You just need to keep the right stuff...
We all want a joyful home where we feel at home and where guests feel welcomed and comfortable. Our homes easily become a storage locker for our things. When that happens the clutter takes the place of joy, relaxation and peace.
De-cluttering a home is the start to creating a joyful home. In this article you will find eight essential ways to make your home more joyful and less cluttered. Use these nine steps to help you create the feeling you and your guests want to have in your home.
This is an actionable list. You can tackle it all at once or over a longer period of time. But most importantly, just start. Don’t let inertia slow you down. Instead use that force to start, and continue, improving the way your home looks and feels. This list is not in any particular order so feel free to start with what feels easiest to you.
This list is also not cut and dry. There is no one way to complete each task. While it’s and actionable list, it’s open to your interpretation and desires. Use your personal preferences, style and needs to complete each task.
All joyful homes have these eight essentials...
1. HOOKS & SIMPLE STORAGE
When belongings are easy to put away, they get put away! Hooks get things off the ground. This prevents your belongings from being crumpled and wrinkled, and essentially unusable without additional work, when you want to use them again.
Simple storage gives your belongings a “home”. A place to return to after you are done using it. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for something you misplaced when you want to use it again. Avoid this frustration by creating simple storage spaces for all your belongings.This doesn’t mean run out and buy baskets and bins. Quite the contrary. Instead of adding more to your home, use what your home already offers. Drawers, closets, shelves. You already have these in your home.
Instead of mindlessly filling these with clutter, dedicate each space to a certain item. This becomes the item’s “home”. You will always know where it is and always know where to put it when tidying up.
“Simple storage” simply means it’s practical, easy to use and an efficient use of space. Store items that are used daily in easily accessible places and store less used items in higher, farther out of the way places. This allows you to use all of your home’s storage spaces while making it easy to put them back.
2. EMPTY CLOSETS AND DRAWERS
Space feels good. Create space in your home by eliminating “maybe someday” items. These are things you hold on to, for years, because maybe someday you’ll need them. And inevitably, when that someday arrives, the items you’ve been holding on to are no longer the actual solution to your need.
The ski jacket is dated, the yarn isn’t the right color for your new knitting project, the linens smell funky and you don’t want your guests to use them now. And that’s just three examples.
Think of your linen closet. What items are you holding on to that will never truly fill the purpose you’ve created in them? Eliminate those items and the cleared space will fulfill a need greater than the need you perceived would be fulfilled by the clutter.
Empty spaces also allow you to bring in new, needed items, without creating clutter. If you continually create empty spaces you’ll always have a home available for gifts received and new items you purchase for yourself, while simultaneously removing old items you no longer need.
3. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
A knowledge of what you own is essential to maintaining an organized and joyful home. It makes shopping easier, and less necessary. You have more than you think. it makes it easy to know where things are, you know you have it before you go looking. Without knowing the hard facts you’ll “feel” like you need more clothes, or “feel” like you need more cereal. Without actually knowing, you’re just guessing. And guessing wastes money, resources, time and space.
How much is enough? Knowing how much you and your family needs of a certain items will allow you to maintain the necessary inventory. Do you shop once a week or once a month? How much toothpaste do you need for a month? How much toilet paper do you need for a week? Knowing how you consume and how you shop will help you manage what you purchase and bring into your home.
And when you aren’t spending your time shopping you’ll open up time for…
4. QUALITY TIME
Time together is joyful. Creating quality time may be one of the most powerful tasks in creating a joyful home. It’s also a result and culmination of the other steps. Quality time is so powerful it’s even a love language for many people. (don’t know your love language? Find out! It’s a powerful understanding of what you need to feel loved).
Quality time is created when time consuming daily tasks are eliminated. Reducing the clutter in your home reduces clean-up time. Knowing where everything is eliminates “searching” time. Eliminating trips to the store creates quality time together.
Quality time is also time alone. Do you have a space you can go in your home where you can find solitary peace? creative inspiration? enjoyable relaxation?
Your home is most likely your most expensive investment and in return it should provide a place where you, your family and your friends can enjoy the basic simplicity of quality time.
It all just works together. It creates a flow from room to room. Cohesiveness draws you from room to room without a sudden jolt of “well, this feels different”.
Avoiding burdening yourself with more choices. We are forced to make choices all day, everyday. And it’s draining. Eliminate the need of making a choice by having classic pieces that work in every room in every situation.
Coordinate your linens to allow you to move them from room to room, thus creating versatile uses. Throw blankets, towels, sheets, pillows, rugs. If all your linens and textiles work together you can easily “refresh” your home just by moving them to a new room.
Cohesiveness then leads to…
Homes have many uses and when your home has versatility it allows you to enjoy celebrations/holidays/traditions instead of dread them. A versatile home can easily convert to comfortably seat/sleep friends and family. A versatile home has a simple backdrop that can be decorated for changing seasons. A versatile home is adaptable to your needs at any given time.
Versatility also reduces the feeling of “we need a bigger home”. The space you have becomes so useable that there is no need to mindlessly add more space. And now with more people working from home full time, creating a versatile space you can also use as an office will reduce feels of needing a bigger home. Check out these tips to set up your minimalist home office for maximum productivity.
One thing that completely hinders a home from being versatile is clutter. Because clutter never has a “home”, it can never be put away. Your stuff fills the areas where guests would otherwise comfortably congregate and hinders where you can add holiday decorations.
Ambiance is how your home feels. You can bring your home alive with ambiance creators like:
- cozy textiles
There are a multitude of moods you want to feel at different times so have different ambiance creators for different moods.
Scent is a very powerful ambiance creator. Fragrances can transport you to a season, a location, or a time in your life in a split second. Fill your home with scents that make you feel the feelings you want. Holiday spirit, cheerful, cozy, tranquil, on vacation. These are just a handful of feelings you can create with scent.
Textiles also create ambiance. Soft fluffy pillows, light airy throws, warm flannel sheets all create a different feeling of comfort. Start by understanding the feeling you want to create, then choose items that can create that feeling.
Lighting sets the mood and affects your mood. Bad lighting makes you look and feel bad. Bright, cold lighting makes your home look like a parking garage.
The Danish word “Hygge” means to create a cozy, relaxing comfort sprinkled with indulgence and gratitude. It’s important to create indulgent spaces in your home and in turn feel deep gratitude for that indulgence.
When you create a life that requires less consumption in turn you’re able to live with less, but better. And “better” things create self indulgences that are good for the soul.
8. LESS, BUT BETTER
It all culminates to living with less, but better. Removing the things that don’t spark joy opens up space for the things you do love. Even seemingly mundane items can bring joy to your home. Start by replacing items you use everyday with a version that makes you happy.
When you choose to live with less it allows space for you to actually enjoy your home. Removing the unnecessary frees up space, time and other important resources, like money.
Better also does not mean unaffordable. Owning things that create strains on budgets are not good for the soul. Understand your own financial picture and create indulgences that work for you. (bonus, buying less allows you to buy better).
This list was compiled to inspire:
- living with intent
- simple pleasures
- joyful homes
This list is created for you to make it your own. The only way your home will be more joyful is if you intentionally work towards your goals.
Want more inspiration to living with less but better?