‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ – William Morris
A while back we talked about how clearing physical clutter can also help clear the clutter in our minds. At the time, I’d just read Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ and I was experimenting with her idea of tidying by category and only keeping things which bring me joy. If you haven’t read my previous post, the link is here Clear the Clutter.
The quote by William Morris follows a similar principle, although a less extreme one. If we are able to live by this philosophy, our homes or personal space should be a place where we feel calm, content, relaxed and safe. If we are able to achieve this, our levels of anxiety should decrease. Rather than Marie’s idea of reducing the things you own to a minimum, Morris advocates the idea that everything you own should enhance your way of life. If you were to imagine your dream home, what would you see?
Feeling comfortable and safe in your space can also help you feel at ease in the world. You can freely express your identity, whether that be religious, spiritual or cultural. We have all spent so much more time in our homes as a result of the pandemic and, for many, home has become a sanctuary.
It doesn’t matter whether your space is a 10 bedroom mansion all to yourself or you share a bedroom in a busy home, the point is that the space immediately around you, should be somewhere that you feel calm and relaxed and not stressed and anxious. Reducing mess and clutter in your home helps you feel calmer and makes life easier too as you won’t be stressing about where something is when you need it.
To see whether your home is helping or hindering your anxiety levels, try asking yourself the following questions:
Do you feel relaxed at home? If the answer is no, try to think about why? Is there something simple you could change?
Clutter is never relaxing whether it’s a room full of junk or just ‘stuff’ left on the table. So if your surfaces are looking cluttered, that could be a good place to start.
Or maybe it’s the room decor? Walls too dark maybe? Could you paint a wall a different colour? Add some bright scatter cushions or buy a new rug or picture?
Does your home feel like yours? Does it reflect your personality? Do you smile when you come home? If not, what could you do to make it more personal to you?
Does your space smell nice? There are some gorgeous reed diffusers and candles available or simply throw open the windows and let the fresh air in?
What things do you treasure most? Do they have pride of place or are they hidden away? If you have something you love, no matter what it is, put it on display. Enjoy it.
Could you let in more natural light? Maybe you need to move a piece of furniture that blocks the window or change heavy curtains for lightweight ones?
Does your home have a connection to nature? If not, could you buy a house plant or move your favourite chair so that it’s angled to look out of the window? Maybe put a vase of hand picked flowers on the table or buy one of those bird houses that stick on your window? Connecting to nature is good for the soul and brings with it a sense of peace and calmness.
The idea is that by making our personal space calm, bright and meaningful, we ease any anxieties we are feeling. Surrounding ourselves with things which make us smile, as well as natural light and links to the natural world, can only be a good thing.
So this week, have a look around your personal space. Do you feel relaxed? Is there something you could do to make your space feel more like you? What’s your tiny tweak going to be?
Until next time xx
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