2019 started with a bang for us, a traumatic, serious illness for one of us, then flu for two of us, then more serious illness – all washed down with a good dose of anxiety about it all in the weeks that followed. Not the best start to the fresh new year, but we are all still here to tell the tale thank goodness. Thankfully, I have the best family and friends in the world ( in my view ) who helped me put it all into perspective and move on but I was taken aback how hard it hit me. Thank you so much all of you! During these times, I don’t know about you but I find a great deal of comfort in my home, in changing things up, moving things around and, once the spring days appear and the rays of sunshine flood in – a lick of fresh paint to start anew.
If you happen to be in a similar situation and had a hard start to the year, I am so sorry to hear that. I hope, like me, you can enjoy your home and the cocoon it offers you. I get about 10 requests to guest post on my site daily at the moment with links to some peculiar items that I don’t think you need in your life. So, I told them all no, and with all this in mind, here are my 5 REAL tips to getting your house in order – both your home and your head! I hope it helps.
Do you sometimes feel trapped by all your possessions? Have you got a kitchen cupboard that everything tumbles out of every time you open the door? A pile of receipts from Leclerc that actually stop you from opening and shutting your purse properly? A yoghurt machine that is taking up all the space in your cupboard so your plates end up with a new home on a worktop instead? Or, an empty loo roll in your handbag that doesn’t need to be there or indeed a small pile of cut outs from a a magazine that you planned to create an ideas board with and never did? Hi, my name is Katie and I am a hoarder!
The one exception to this is my kitchen table, where I work. I do always try to get into the habit of clearing it before I sit down and start writing, not always easy – the larger the table the more junk accumulates on it and sometimes I just get fed up of tidying. But, it does help clear my head if it’s a blank space an I feel being surrounded by plates and plastic dinosaurs a tad noisy. So, I am slowly working through other areas of my home that I find anxiety inducing from lack of space, could you do with doing the same?
On a random note, I accompanied the school to the library yesterday and they were learning about organising and arranging books. I thought what a useful tool this is for children to have in life, not just so that you can rest assured the toys get put away as they should be but so that from an early age, they learn to feel the comfort of an organised home and mind. Life is actually such a simple thing, why complicate it? I seem to swing like a pendulum from house proud to house messy. But at my core, I need to be peaceful. Do you know, I always enjoyed reading Beatrix Potter when I was a little girl, reading about Mrs Tiggywinkle and her big spring clean ha ha ha, I even tried to do it to a garden shed once! You may giggle but I do find the whole spring cleaning thing like scratching an itch, call me weird, and I am a virgo after all but I do feel so much better for a bit of organisation. Could you?
2. Fling open the windows!
You are not obliged to sing ” Oh what a beautiful morning!” as you do this but the very act of flinging open the windows while you clean is very satisfying. Whether you look out to a beautiful lawn with spring bunnies hopping around or to the house next door, get those windows open wide and breathe! I do find particularly after winter, living in the countryside, having a log burner going all the time, two dogs, mud, weird dust that keeps appearing on the toilet seat??? Where the heck does that come from? That a huge clean and airing really opens everything up again so you can think clearly, find things and feel like you can breathe again! Try it, it’s really quite therapeutic.
3. Stop Buying New Stuff!
I am so guilty of this. If I get fed up with the ways things look in my house, I pick up a magazine and plot items to buy. There’s always a real temptation to splash out on new soft furnishings – but stop yourself! In my view, while a pretty cushion looks nice, the gentle art of just moving around what you already own can really change the way you feel about your home. Remember, too much stuff is just suffocating and re hanging your freshly dry cleaned curtains will make you feel just as good! It will I promise!
So, wash fabric items, clean behind furniture, get rid of any junk and put things back in a new way and you may well love what you already have. And, stay off Pinterest and Instagram interiors stories for a while…
A strange sub heading for what you might think is an interiors post. However, letting go of built up emotion, stress or anxiety through walking, running or swimming could be just the pocket rocket you need to plough on. I’m acutely aware as I age that stress is an accumulative thing and none of us have none, noone whatsoever and if they tell you they don’t, don’t believe them! You can manage your own personal levels of angst though and even use it to help yourself become a more focused and driven person.
So, if you ever feel like you go around in circles with your to do lists, or just can’t seem to get your shit together, take a long walk. I think walking releases so much stress and if you have a pet, all the better. We recently welcomed a second rescue dog, Winnie and the activity that having the two brings to our home ( and I am not just talking about clearing up the excited puppy piddles ) is as refreshing as a spring day. Ever noticed the calm your pet has after being out in the countryside sniffing and running about? You don’t have to sniff where other humans have been, nor piss up a lamppost but you can enjoy the sense of peace and use it to your advantage.
5. Mobile Phones
So, this is a bit strange as you may well be reading this on a device but I have noticed that in times of stress, I spend more time on my phone, which, in turn, makes me more stressed. Just something to think about….perhaps pop it on silent and out of sight once in a while…..
So there you have it, my current thoughts, place and state of mind. Not trying to preach but maybe this will help you too? Or perhaps you have something else to add? Muchos Lovos X