Nest: Day 70
Seven ways to turn your house into a sanctuary.
It was almost a week ago that we first talked about turning your house into a sanctuary. I wanted to start your third month with that idea in mind, because even though we’ll be working our asses off getting downright down and dirty to get some domestic order, it’s all because we want to end up with a sanctuary: a place that’s going to feed our creative selves.
We worked on the entry first because many of you are going to find it easier to justify working on public places of your house. You would have thought I was crazy if I told you beautifying that hellish spot under your bathroom sink would change your life.
But I do want to suggest that the places that will eventually make the biggest difference to us psychologically might just be the parts of our homes that no one will ever see. We’ll find out. I certainly don’t know for sure; I’m on this journey along with you.
I do know for certain that it should be you, yourself, that you’re trying to please; I want you to be happy when you walk in the front door after yet another mind-numbing day out in the world.
Here are seven ideas to help turn your home into a sanctuary:
1. Get rid of everything that isn’t used frequently and doesn’t have personal meaning. If you’re surrounded by things that speak to you— items you have a history with, art from your travels, antiques from your grandparents—your house will be buzzing with good energy. If, on the other hand, your house is filled with stuff you bought just because it was on sale, or things you keep because you don’t feel you deserve better, or stuff you inherited or got as gifts and never particularly liked…it’s time to edit.
2. Turn off the television and turn on the music. I’m a news program fan and tend to watch while I’m prepping dinner. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes the news is all bad, and the pall seeps into your sanctuary. If this happens to you, or if you’ve been watching the kind of television that makes drama of crime and other unhappy subjects, maybe it’s time to take a break. Turn on music. Music creates mood; the drone of the TV doesn’t. Music makes your brain happy; TV makes your brain dull.
3. Do the worst domestic to-do first and get it over with. If you’ve only been doing your worst-item-first in your work life, carry it over to your domestic life. If you can, get that worst household thing done before you leave in the morning. This is also one of the reasons we do 3H, half-assed housekeeping hour, on Mondays. Then for the rest of the week, our homes feel a little more welcoming.
4. One in; one out. The transition to a cluttered instead of comfortable home can sometimes happen quite gradually…until all of a sudden one day you find yourself overwhelmed. That’s why it’s a good idea to stick to the rule of “One in–one out.” Bring in a new pair of shoes and donate an old pair of shoes. Buy a new frying pan, give away an old frying pan. If you need to do a major purge, go ahead and then after all that work, stick religiously to one-in one-out. Or, you can purge gradually by instituting a one-in-three-out rule.
5. Create a buffer zone. To make your house into the perfect nest, you need to feel insulated. Whenever you can, turn off the answering machine, forsake the computer, and turn off your cell phone. Curl up with a book instead.
6. Orchids, orchids, orchids. I believe in having a house filled with healthy foliage, flowering plants, and vases of fresh flowers. These are little affordable luxuries you deserve.
7. The horizontal clear. The fastest way to make your house feel more relaxing, I think, is to do a quick clear of all horizontal surfaces. If your tables, counters, and floors are clear, you’ll instantly relax. But of course there’s no rule that says you can’t then stash a big pile of mags and books on the coffee table, lie on the couch, grab a glass of vino, and take advantage of the sanctuary you’ve created.
Nest Month 3
What to do so far:
In case you missed a day, the reminders below are clickable.
Make your house your sanctuary.
Don’t let The Angel bedevil you.
Evaluate your entry.
Use the entry clearing checklist.
Try feng shui entry cures.
Once clean, don’t reclutter.
Decorate your front porch and entryway.
Try a few of the 7 ways to make your home a sanctuary.