When I think of "home," I always start with a visual picture: the layout, the colors, and all the "stuff" that makes it so unique. But, of course, my real concept of home doesn't have anything to do with the physical structure or the things that sit inside it. Home is a sense of peace and rest I experience by myself and with my family. And it's the place where I nurture relationships, and build community. And if I'm doing things right, it's the place that helps me stay sane. So this year, I'm giving my home a new commitment, and all my 2017 commitments are actually New Year's resolutions for the home.
1. Deal with procrastination: Procrastination can really take the joy out most things in life. But in our homes, it can create an unthankful mindset for where we live. We all have projects we put off for days, weeks and sometimes even years. And the effect of that can be feeling behind, but also a lack of gratitude.
When we first moved into our home, we just hauled all our stuff from one country to the other, dumped it into the basement bedrooms that were out of sight, closed the doors and never looked back. Two years later, I still feel anxious when I see all the unpacked boxes and piles everywhere. No more procrastinating! We really want to focus on working on those specific spaces that bring us extra stress that we just don't need in our life.
If you are in the same boat, you know what we mean. So, come up with a game plan! Working on one room at a time, we are slowly going to clean and organize the basement bedrooms. An easy way to motivate yourself to breath new life into unused spaces is giving them a little facelift! We have plans to give three different rooms their own complete makeover this year: a new home office, an organized laundry room and a spare bedroom/playroom for the kids. We know that hitting these problem areas in the home head-on will definitely make us feel a whole lot less stressed in the long run and give us a little more gratitude for where we live.
2. Narrow down to the necessities: When you live surrounded by a lot of clutter, it's easy to overlook the details that make your house a home. It's high time we take a long look around to see what items we have that are necessary and items that have no meaning whatsoever. I really do want to live out the whole "less is more" motto and scale back...big time.
I do love to thrift and hunt for unique treasures. Though we have collected a lot of really "cool" stuff over the years, it all can feel a little overwhelming. It's time to really ditch the extra baggage around the home and do a little purging. One easy way to do this is figuring out if the object or thing has special meaning or memory. If it doesn't and you just have it because it simply looks pretty or was on sale, give it away! Having less stuff will easily put your mind at ease.
3. Out with the old, in with the new: Christmas usually means a plethora of new toys and clothes for everyone. Before taking all the new stuff out of the packages and ripping the tags off of new clothes, go around the house with a few boxes to collect old toys and clothes that haven't been touched in months. It's like the old switch-a-roo! And to help keep a little order and sanity of course.
4. Invest in people, not things: We try our best, but we are all guilty of getting sucked into this world of consumerism. All the newest decor trends, fashion trends and endless stuff to be had....just walk around your favorite local shops and boutiques and you know the feeling exactly. It's enough to make you go crazy. This year, I really want to invest in relationships rather than things. It's about being intentional with our time (and money) and investing it on loved ones and experiences, not goods.
5. A cleaning routine: Am I the only one that finds this one totally daunting? In a fast paced world, there seems to be very little time or energy left to care for the home. Which is why we probably avoid having some sort of cleaning routine or schedule, because it's just one more thing we have to do! For me, it's really about an attitude change. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I sometimes resent that looking after the home is essentially my "job." But honestly, we are so blessed to have this beautiful home and I should show a little more gratitude by taking better care of it! So you see, it's about doing a littler inner cleaning of the heart too, if you know what I mean.