Peace by Simplifying Your Home

“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms.”~ J.R. Miller

With all the noise and busyness that fills our days at work and beyond, our home should be our sanctuary – a place where we can return to, to renew our mind, body, and spirit. If your home is cluttered and chaotic, the moment you walk in the door, you will feel that clutter internally too .You don’t have to get rid of everything you own but simplifying your home is a terrific way to create a more peaceful internal landscape.

After my ex-husband left I moved from room-to-room clearing out his stuff. I was on a mission to remove all the hurt and pain of a destructive marriage. But once I started on this task I found that simplifying my environment was very liberating and very calming. The less knick-knacks and clutter that filled the room the happier and freer I felt.

So how do you start the process of simplifying when it all seems so HUGE? Start small and focus your energies on one room at a time. I’d suggest that you sit quietly in the room and see where you attention it pulled. Then dedicate just 10-15 minutes to de-clutter. If you are starting with a drawer or cupboard, dump everything out and then evaluate each item before you put back in. I find it works best to have two bags or boxes close by- one for garbage and one for donating to the goodwill store. Don’t think too much about the item as you hold it. Let your intuition guide you on what to keep and what to toss.

Some items may be hard to get rid of even if you haven’t used them. Often we keep items because of the emotional connection to them.  But you don’t have to keep the item to keep the memory. Why not photograph the item to enjoy later?

If you are unsure about an item you may want to put it in a separate box and store it down in the basement or in a closet. I do this with the toys that my daughter has outgrown. If we put it away and she doesn’t ask for the toy in six months then we give it away to a new home.

Dedicate just minutes every night for a week to simplifying and you will be amazed how much you can get down. (I find it helps to have a glass of red wine and some good tunes to keep the motivation going.)

Once you start seeing the rewards of your work you may want to devote a larger amount of time to this home improvement project. I recently spent a full day creating calm in my home office. I took everything out, (even my desk) and then with an empty room evaluated everything that I put back in. Streamlining the clutter in my office opened up the space to once again be a place of inspiration and joy for me.

Creating a system to maintain your clutter free space is vital or you will end up with chaos all over again. Simple things like having a beautiful container at the front door for keys, baskets to tuck away receipts, and hooks for hats, all help maintain the order and the peace.

Once you are done streamlining your first room remember to stop and celebrate your success. This is such an important part of life and not one that is paid enough attention to. Take the time to revel in your accomplishment. Now sit back, breathe deep, and feel the peace soak in!

With light, love and adventure,