If you're like me and many others I know and have been working with, you've been thinking a lot about simplifying your life. This macro concept is really all about micro steps we can implement in our daily lives. Simplifying our home is a very effective way to make the steps to simplifying our overall life easier. A tranquil, organized and pleasant home can do wonders to relieve stress, improve mood, stimulate creativity, and induce peace. Our homes are our sanctuaries, and should give us the rest and renew the energy we need to live happy, meaningful and purposeful lives.
De-cluttering and getting rid of so much "stuff" is a big part of simplifying at home. Colour choice and consistency also plays a big role, as does lighting, organization/storage and layout of furniture. Want to sleep better? Simplify your home. Want to improve your relationships? Get more enjoyment out of daily life? You got it - simplify.
Can anyone do this? You bet. You won't need to spend much (or any) money, nor will it take much time if you break it down into manageable bits. Start with one small thing that you can accomplish each weekend (or a day or evening through the week if that suits you better).
I would highly recommend that Step 1 be to organize your entryway to make it work for you.
I've written about organizing entryways before (here, here and here) because I'm a little obsessed with them. They play such a huge part in our state of being at the beginning and end of each day. I'm convinced that even a Zen master must lose his cool when leaving his mountain hut if he can't find his sandals! Organizing and having at hand the things we need when leaving and entering our homes is a huge step in leading a simple and peaceful life.
Here are 5 easy steps for organizing your entryway or mudroom:
1. Make sure there is a shelf, or better yet, a small chest of drawers at your entryway so that you can place on top of it a pretty bowl or basket or box. In this vessel you will put any sunglasses, lip gloss, change, gum, keys and anything else you take with you every day.
2. Wallets and purses (and keys if you prefer) can go either inside the chest of drawers or on hooks on the wall. Hang a nice little drawstring or straw bag and put your everyday wallet or purse inside of it. The other hooks will be for coats and scarves.
3. If you have closed drawers (or if you don't use baskets or crates on the floor or on a shelf) designate one for all seasonal stuff you'll need - hats, mitts, scarves, sunscreen, etc. If you have family - everyone gets their own and is responsible for it. Designate another for miscellaneous stuff that you need near the door - like reusable grocery bags, a flash light and umbrellas.
4. Hang a mirror and place down a mat. This makes for a cozy and functional spot to put on shoes and give yourself the once-over before heading out the door. Speaking of putting on shoes, if you have room, add a place to sit. It makes it easier. A bench, chair or even a stump stool works brilliantly and will be appreciated by you and your guests when you struggle with your winter boots!
5. Limit the number of shoes at the door, and have a designated spot for them. If you have shelving unit, use the lower shelves for shoes. If you are using a chest or a shelf & hooks on the wall put shoes on the floor neatly under it. They can also go under a bench or chair. Keep all that are not everyday shoes in a bedroom or hallway closet. And consider getting rid of a few to make room for people instead of pumps. I can hear the gasps and completely understand, but really, it makes it so much simpler to choose an outfit!
That's it. That's all you have to accomplish this weekend. If you want to go a step further and refresh your entryway with wallpaper or paint or by hanging artwork or arranging fresh flowers, all the better. Check out my Pinterest board of entryways for lots of inspiration. But just the simple steps above will make a big difference.