5 Things Thursday: Calm Down! 5 Ways to Up the Calm in Your Home without Ever Leaving
Updated: Apr 16
Like it or not, we're stuck. Quarantine/self-isolation/hibernation...call it what you will...has us wrapped in its tentacles for the foreseeable future. Trying to be good, dutiful, conscientious citizens has never been so difficult! But we're all doing what we can and muddling through, right!?!?
All this time in our homes with our closest loved ones, however, can be taxing on many levels. While chaos reins in the world around us, even if on a microscopic level, we need more than ever to find peace and calm in our everyday surroundings. In the spirit of calm, for 5 Things Thursday I bring you five easy ways to increase the calm in your home without ever having to leave.
1. OPEN YOURSELF UP: Likely you're feeling akin to a chicken in its coop, yearning for some open space in which to spread your wings, taking flight like the eagle you were meant to be... Ok, maybe not quite, but certainly we are all feeling the stress of being confined within the four walls of our homes and could really do with a little more spaciousness.
The good news is you don’t need to tear down walls to give your home a more open, spacious feel, regardless of the square footage you’re dealing with. Don't believe me? Just try moving some furniture! We all have our habits. That sofa and table are where they are because they’ve always been there, right?!?! But do they really need to be in that particular space at that particular angle with that particular pillow? Are they still serving their intended roll, or are they relics from the past going unused and merely cluttering up your space? Chances are there are many items that could be moved (or removed) to create a more open space. If you’re feeling cramped, having to zig-zag your way around furniture, or constantly bumping into that one particular corner, chances are you could use some rearranging.
The trick here is that you need to be objective and if you don’t feel that you can be, then you’re going to need enlist some help from those that live with you or from a friend who is willing to tell it like it is. Trust me, they have some opinions they’d be happy to share! So, bring in your backup and really assess whether or not you truly
NEED all the furniture you’ve got or whether it needs to stay where it is. Sometimes just eliminating a couple pieces here or there can really make a huge difference allowing a space to open up.
Better yet, move all the furniture out and then bring things back in one piece at a time, starting with large essential items like the sofa or the bed. Then see how little you can live with before bringing in more items. Above all, make sure that pathways between rooms are clear of furniture and free of other hip- or toe-banging items.
2. CREATE SOME "NOTHING": White space is a reference to the space in between objects. White space is quiet space where your eye can “rest”. When you’re deep in thought, what are you looking at? Likely it’s out the window at the sky or at the ground, or your eyes are closed. Why? Because looking at nothing is more calming than looking at something. It is a rare soul that does well in clutter! And since we’re after calmness here, we need to aim for more white space. This is where decluttering – affectionately known in the design world as editing – comes in. Similar to moving furniture to create open space, moving – or more importantly REMOVING – smaller items and clutter creates a more peaceful space. Not every inch of every wall or bookshelf needs to be filled with art, photos, baskets and books. Sparsely populated, but well-appointed shelves and bare tables are a thing of beauty! So edit, edit, edit. There are a hundred different methods of decluttering. Pick one and dig in. Start small if it hurts…but start.
3. MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL: Mirrors are a great way to bring more light into a room and make it feel airy and bright. Placed opposite a window, they have the added possible benefit of reflecting nature into the room as well. Because mirrors essentially double whatever they are reflecting, make sure you like what you’re seeing from all angles. (Feng Shui note: do not put a mirror opposite the front door - on a side wall a mirror is fine, but not facing the front door - or at the end of a hallway. It’s a chi-flow thing.) So, move some art/photographs/tchotchkes and make room for a well-placed mirror or two.
4. LISTEN UP: Never underestimate the power of sound. Not to get too psychological on you, but there are about1,304,651 studies on how sound influences our moods. If you are not tapping into the soothing power of music or the sounds of nature, please do so. Now. Immediately. The great thing is that it is so easy to do these days. GoogleHome, Alexa, your smart phone with a little ‘ole Bluetooth speaker, a big fancy sound system…so many ways to bring the soothing, calming or energetic, fun influence of sound into your home.
Choose your music, choose your mood! And don’t be swayed by the tiny naysayers who cohabit your space. They may just come to love what you love...or they’ll simply pop in their headphones and leave you in peace, if they haven’t already. Just be sure to give them some time in the DJ seat every now and then. You never know what you might come to like yourself!
5. MAKE YOUR FREAKIN’ BED! There just maybe about 1,304,652 studies on the powerful, positive psychological effects of making your bed. EVERY morning. NO MATTER WHAT. I’ll leave it to you to search it up if you like, but there is sooooo much peace knowing there is at least one place in your home that is tidy and neat and that you can retreat to when the rest of the house seems to be consuming itself in chaos. If it’s just too much effort to be putting all 13 of those decorative pillows on your bed every morning, then you have too many pillows and need to go back to #2 above.
So there you have your 5 Things Thursday. Now go make some peace! And wash your hands...