One of my favourite sayings is “home is where the pants are not”.
Home isn’t always a place so much as a feeling. A sense of safety, tranquility, comfort. A place where you don’t need pants to be presentable, where you can be who you want and sit how you’re most comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to have that, you are richer than you think.
Being a Cancerian, I am very much a home body. Some people need the company of others, others need expensive clothes or fancy cars to feel alive. Me, I need a safe space to call my own. One I can work with and personalise, a minimum of 4 walls and a roof within which I can be completely free to be who I want to be.
I am extremely fortunate to have had many beautiful homes. And one thing I can say for sure, is that the older I get, the more beautiful they become. Let me tell you one thing more though, this has nothing to do with size. In fact, over time, my homes have gotten smaller, and consequently, more full. Full not just with things, but with memories, love and energy.
What I boil it down to is a simple recipe:
1. Limit mess / clutter and clean regularly
When I moved into the house I live in now, the housemates had been several months into a cold war on cleaning. A layer of hair, dust, and debris lay across literally EVERYTHING. Not to mention the SHTATE of bathrooms, which suddenly made a port-a-potty seem appealing.
I’m sorry, but I have to say that I see a home as extension of the self. And letting your home descend into such chaos would be like letting yourself go feral out of pure laziness.
So now flip that on its head, and recognise that cleaning your home is as important as trimming your nails and brushing your teeth. Not only is it presentable, but it’s better for your health! Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.
It needs to be habit. It needs to be routine. And hey, if you can afford it, hire someone else to help you!
What’s better though is if you only need to do it once. “What?” you say, “How?” you ponder. Well, I could introduce you to my friend Sharon and her company Serenity Sparks Joy. She would give you the what’s what and the know how. You may still need to clean the house regularly, but the clutter, at least that will be taken care of.
As you go along, find things that no longer speak to you, the unnecessary things that take up necessary space, and throw them in a bag or box. Give the house a thorough shake down, walk around and scan for things that you really don’t need. If you really want to, you can take the time to post them online and try to sell them, OR you can pay it forward and hope that your trash will one day be someone’s treasure-hunt find in a charity shop. The choice is yours, all I’m saying is repurpose, recycle, toss out or just give that stuff away!
2. Put up art that speaks to you
I’ve had the blessing of living with musicians, artists and healers. One artist in particular had a style that spoke to me profoundly, her pieces have an emotional depth and really come to life. We may have since moved on, but her energy lives on in this sacred space that she helped create. Her name is Catherine Fleming, check her out on instagram.
Now, obviously art speaks differently to everyone, but no matter what it always has something to say. So I encourage you to set out, and scour the internet for an artist you like. It doesn’t even have to be an individual so much as a style or theme, and invest. Sure, it just hangs on the wall for the most part, but it gives an energy. It sets a tone and a mood, and fills the spaces between corners and doors. The best part… it will be there for as long as you let it!
Art is an escape, an expression and an opportunity for something new. So I ask you, why wouldn’t you give yourself the chance to give a vibe to your life?
3. Clear the air with house plants
If there’s one addiction that is good for your health, it has got to be horticulture.
Maybe it’s more like an obsession, or fascination? I certainly wouldn’t call it a phase. It’s like a blend of responsibility and science project. It has a similar satisfaction (and disappointment) to parenthood, with the thrill of a treasure hunt and the comfort of a hobby. If you grew up a Pokemon fan, plant parenthood is the route for you! Because you definitely want to catch them all…
As you collect plants, you may find you are running out of space. Every corner and shelf will soon filled with a leafy friend. Just make sure you find them a home they love and take care of them well. Collect them slowly, build an understanding of them, connect with them, talk to them, heck even sing them a song.
Hang them from shelves, off of hooks and in windows. Take a look at some plant hangers, invest in the style that suits you, again, you’ll have it for as long as you want! Macrame plant hangers have made their way back to trendy, so check out some crafters online, I get mine from @Justjillcreates, check her out on instagram! She also makes stunning wall hangers and the coolest shelves.
You’ll find in time the room fills with an energy you can’t match. There’s life and vibrance, presence and comfort. The air is clear, there’s magic and whimsy. And sometimes you will find that you can’t help but sit and stare at the beautiful home that surrounds you.