So here's the deal, you can find my writing today at A Living Sacrifice blogging about why closets are one of my favorite blogging topics. Today in this space I'm happy to welcome Brooke from the amazing blog Slow Your Home. She's here to pull back the curtain on how to Slow your home- what does it mean, and how can you do it?
I'd love it if you'd go grab a fresh cup of coffee, get comfy- and then allow yourself to spend some time getting sucked down the fabulous worm hole of this blog hop. Go check out my post at A Living Sacrifice, then click over to read her original post on a fresh blog, and just keep hopping. Or if you love Brooke's guest post here, go see what else she has to say on her blog and find out who's guest posting for her today. I can't wait to visit some new blogs today and I hope that you'll join me!
|Image via Viv Evans Flickr Creative Commons|
Say what now?
Slow is the opposite to what we should be doing, right? Because life is full, and if you're not busy, not rushing, not stressed, then clearly you're not important. You're less than. You're weak.
Slow is what so many of us crave. It's what so many of us need. It's the mark of someone who has said, "Enough. I'm choosing to put what's important first. I'm choosing to let the crap that doesn't matter go. I'm choosing to slow down.” It's just the small problem of how. I can't tell you how to slow your life down. (Particularly in just one post). You need to decide what's important - what stays, what goes. What I can give you is three simple steps to create a slow home. And once you've got that, creating a slower life for yourself and your family will be a natural progression.
But What is a Slow Home?
- A slow home is free of extraneous stuff. It doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down. It gives you room to breathe and to sit and to enjoy your life.
- A slow home is organised. When you understand where things belong and what comes next, then you remove a huge chunk of daily stress. Just by being organised, you free yourself to do bigger, better things.
- A slow home is good for you and your family. It is clean and healthy and good for the environment. You feel good inside it and you feel connected to the outdoors.
|via Jeremy Levine Design Flickr creative commons|
There are Three Integral Steps to Create a Slow Home:
1. DECLUTTER This is the most difficult and most important step to commit to. After this, you’re well on your way.
HOW TO DECLUTTER:
For each space you need to tackle, arm yourself with time; a good, clear head; 3 empty boxes or garbage bags and a positive attitude.
Then, room by room or cupboard by cupboard, you simply start.
- Take everything off just one shelf or flat surface.
- As you pick up each item decide right then if it is something you will:
- definitely keep - something you regularly use, is very meaningful or you would replace if you lost
- throw away - something that is broken or worn out
- donate - something you haven't used in the past 12 months and is in good, working order.
- maybe keep - where you're really undecided. Keep this pile as small as possible, and revisit it at the end of each declutter session. You will be surprised by how much of those things you were unsure of at the beginning have slipped into the ‘donate’ or ‘throw away’ piles.
- If you are keeping an item, put it back in place before moving on.
- Continue for each item until the surface is clear and only those things you want to keep have been put back.
- Only then, move on to the next space. And continue to move through your home until you're happy with the level of clutter that's been removed.
- provides a designated spot (hat stand or a coat rack) to keep handbags, backpacks, jackets, hats and scarves.
- provides a clear space (hall stand or a shelf) where you leave your keys, purse, sunglasses, phones
- toys, books, games all need a designated place. Consider halving the toys and rotate them in and out each month, to minimise clutter and toy overwhelm.
- ideally have a designated conversation area, where you can comfortably sit with friends without being overrun by toys.
- keep pantry and drygoods labelled and stored in designated places.
- minimise countertop clutter to give a clear, open workspace.
- keep gadgets and utensils to a minimum – only keep what you use regularly.
- eating together at the table is really important so keep the dining table free of clutter to make this easy.
- organised wardrobes of only clothes you actually wear. Rotate seasonal pieces out when not being worn.
- keep clutter to a minimum - the bedroom should be calming and restful.
- have somewhere to sit other than the bed.
- a designated place to take care of all home-management.
- space for computer.
- a place for opening/sorting mail, paying bills, papers requiring action, filing to be done.
- a place for your diary/family calendar and home management folder.
- keep clutter to a minimum and ensure everything has its place. You want to get in there, do your laundry or ironing with minimal fuss, and move on to something more enjoyable.
|via Jeremy Levine Design Flickr Creative Commons|
3. MAKE YOUR HOME LIGHT AND AIRY
CLEAN THE AIR
- Open your curtains. Open your blinds. Let the light in.
- Open your doors. Open your windows. Let the fresh air in.
- Bring the outside in with multiple houseplants. Not only are they beautiful and relaxing to look at, but they actually help purify the air inside your home, removing many of the toxins that can cause air pollution.
USE GREEN CLEANERS
- Replace your commercial cleaners with green alternatives, or better yet, homemade recipes.
- You can make your own laundry detergent and surface; toilet; shower and glass cleaners using just a handful of non-toxic ingredients:
- white vinegar
- pure soap flakes
- castille soap
- washing soda
- bicarb soda
- essential oils
|via My Cakies, A Beautiful Mess|
That Seems Like a Lot of Work, Just to Slow Down
Slowing down and simplifying is, ironically, a very complicated job. It feels like more effort, time and energy than you have to give. But from this initial outlay of time and effort comes an almost immediate pay-off. You will feel lighter. You will feel less stress. You will benefit from feeling relaxed in and in control of your own home. And you will want to keep going, keep improving, keep simplifying your home bit-by-bit so that you can slow down and live the life you want. The life you will love.