What does this word mean to you? How does your home feel? Is it warm and inviting and is it a place of comfort? A shelter? A safe harbor from the storms of life? Does where you live feel like home base, where you can relax and kick up your feet and sigh. You know: that sigh. The sigh that says I am with my people in the place I prefer more than any other.
For many of us, the answer is no. Home is crazy and chaotic, there are always piles of dishes in the sink, laundry to be done, messy bedrooms, and piles of shoes, coats, toys,etc. You feel that tension rise up in your chest as you look around and panic. Where do I start? Many of you have been told to just get out and go somewhere, but that is not the solution. It’s not even an answer, it is simply a distraction, an excuse. Proverbs 7:11 gives us a picture of the loud and rebellious woman who’s feet do not stay at home.
We want to be “home-centered”. When we try to escape the place we dwell, we come up short and it simply becomes a place we stuff our stuff. Nothing more. But what if I told you that you could create a place where memories are made. A beautiful place bringing coziness and comfort to your family, friends, guests and even…you?
Making Home feel like a Refuge
Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first? Bad news first? I thought so. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and tackle the mess. Create a schedule (which will be in a future blog post!) that helps you day by day cut down on the mess and the grime and make a habit of becoming a keeper of a clean home. Start practicing “cleaning as you go.” Teach your children how to clean up after themselves. Get them involved with you when you clean. Give them chores and have them help you. It’s good practice for them.
Mama J is going to be blunt. Because living in a dirty, messy home isn’t good for your mental or physical health and it’s certainly not a good example for your children. I’ll leave it at that.
You don’t need 10 sweatshirts, you don’t need 3 bundt cake pans, you don’t need fifty mismatched plates or 20 mugs. Pare down. Sell what you can, some things you need to throw in the trash, donate the rest. If your stuff is surrounding you and adding to the chaos…. let it go, set it free, move on. And with it, the anxiety will depart as well.
Organize the items you do have
It really doesn’t take that long and after a trip to the dollar store, it might even be fun. But get your stuff organized so that it’s easy to find. You waste less time, less energy, less money, and you won’t find yourself easily getting stressed out and saying “maybe it’s in here… where is that thing!!!”
Light a candle, everything is alright
Honestly, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to make your home a sanctuary. Light a few candles that smell good, put tea lights in mason jars or tea cups. Replace bright light bulbs for those that are yellow and low wattage for a softer and less intrusive glow. Place a small lamp on a table in a corner, with a book, and a vase full of flowers. In the winter, drape cozy blankets over couches, create pillows out of old sweaters. In the summer, add fun bright pillows that bring cheer. These small touches add a magical quality to your home and brings so much delight to little ones, and brings much calm to mommy and daddy.
That womanly touch
Edith Shaeffer’s book “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” was revolutionary for my mother, who made homemaking an art form. It changed my life too. I adore the sketches as well as her writing style and if you haven’t read the book, PLEASE, I beg you, get your hands on a copy!!! It will transform the way you view your home. She gives so many good ideas on adding touches of beauty to your home.
-beautiful shells laid out on a table or collected in a vase
-an elegant piece of driftwood
-small vases of flowers
-a grouping of wheat, put together with ribbon
-a bowl full of smooth rocks
-a basket of apples in the Fall
-a grouping of tiny succulents in small pots
*my favorite! Rubber plants. They are hard to kill, they give off good oxygen and filter the air and they soften a room!
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a home beautiful and restful. You just need a bit of creativity and a desire to serve those around you.
This one is a biggie! Now, I’m all for dancing around the kitchen to Laura Mvula while flipping pancakes. But there is also a time and a place for quite music, which creates a calm and quiet home. When the kids are cranky, and mama is irritable, I like to put on Vivaldi, Eric Satie, Beck’s “morning phase” album…
Or when Mama is about to bring out Thor’s hammer and let it drop, instead I pull out the big guns… Enya. Yeah, it’s old school, but it does the trick every. single. time.
Everyone is in a better mood and they’ve nestled up with a good book or drawing their next masterpiece.
Surround yourself with Scripture
I’ve saved the best for last: give it to God. Keep on praying for your heart to be right and joyful. Surround yourself with scripture. Trust God that He will make your home a sanctuary, where you commune and fellowship with God and with the people He gave you. That the Prince of Peace will make a home of peace.
How do you make your home a refuge, a sanctuary, a safe harbor? Please let me know in the comments.
I’m here for you.
the Hygge Homemaker,