I am very fortunate to have an intelligent and loving man in my life who reads my blogs. Since the “hearth and home” is primarily my domain, he keeps me grounded and provides feedback on keeping my writing relatable and real.
“It always comes back to space…”, he commented after reading last week’s piece about introversion and extroversion. And he’s right.
Our lives are lived in some type of space, be it our homes, offices, schools, stores, and even our cars for those of us in the carpool age group. We crawl out of our most private sleeping spaces into our family kitchens and out into the world of our clients and co-workers. We even ask a grumpy person if they “got up on the wrong side of the bed”.
Our environments have enormous impact on our moods, our relationships, and our productivity – and yet we tend to take our spaces for granted or ignore them entirely.
We breeze through our homes, muttering about the endless caretaking tasks. We curse the ugly wallpaper in the bedroom. We don’t open the drawer in the kitchen for fear of what might jump out. We grit our teeth and bare the fluorescent light and noisy office mate. We grab things off the messy store shelves in a hurry to get home and start the cycle over again.
There are a million books and resources out there that talk about the energy that objects in our environments hold, and an entire industry that is built on the ancient art of feng shui. Some of it sounds like new age nonsense, and yet in my experience there is a lot of truth to it as well.
I have found that a well-ordered and decorated space makes me feel calmer and more productive. I also know that a disorganized and chaotic space instantly overwhelms me and drags me down. This effect multiplies when it is a space that I have to walk through every day.
A few years ago, I noticed that when I came home from work I already felt exhausted before I even made it into the house. I expected to feel uplifted and relieved to be in my own space with my family, and that wasn’t happening. It finally dawned on me that I was entering every day through the ugliest and most disorganized space in my house – the dumping ground for all things homeless – the garage.
It didn’t take much to clean up the entry – a little paint on the door, a couple of bright baskets for storage, and a cheery wreath – and we had a welcoming transition from the outside world to home again.
It seems like we often spend our money on guest entrances and spaces, but pay little attention to the things that say home to our very nearest and dearest.
There are lots of little things that we can all do to make our spaces feel more personal and special. I use all natural cleaning products because they smell great and make routine cores feel like a little treat. I also make sure that in each room of my house there is an object of beauty where I can rest my eyes and take a breath when I need an energy boost – a small statue on my fireplace, a graceful photo in the kitchen, a vase of flowers in the bedroom, and a simple stone in my office.
This can be incorporated into your kid’s rooms, your office, and even your car. If you own a business, great displays and windows along with special touches in your entry will surely bring in customers as well as energize your employees. Uplifting scents, special photographs or momentos, and a clean organized space will make all the difference in the world.