It's amazing how just one habit can be formed in a matter of weeks, and how a combination of good habits can set you on track for wholeness, health, and a better life altogether! These habits typically begin being practiced in our home, and overflow to our life outside of home, but how do we set ourselves up for success? Or better yet, how do we set up our homes for success? I would like to propose that our home is the very first place that affects our life and our well-being. Over the last 8 years of serving the residential community through interior design, I have found that even though everyone wants a beautifully styled home, only few know how to maintain it. After a good month of "breaking it in", I realized that my clients were struggling to find their new way of living in a home I designed to be practical and beautiful but would find old decor mixed up with the new decor on the now cluttered surfaces. Something was missing. That's when I realized that having a beautiful home is more than just having a well-styled home; it's about the daily nurture of our safe haven and knowing how to sustain it. Having to work on this myself ever since sharing a home with my husband and 2 young children, I wish I would have known back then what I know now. This is what I would share with all of my clients, friends, family and anyone who is wanting a beautiful, sustainable home... it all starts with your daily habits. Below you will find just five simple yet effective habits that can help you get on track to having the home you love and the home you can maintain without feeling overwhelmed!
1. The habit of making your bed. A good start to your day is a good start to your home+life! Making your bed sets the tone for the rest of the day; it's disciplining yourself to get in the habit of routine. Making your bed not only increases your focus and organization, but also helps promote better sleep and deeper relaxation. It also creates a sense of accomplishment first thing, which is crucial to starting a productive day. It's no wonder why all successful people are so successful! Coming back to a bed that's made at the end of the day will be a site for sore eyes, making your safe haven bedroom so much more relaxing and rejuvenating. I don't know about you, but there's something about getting into bed when the sheets and comforter are pulled back neatly and the pillows are perfectly positioned!
2. The habit of setting limits. This is one habit I tend to struggle with if I'm not careful! I will bite off more than I can chew in a day and then go to bed feeling unaccomplished and discouraged. Or I will start laundry, without realizing that I cannot finish it the same day because of other commitments. I'm learning to live with more intentionality these days and prioritize 1-3 things I can accomplish each day, knowing what I have ahead of time. If I can't finish laundry the same day or next day (depending on the number of loads), I will plan for a day to get it done. I know this may not be for everyone, but knowing myself, I operate better when I can finish something I started in a reasonable time. Because I know my weaknesses are in these areas, it's taking some time to get in the habit, but over time it will be easier. Giving yourself limits is a good preventative from overwhelming yourself later. I know it's sometimes easier to buy more upfront and return later, put the dishes away later, or even clean up the toys tomorrow because you're so tired to do so, but all those "laters" will add up more over time that will add up to more of your precious time and energy.
3. The habit of being tidy. I'm not talking about being Marie Kondo tidy if that's too overwhelming. Start small, like making the habit of having your clothes in either 3 places... your closet, your laundry basket, or your laundry room. Anything left on the floor will always have your room feeling messy and cluttered, and may pile up for more work later that you don't want! Keep the counter tops to a bare minimum of what you use daily... knives, cutting boards, minimal coffee appliances, a bowl of fruit, and maybe a small plant for decor. Countertops are easy gathering spots for mail, dirty dishes, kids homework, knick knacks and more! The kitchen is one of the (if not most) used room in the entire house. Can it be that cooking and doing the dishes might be more enjoyable if the kitchen was the least cluttered space? Frequent tidying leads to a clear space and mind.
4. The habit of planning your week for meals, self care & cleaning. If I don't have space in my week to plan, then I'm too busy doing the wrong things. Without the habit of planning, I am aimlessly going through my days, and wondering why I'm not getting done the things I wanted to get done. I'm still mastering this, but want to know my secret so far? I planned specific days for when I'm going to plan my specific days. Saturdays are my cleaning days. Sundays are my meal planning days, and Wednesdays and Sundays are my extra self-care days (I try to have at least 1 self care routine daily). I find that if I have these 3 maintained every week, I am happier, clear headed, and am more present, rather than thinking of what else I have to do when I'm with my loved ones. Plus my husband is happier because he knows what is going to be put on the table for dinner. My life is very full and I like it that way, but if my life gets fuller at the rate it's going, I'm not going to be able to maintain everything in my life if I don't get ahead of it, especially with 2 kids under 2!
5. The habit of purging. This is one of my most favorite habits. I love it because it is the easiest way for me to feel accomplished. I don't have to go through my whole closet to get the satisfaction of purging. In fact, if I just get rid of 1 thing a day as I go about my day, I have reached my goal. Purging just 1 thing a day gets me in the mindset of a clear space, clear mind, and it really does work! When I'm looking to get rid of 1 thing, it usually doesn't just stop at 1 thing, but ends up with 3-5 things easy! Whether I'm going through my closet, refrigerator, kids toys/books, or bathroom drawers, I always have my eyes open to what I don't need and what I can give away or toss. This is one habit that I love sharing with my interior design clients because it really does set up our homes and lives for success! It's harder to feel relaxed when there is excess. Another rule of thumb I like to keep in mind is "one thing in, one thing out". Whether it's with clothes, new toys for the kids, makeup or necessities, it's always refreshing to help ourselves appreciate the things we do keep, and the 1 item per day challenge can help with that!
As these habits form into routines, my wish for you is that your home+life would be free and full of joy and ease, inspiring a new way of living in your home. Creating healthy habits aren't always easy, as they take intentionality, consistency, and dedication, but it is of upmost importance to get you to the life YOU want to live, and the best day to start is today! Even if it's one new habit you would like to introduce, it's never too late and it's never too small!