This week I have been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happier At Home and am completely taken with her ideas. In fact, she has me reevaluating my entire home, my role in it, and what truly makes me happy in my own house.
I will give a more complete review of the book when I finish it, but here’s a short summary of the ideas that have captured me so far.
-home should be the place that we are happiest
-we can choose to accentuate the things that make us happy
-both our possessions and our relationships impact our attitude about our home life
-little things matter
My takeaway from Happier At Home so far?
You can make your home your happy place.
That got me asking myself…….what makes me happy in my home? And, in typical Type A fashion, I made a list.
What Makes Me Happy At Home
1. A vase of fresh flowers
2. Clean sheets
3. Music playing
4. Calm voices
5. Real meals on real dishes
6. Clutter-free counters
7. Kisses from my husband
8. Hugs from my children
9. Candles or incense burning
10. My icon corner filled with images of the saints, reminding me to pray
11. Fresh towels
12. Reading time on the couch
14. Prayers in the morning and evening
15. Swept floors
16. Good night kisses
How Can I Make My Home My Happy Place?
After reflecting on the things that make me happy about my home, I realized that very few of them cost any money. In fact, the things that make me happy fall into three categories:
Relationships–maintaining peaceful, loving relationships with my husband and children
Home Management–keeping the house clean, clutter-free, with small touches of loveliness
Spirituality–making our home a little church through the icon corner and prayers
The things that make me happy are simple things–a flower, music, a kiss–but they have a huge impact on my overall sense of peace and well-being. I believe they also greatly influence my entire family’s happiness.
So, inspired by Happier at Home, I’ve decided to take three small, practical, intentional steps toward creating my happy home each day:
1. Give Warm Greetings and Good-byes
I want to make sure that I kiss my husband each time I walk out the door, each time one of us comes home from work, before bed each night, etc. I also want to give enthusiastic, warm hugs to each of my children each time that I see them and each time we say good-bye. I hope to make this such a habit in our family that we naturally stop whatever we are doing and give each other our full attention whenever someone enters or leaves the house. Doesn’t each person deserve that?
2. Do One Home Management Project a Day
I often find myself undervaluing the importance of home management. I know that creating an inviting home can be an artform, but I don’t usually spend much time beautifying my house. Looking at my list of what makes me happy at home, though, I realize that a clean, clutter-free, beautiful house truly is important to me.
So, I’m committing to doing one home management project each day. Yesterday I organized my children’s clothing–putting winter clothes away into storage or into bags to donate. This was a chore I had been meaning to do for weeks, and the guilt of not doing it was really weighing me down. One hour later, the drawers were cleaned out and organized, and I felt great!
Today? I’m tackling the pile of clean laundry that has been waiting for me to fold it for, well, we just won’t say how long.
I also plan on planting an herb garden, washing all of our bedding, clearing off the shoe rack that is overrun with outgrown shoes, and mending some torn clothing that has sat in my sewing basket for months.
By spending some time each day making my home more organized and beautiful, I gain a sense of accomplishment and improve the overall atmosphere of our house.
3. Make Prayers a Priority
Our family has been pretty good about making the evening prayers a part of our nighttime routine. However, the mornings often feel so rushed that we skip having morning prayers together. On mornings that we do pause to pray together, I instantly feel centered and prepared for the day. So, we are committing to making prayers a priority.
I hope that by implementing these three small steps, I will begin to create a home that is truly my happy place.
What makes you happy at home? How do you create a peaceful home?
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