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A home is just a place that provides shelter, right? Wrong! Your home is sacred space. Your home can hold you, make you feel comfortable and safe: it will nurture and inspire you. Your home longs to be a place of joy and laughter, of passion and peace. Moreover, your home is as unique as you are. It’s spring, the season of creation. It’s the time for the birds and the bees, a time of hope. You can bring all of these qualities into your home.

Step One: Setting the intention for your house.

Before you begin clearing, cleaning, fixing and doing, you need to sit down with a journal or notepad. What qualities do you want filling your house? Safety? Peace? Joyful chaos? Warmth? Hope? Creativity? What brings you comfort: a more lived in and bit disheveled look or one that is perfectly tidy with everything in its place? If your house is your safe and nurturing place, how do you want to be treated here? How will you treat others? Who will you let into your “inner sanctum” and who will be kept out? Based on these questions, what are your house rules? You might want to have a family meeting to discuss them. You might want to make a sign for the kitchen. This is an essential first step in reinventing your home.

Step Two: De-clutter.

It is time to organize and re-organize. Out with the old and out with the new. That’s right: out with the new. You can’t have sacred space clutter-filled. When in doubt, throw it out. Uh-oh. Wait. Breathe. Does the very thought of de-cluttering your home make your heart race? Let’s take small steps. You don’t have to do the whole house at once and you don’t have to do it alone. Do one room at a time. If you hate to throw out things, bring in a friend who loves to purge. They will help you to get rid of what you no longer need. Your partner can help. Your family can help. You can even hire a professional organizer, but you’d be surprised what an “orderly” friend can accomplish with your clutter. Take your “good” clutter to a thrift store. Take paper, old magazines etc. to the “flat recyclables” at your local recycle center. Hold a yard sale: your clutter and jump might be someone else’s treasure.

Step Three: Bring in plants.

Plants are a wonderful way to bring the outdoors in and introduce “live” energy into your home. Don’t go overboard as they can be expensive and will require work to keep them alive. Flowering plants, colorful plants, hardy plants—placed strategically in your house can bring warmth and aliveness to any room.

Step Four: Bring in the light

Get rid of heavy drapes. Open your shutters and blinds. Let the light shine in. Nothing feels better than having a light filled house. Maybe you need to re-paint and put up some sheer curtains that will keep your privacy but let the sunshine pour into your home….

Step Four: What does your house smell like?

Is that a bizarre question? Your sense of smell is the most powerful sense you have. A certain odor can bring back memories from 30-50 years ago. We have smells we love and those that stink. Which aromas make you feel good? The beach? Flowers? The forest? Strategically place scents (oils, candles, plug ins) throughout your house for a mild and pleasant affect. You might have to go a bit farther, however. If you have animals, the dogs might need a bath or the cat litter box might need to be cleaned and moved to a different location. You might need to clean the carpets or air out the kitchen. If you can’t tell how your house smells, ask a friend to come over. They’ll tell you. Personally, I have scents for different rooms and the seasons inspire different fragrances. I like citrus in the bathrooms. During the winter months I love starting my crockpot before I leave for work. Nothing says home to me like a kitchen filled with the aroma of delicious food.

Have fun reinventing your home in 2012. It doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. It will take time and energy—and the final product will be a home that reflects the best parts of yourself and your family.

Published in Middleburg Life. March 8, 2012

 
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Thursday, March 03, 2012 at 23:48 pm and is
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