Friday, March 1, 2013

Home - A Sanctuary

Home.  The word evokes many images of comfort and warmth.  Above all, home should be our sanctuary, a soft place to fall when the world is cold and hard, a refuge from our troubles. Is your home like that?  In this series, we will explore different ways to make our house (or apartment or condo) a true home.

First, we'll explore some physical ways to make our house a home, then we'll move on to the deeper psychological underpinnings of what makes a home a real home.

First, a disclaimer.  I am by no means perfect, or even close, in this area.  I got married and moved two years ago and still have some unpacked boxes.  There are things to be tossed and donated.  Cleaning is one of those things that I plan to do and then life gets in the way.  So I expect to learn right alongside everybody else about how to do it better.

One of the most basic things that we can do to make our homes more comfortable is to declutter.  Clutter not only takes up physical space but also takes up mental space.  It's just hard to relax in a cluttered place. But decluttering is always difficult because there are other things to do, like jobs, taking care of children and husbands, pets, and regular daily upkeep of your living quarters.  De-cluttering seems like such a huge project that would take an even huger amount of time that just isn't available.  You know those home improvement shows where the organizing expert gets a person's home filed and cleaned up and put neatly away all in one or two days?  Well, they have a lot of extra hands to help out!  Hey, I could do that too if I had nothing but free time all weekend and a whole bunch of people to order around!

But most of us don't have either of those.  So, what should we do?

I recently heard a person say "Do the hardest thing first".  It makes sense.  A person uses a lot of mental energy trying not to think about that Thing that needs to be done but keeps getting put off.  Just think how much freer you will feel once that Big Thing is done!

But finding time to do it is hard.  Very hard.  But here is what I try to do.  I try to give just 15 minutes a day to the Big Thing.  I may not finish everything, but I will get something done, and usually more than I think I will, and still have time to cook (and clean up -but that's a different post) dinner. 

Right now my Big Thing is finishing putting away Christmas decorations.  Seriously.  Some health problems sidelined me earlier this year and I'm way behind, even for me.  But I'm determined to get this done before Easter, which is coming up at an earlier time than usual this year.  (Story of the year from a floor's viewpoint - pine needles, Easter grass, regular grass, mud, snow, pine needles again!)

So, what is your Big Thing that you need to get done?  Can you work on it in 15 minute chunks every day?  Of course, we know it really can't be done every day.  Life happens. But if you can work on it most days, that's good.  That's very good.


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Suzanne said...

Thank you! I hope you enjoy future posts as well.