Engaging all the senses
Last week I talked about how to make your family your top VIPs. I want to go further and get back to what your home is really like. I swear everywhere I go I hear about people cleaning up and clearing out the clutter right now. Minimalism is huge, and last February I posted about how to really clean out your home with my Minimalist To-Do List.
As we embark on our next family adventures (and boy, do we have some fun brewing!), we are in the midst of super clean-out once again. Even in a home where we are very careful with clutter, a family of five in a 1450 square foot home can accumulate a lotta junk fast. Once again, I am going through things and re-assessing what really needs to stay. I told my friend yesterday, when it gets overwhelming, simply do one thing. Do one little thing a day – it may be a room or a closet…and some days, it may be one tiny drawer or fridge shelf.
You will start to notice a great release by clearing out the clutter – to allow for your soul to breathe. So let’s assume you have cleaned and cleared (if not, seriously check out the links above), and now, you want to know how to create the vibe you want in your home. Check out this great infographic on ten tips to Feng Shui your home.
I love Feng Shui and have enjoyed incorporating it in my house, and I’ve put my own twist on it all by bringing in the senses as well.
Welcome to…employing all the senses!! You want to know how to make a big difference in your home? Look at every sense:
We covered this with clutter. Clear the messes! I hate having things piled up. It feels claustrophobic to me. Don’t stack for later – put it away now or find a new home for it.
Allow for a blank area. Seriously, a completely clean counter, dresser-top, wall even! We tend to fill every area to the brim – but those blank areas allow for imagination, a rest for the eyes, etc. Think about reading – one long paragraph is a lot – you allow for a lot of white space to give your eyes a break. Where is the “white space” in your home?
Add nature. I love love love bringing some of the outdoors inside. I asked PapaGray, instead of getting me typical roses on Valentine’s day, to get me flowers every month for the house. Plucked from our garden or wild on the side of the road are just as fabulous (if not even better) than getting them from the store! (side note, Trader Joe’s is the best for beautiful cheap bouquets!) I love plants and am also quite a pro at killing them, so I stick with some super hearty plants in the house to add the greenery. Real plants do more than just give you a little greenery in the house, they are literally a breath of fresh air as well.
Think visual and really look around your home – what words come to mind by what you see? Rest? Peace? Homeyness?
Ah, the sound of a home with small children. I will be the first to confess that it is NOT quiet serenity all the time. My goodness, I walk into my mother’s home with the peaceful music and quiet and it is fabulous. My girls (and, I must confess, us parents) tend to be LOUD. And sometimes, the best vibe is to get wild and crazy! I remember rockin to the Queen album when I was a kid doing spring cleaning with my mama – I loved that album and those fun times of rocking out. The girls have their crazy Pandora stations where we dance to all kinds of American Indian chanting, techno, sword fight to Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, etc.
That being said, crazy music really creates crazy energy. There is a time and place for that. Other times, the soothing yoga or meditation channel is the way to go. I’m very conscious of the music in our home, our tones of voice, and our volume level.
If you feel rising chaos and competition over who is being heard, close your eyes and listen. Is the TV blaring in the background? Crazy music? Everyone talking at once? Close your eyes and be a selective listener and see what sounds stand out.
Of course you aren’t always going to be eating, but we all know food seems to be the center of community! Think about the foods you have around – do you have snacks available that will energize and make you feel good, or do you have the candy jar sitting out to constantly feed your sugar highs and lows? How valuable would it be, the next time you want to shove a candy bar in your face, you sat back and sipped a hot cup of peppermint tea? Think about the cozy feeling that embraces your mood when you are simply sitting and sipping tea vs. food being something you just shovel down in your rush to do everything else. Where there is taste, be present with it.
What feels good? Think about the power of touch and what is in your home. Does your home invite you to snuggle up on the couch, or scream valuable heirlooms everywhere – look but don’t you dare touch! Little things can really warm up a home, and I love having stuff setting out Montessori style that invites little ones to touch, stack, and play with items from nature. I get blankets and pillows that feel good, and make sure it’s not just for me, but a perfect place for snuggling and adding some loving touch to the people that live in the home as well.
I am going through Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map and today a question was “what does joy smell like?” For me, it invokes invigorating essential oils like peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus and some of the energy blends. I can’t handle synthetic smells and can go off on a rant about natural products – but for the sake of this post, let’s just stick with some fresh air smells. Adding plants in your home, using salt lamps and essential oil diffusers are all ways to clean the air. Fresh air from open windows, freshly baked cookies, dinner cooking….what smells do you smell in your home, and what memories do they bring forth? Smells are powerful memory triggers, so think back to your own childhood and what smells really resonate with you.
And the sixth sense:
Yes, without getting completely woo-woo here, I so strongly believe in there being more than what is on the surface. Your sixth sense – your premonition, intuition, energy sensing, etc. This is where you take a moment and check in with your gut. What feeling comes across you when you enter your home?
An example of this – for PapaGray and me, when we are discussing negative things – our own frustrations, toxic relationships, etc – these conversations take place on our beautiful back porch. Take that negative energy and release it out in the open. Our home is a sacred place – we clear the air by lighting sage when we sense the vibe in our house is getting too thick and heavy. If you step back and listen to your gut, you may feel heaviness or an uneasy feeling – or maybe when you step foot in your home you feel light and happy – what things help to contribute to that?
Once again, I thought what the heck – it’s time for another printable!!