes a day looking for things they’ve misplaced or cannot find. This could instead be spent with our loved ones.
The desk that was piled with to dos and unpaid bills now seems strangely inviting and the clarity in your head (that was previously taken with a plethora of negative thinking) now paves the way for the latest novel to flow.
The button that has been sewn on that cardigan now means that you will pair it with the dress that has also been hanging redundant in your wardrobe for what seems like a lifetime.
A new lease of life will unfold and you will feel refreshed and anew opening up space and time for all the things you have been putting off.
You will be more conscious when you purchase items now and this in turn gives you more money in your pocket for other things you never dreamt you could afford.
Taking care of your things leads to a life of true abundance, one where you feel more empowered and one where others will see and feel the shifts too. Small steps with huge ripple effects. It can seem overwhelming to face head on the ‘mess’ we have created, or what suddenly seems like the ‘chaos’ we are living in. It can be pretty daunting to feel the choices we have made, the energy and time we have spent creating the distractions, the money we have spent, etc. For others it may seem like a walk in the park…just a few pockets in which we could turn our efforts to – our filing system may need updating, our photos on our smartphones need sorting through, etc. Wherever you feel you lie on the scale of order, flow and appreciation within yourselves and your home, there is always time and space to go deeper. Starting somewhere is the best policy. The ripples in a pool only come once the pebble has been thrown. Begin with your sock draw, the cutlery draw, the bits and pieces draw. One step at a time. Before you know it you will be embracing yourself, your home, your space and the things you have chosen. You will be supporting yourself to live all of you all of the time.