Home as sanctuary

We did a Thing!

posted in: Mindfulness, My Corner | 0

Tim and I did a thing recently. We bought a “beach cottage” in Newport, Oregon. Well, we call it a beach cottage. It’s really an older doublewide mobile home in a community of mobile homes. And … it’s a seven minute walk to the beach! This is a second home for us. We call our primary residence our “mountain retreat.”

The home is in good condition, so we don’t have a lot of structural work to do. That means we get to focus on the inside, on make it our sanctuary. Of course, as with most of use, budget is a real consideration. So how do you create the space you want mindfully and affordably?

Creating this environment of calm doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact anyone can transform their existing home into a tranquil oasis. And with a new home, it’s pretty much a blank canvas, so it’s even easier. How? Well try some of these ideas:

Take care of clutter.
The first step to ensuring that your home is calm, clear, and relaxing is to make sure that you eliminate any unwanted clutter. This does not mean that you have to become a total minimalist, which is a very specific aesthetic and lifestyle, and is certainly not for everyone. While I don’t like clutter, I don’t consider myself a minimalist.

My hope for the beach cottage is that everything has a purpose. No shelf sitters here. My only exception is wall art, because that brings me happiness and I don’t consider it clutter.

A good way to start in your existing home is to remove anything that you no longer like, use or value, or that is obviously broken or stained.

Bring in things that you love.
Once the clutter is gone, bring in a few well-loved and well-placed objects. Like me, that may be art, or it may be beautiful books or textiles or anything else that helps you be happier, calmer and more relaxed. Thrift stores are a great place to find some of these items. With a little thoughtfulness, your home will become a place that you want to be.

Make sure that you are comfortable.
Be sure that you have somewhere comfortable to relax and unwind. This is important for creating a calm atmosphere. Opt for a comfortable couch or recliner, and add warm blankets and soft cushions. This may be the place where you want to put the bulk of your budget.

Add houseplants.
Houseplants are hugely beneficial for your mental and physical health. They bring on a state of relaxation and of calm, and they make the air in your home cleaner. Caring for them is good for your emotions and can help you feel more balanced and empathetic. I’m so convinced of the importance of houseplants, I may have some that travel back and forth between homes with me.

Create a cleaning routine.
The final stage in helping your house to become a calm environment is to keep things clean. This doesn’t mean living in a showhome, but you should keep things neat, tidy and dust-free. Having it clutter-free helps make that task easier.

By taking a little time to ensure that your home is a calm, tranquil haven, you can make the most of every moment you spend relaxing and enjoying your space. A little work now will reap huge dividends, and offer huge benefits for your mental, emotional and even physical health.

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