This morning, I spoke at 8th Grade Career Day at my kids’ school–it was a hoot. Not only did I get to talk about things I am passionate about, but I got to embarrass my own children at the same time. What could be more fun?!?
One of the things I asked the participants to envision (as I often do whenever I speak somewhere) was their favorite place on the planet–it could be a house, a room, a place in nature–anywhere, but it had to be the place they once felt at their very best, felt most like themselves.
After they had this very special place in mind, I had them try to describe it in just one or two words. The thing is, from 13 year olds to adults, the important qualities people mention when talking about their “just-right” places are almost always the same–their description is consistently about feeling at peace, feeling calm.
So how do we create more of this feeling in our homes, since it obviously makes us feel so good?
This is our quick assignment for this month, so I want you to pick one place–maybe your bathroom shelf, the top of your desk, or one section of your kitchen counter–a small area where you know you have a lot of stuff laying around, out in view. A place that this is true for many is the FRONT OF THE REFRIGERATOR. Is that true for you?
You see, when we have a lot of stuff sitting out, it is almost like having a group of people all talking at us at the same time. You may not really “see” all of those items on the shelf or refrigerator anymore –it may have become white noise to you–but trust me, they are still trying to get your attention and causing a commotion every time your eye glances over them….
Set your timer for 15 minutes and quickly throw out anything that may be trash, create a pile of things that may belong other places in the house (we will put them away when our timer goes off), and consider the things that truly belong in that space and how you want to store them….
Is it possible to store them in a drawer? A basket? In a closet or cabinet nearby?–somewhere out of sight. Having less on the surfaces in our homes automatically makes it feel more settled. It helps us to feel more calm.
Of course, selecting a couple of beautiful or sentimental items (just a few!) to put on display gives the room interest…but just like a good piece of writing, those displays should be carefully edited and changed from time to time.
I selected this assignment this month, because it is something I recently noticed I needed to do in my own office. Things were just hangin’ out, and cluttering my visual space. I feel so much better now that I took some time to clear the decks and restore peace and calm again.