Updated: Dec 5, 2019
We are so busy these days! I really don't think there was that much to do when I was a kid, but nowadays it seems like are so many extra-curricular activities to sign up for that every day can be jammed packed. So how can we create a home environment that is a welcome retreat and why is it so important?
Creating a home environment that is peaceful can do wonders for your overall well-being. When you are calm you are more centered. You can think clearly. You are more patient. You are more kind. You breathe deeper. Your heart beats slow and steady. It's quiet. You can be a better mom, dad, sister, brother, child.
The opposite of calm would be chaotic. In a chaotic environment you are stressed. You are quick tempered. You are quick to judge or misinterpret situations. You are impatient. Your heart races and your breathing gets shallow. It's loud.
You can see why as a mom, it's so important for your family to introduce a sense of calm in your home. It creates a better place for your kids to do their homework, a place to read, play games, cooperate, learn, share and grow. Calm is great for relationships. It allows you the space to think before you react. Calm is peace and we all want that. Kind of like that Calgon commercial from years ago -this lady has in her head all the chaotic stuff of the day and it just melts away while she is bath. And there are simple ways to create a calm atmosphere at home that doesn't require you being in a tub all day!
I talked about these ways on episode 1 briefly but let's discuss them each a little deeper.
1) De-clutter and organize your space
Let's look at 2 different scenarios. Imagine You and your family have a busy Saturday planned with 2 different soccer games for 2 of your kids. You rush out of the house in the morning, head to the games, the kids play well and then head back home for some much needed lunch before you head out for your evening plans.
Scenario 1 - you drive up to the house, walk in the door only to watch the kids remove their shoes and jackets and drop them on the floor or on the large pile overflowing on the coat rack in the corner. How does this make you feel?
Scenario 2 - you drive up to the house, walk in the door and there is an organized closet or cubbies or a mud room and there's a place for the shoes, maybe it's a basket or two, or maybe it's on a shoe rack. you get the idea. How do you feel now? I feel calm. When there is a place for everything and it's orderly it's just less stressful on everyone. If you are organized , When you come home or when you leave you won't be running around the house trying to find things. Where are your shoes? where is your backpack? where is your uniform? because everything has it's place.
You don't need to have a large space either - just think about your routine when you come in and leave the house. There are so many cool storage options these days, you can utilize a closet or buy a piece of furniture that acts like a closet.
Same goes for de-cluttering around your home. Imagine if you walked in and had a nice desk or table that was always cleared off - so you can drop your mail and your handbag. rather than having to toss it in the corner on the floor or bring it into the kitchen. To start I would recommend tackling it room by room rather than being overwhelmed about having to declutter and organize the whole house. If you start in the entry or the mudroom or garage entrance - wherever you first come into the house - start there. And then tackle the kitchen or the master bedroom. You will be amazed at how much more calm you will feel when these spaces are a bit more organized. And it might just take a little purging of the stuff that you don't need that you've accumulated. You can donate these items and feel good about helping others in need while at the same time creating a healthier space at home!
2) Decorate with calming colors
I recently did a blog post that talks about this and shows you examples of colors. So you can go to my website www.luxlivingsocal.com to see what I'm talking about here. But basically pale blues, greens and neutrals are calming. It may have to do with the fact that these colors remind us of what is in nature: water, trees, sky, clouds, grass. Using pale shades of these colors have shown to have a calming effect on the mind. When I say pale though, I don't mean pastel. It's important to use grey or browns to ground the colors you select so they aren't as intense, using these two colors significantly subdues their hues and is a much more refined and classic approach to color especially for walls. Of course if it's a kid's room or a play room where your intention is active play, then perhaps using a bright color on a feature wall or using a pale version of a bright color is a good idea. But if your intention is to create a calmer space, then it's important to choose from the grey or brown palette of colors. And if you are trying to match bedding for example or furnishings - and let's say they have brighter accents... it's totally OK for those to not match exactly, in fact it will look way better if they don't. Just be sure that the tone of the colors match.
3) Use natural materials in your furnishings and decor
You might wonder why this would be calming, but we are all connect to nature. Whether you are spiritual or not, being outdoors in nature, seeing the water, trees, flowers blooming, smelling the fresh clean air... it's all wonderful for our sense of being. It's calming to our soul. In episode 1 & 4 we talked about getting rid of toxic products in your home... well it's usually synthetic products that are toxic. Natural products are good for us - use natural fabrics when possible. linen. cotton. jute. sisal. wool there are so many wonderful fabrics that are made from natural sources that keep that connection to nature in our homes. That's why they are timeless. They are classic and will always be in style.
So remember, If you can bring a little bit of the outside in, you are creating a more peaceful place.
4) Bring in some household plants
Again the reason we are drawn to plants in general is our connection to the earth. For my friends who don't like houseplants, I would imagine that it's not that they don't like plants, it's the anxiety they get because they believe they can't care for the plants so they don't want them. If you are one of those people, I would encourage you to go to a nursery and talk with someone about what the easiest plant would be to have in your home. There are several to choose from and you can start with one! or two! Even just 2 plants will add so much life to your decor and also provide a sense of calm to your space. Plants literally take in our CO2 and they push out Oxygen, so they are cleaning the air in our homes too.
5) Showcase meaningful pieces of art or photographs that spark joy
Ok we talked a little bit about your entry and imagined what it feels like to walk into an organized space. Now imagine your favorite photo of your kids is hanging there on the wall. Or the art piece you and your husband bought on vacation is the first thing you see. It brings a smile to your face! So even though you are going to de-clutter, try and think of places where you CAN display or hang meaningful photographs, art or objects. Doing this makes you feel good and that has a calming effect on your mind as well. And if you haven't yet seen Marie Kondo and her Netflix series Tidying Up. It's great - she's the one who talks about keeping items that spark joy.
When you start to incorporate some of these changes, don't be too surprised when it affects the whole family! Especially little kids. They are so impressionable and are like sponges soaking up the positive and negative energy around them.
So when you create a peaceful positive atmosphere for them, get ready for them to reflect that calm nature right back at you! It might take a little bit of planning and work to do all of these things, but believe me it will make you feel so good. I just finally organized my office. I had been putting it off knowing I was going to paint so it was an unorganized mess for weeks. Now that it's painted and I've taken the time to file away the papers and organize everything it's so much more of a pleasure to work in there! And I've found that my family will even sometimes sit in there with me. Which is nice!
I hope you found this blog post to be helpful! If you'd like to learn more about other simple ways you can create a healthier home click here to see more blog posts or check out my NEW Podcast: Blooming! A Healthy Home by Design