Our homes tell the story of who we are
Homes are our little pocket of calm in this crazy world that we can call our own. A place where we can walk around in our birthday suits, lie around in bed til noon, or light a candle and create our own sanctuary. We also entertain our loved ones, sharing yummy food and creating unforgettable memories.
However, what do you do when your home doesn’t feel like you anymore? Where the decor doesn’t quite work like it used to, entertaining perhaps isn’t as enjoyable as you remember, or it just never feels neat and tidy.
Here are three tips to get you back on track when you’re feeling out of sync with your space.
1. Appreciate and acknowledge what has changed
We are always evolving and growing as humans. What has worked in the past doesn’t always mean it will work forever. We are always seeking to level up and add new interests whilst our tastes and desires change over time. It doesn’t mean that you need to buy every colour trend or pack up and move (although sometimes we do!), but more appreciating where you’ve come from and where you’re at now.
Life moves in phases. Better job. Pay increase. Pay cut. Both adults are working. Only one working in the office. Increase in pressure at work. Babies. Toddlers. Teens. Empty nesting. Adult kids moving back in. Adults kid’s partner moving in. Living apart. Moving in together. Engaged. Separated. Divorced. Widowed. Parent. Guardian. Grandparent. Carer. The list goes on and on!
Your house needs to keep up with the phases. And it’s only going to work for you if you acknowledge what is working and what isn’t. If you have a toddler running around, perhaps investing in that high-end leather couch can wait for a few years and the Ikea dupe will be a whole lot less stressful when your toddler smears their tiny chocolatey hands the side of it.
It’s okay if your stuff and home systems feel like they just don’t “work” together anymore. Life will always continue to twist, turn and challenge us.
And that’s okay. If it stayed the same, it would be pretty boring.
Think about and start appreciating what has changed. And if you can’t think of one thing, it’s probably the slow, incremental changes over time that have caused change. And it can even be just a series of postponed decisions that have led to you saying “ugh, enough!”.
2. Decide and own what phase you’re in
If you’re single, your systems are going to be different than if you’re partnered. Ditto if you have a pooch (or two!) versus a goldfish.
If you have young kids, your decor is going to have pops of bright, gaudy colours from their toy collection. Kids love their colourful toys so only going for the pastel, muted tones is not only pushing a cart uphill but probably not the battle you need to win. You can choose to win the war and have a handy system to pack the toys away when you want to have your adult space back.
As change is often incremental, we often fail to take a step back and see what has changed. It may be that your job has changed or the number of heartbeats under one roof has expanded or shrunk.
Take time to see what no longer works in your household and what you really need to do in order to create more flow moving forward. So often we hold onto old habits and items because we think we might need them someday or the memory attached to them. But when you say no to one thing, you leave room to say yes to something else.
If it makes sense for you, give your phase a label. Owning where you’re at, even though more change WILL come, means you can better address the issues and what needs to change now. It’s a common tale to plan 5 years in advance, but forgettin to stop a appreciate what would make us happy now. 5 years does go quick, but if you look at it or use it everyday, its a slow burn. Draw the line between now and what you can change in the future.
Decide to stop relying on old systems and keeping stuff that no longer serves you. Stop hoping for “one-day” in the future and start creating the home you want and need in the present.
3. Ready to change? Plan what needs to change starting with the things that bug you the most
Humans often don’t make changes until the pain tip us over the edge into action. Ever thought “I wish I had done this years ago!” or “Why did no one tell me it would be so hard?”.
But it doesn’t have to happen that way.
You can decide to make a change now, even if the pain is only at 80%, but on a clear trajectory to 100%.
Take a look around your home and write down the things that bug you the most.
If the change requires money, note down how much it will cost, even if it’s an estimate.
If the change requires time, put down an estimate and plan when you can fit it in.
If the change requires getting other household members on board, plan how you will win them over.
Stop dreaming and plan your goals for your home.
Put the list on your fridge or somewhere you can see it clearly and usually. Then, tick things off as you complete them. It will give you a visual reminder of your progression. I keep mine in a Google spreadsheet and just keep ticking things off and adding to the list over time.
Now, prioritise. What annoys you the most? And then note down on that list the easiest items to change first. This will be specific to your home, budget, time, and family.
The answers are within you. You know what you want. You probably just haven’t asked the question in a long time or put together an action plan that tells your brain “we’re doing this!”.
Get some quick wins on the board and start implementing the easy changes. What’s easy for one person is hard for another, so do what feels right for you. The main thing is that you are off the couch and actually creating the home you want to live in. Not what you thought you needed, what you did need a year ago, or what you think you will need in 5-10 years.
Even if you have neglected your home for years, there are always plenty of small changes you can make to feel better. Declutter your clothes. Clear out and clean under the sink. Buy pegs that don’t break all the time. Wash the windows. Strip the decor of one tone or colour. Rearrange the furniture. Chuck the broken toys. Put contact frosting on your bathroom window. Hang your artwork. Ditch the threadbare towels you no longer use.
To get started doesn’t have to be a huge, life-altering change. Baby steps will give you back your power and get the momentum started.
For larger investments, write down the changes, prioritise them and add them as a line item into your budget. That way they are real and you can see them every time you look at your budget. Get quotes for reno’s, Google product reviews, research colour palettes and interior design. You can even hire an interior designer to put a mood board together for you. Create that dream pantry you have been wanting for years. Get matching coathangers to make your wardrobe look amazing.
Your home will always be changing as you change too, and as life moves through its phases. Some good, some bad, and some just hard.
But if you can make a promise to yourself that you will always make sure your home makes you happy, then that’s the kind of self-love that actually works. You have to decide to make the change (the hardest bit) and then make the effort. Even if it’s small at the start. Your soul will thank you.
1. Acknowledge what has changed – what isn’t working in your home anymore and why?
2. Own what phase you’re in – what needs to change to make this home feel ah-mazing? Or even just less annoying?
3. Keep the version of your home up to date with the version of you. Plan. Create a list. Implement. Repeat.
Decide to make a change and create a home you love to live in. Today.
I hope this has helped you even if it’s one, tiny thing from this post.
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