Love the Home You Have Challenge | Day 3: Less is More
Have you ever watched that show on HGTV where a team of professionals go into someone’s house and either convince them to “love it” or to “list it”? More often than not, the family or couple featured decides to stay and love the home they have (see what I did there?). We the audience are convinced that they stayed because of the shiney new finishes and the add on of an extra room to the back of the family’s house.
My theory: it's not.
One thing I noticed about the HGTV show is how the designer does a major overhaul of not just the structural and design elements of the house, but also of the family’s belongings. Sometimes it’s like watching an episode of Hoarders! We watch in fast motion as the family boxes up and moves out almost all of their belongings. Then once some organizational features and furniture are put into the house, the family breathes a sigh of relief and realizes “oh, I can live here.”
It was the organization and cleanliness of their home that convinced them to stay, not the finishes. Who cares about a brand new flashy home if there is junk everywhere hiding it?
We all have moments where we look around our home and wish we could throw it out and start over from scratch. David and I are a prime example, seeing as how we just sold and bought a house. However, I’m convinced that we don’t have to uproot ourselves in order to be happy with our home (do as I say, not as I do right?). Sometimes, it’s really just as simple as using some elbow grease and cleaning up.
Our previous home was filled with furniture, clothes, and various odds and ends that we never used. If we had decluttered and cleaned up the space like we are doing now in the new house, I’m sure we would have been much more sad about leaving - that and if it didn’t need exorbitant amounts of money to maintain (it was a 1950’s fixer upper). This time around, our goal is to make positive habit changes to ensure we are in love with our current house for decades to come.
For today’s #lovethehomeyouhave challenge, we are tasked with picking at least one horizontal space (think countertops, floors, etc.) to keep clean and decluttered.
If you're like me and struggle with procrastination, this challenge sounds overwhelming. However, I’ve come up with a way to mentally manage the task. Any time I see a bit of clutter or something that needs to be cleaned, I'm going deal with it immediately in that moment. In addition to overcoming my procrastination habit, I’m finding it’s also helpful at breaking down the task as a whole into more manageable chunks.
Today I’ve picked our kitchen to focus on. When I look at needing to clean it as a whole I feel a tightness in my throat as the familiar thought of “I’m going to be cleaning this forever” pops up. However, I realized that if I take it one task at a time and don’t shrink away by saying “oh I’ll get to it this evening” or “I’ll just clean later because I’m going to dirty it up again when cooking anyways,” I actually cleaned my kitchen faster. In fact, it’s now midday and my kitchen is the cleanest it’s been since moving in!
Here’s an “ew so junky” before picture.
And here’s a refreshing “ah so clean” after picture.
My takeaway from today's challenge is that a little can go a long way. Cleaning up and organizing our kitchen only took me 15 minutes, resulting a feeling of peace and calm the entire morning. I was able to be fully present when playing with Ezra because I didn't have this nagging guilt in the back of my mind for not having a cleaner space.
If you’re following along with me on this challenge, I’d like for you to designate a space in your home as "clutter free". It doesn't have to be your kitchen. It could even be a small section of your bathroom or office. Whatever space you choose, make a commitment to honor the cleanliness living inside of you. The longer you practice keeping your space clean, the further the habit will expand, until hopefully your whole house becomes a clean and uncluttered sanctuary.
You can also leave a comment here or join a community of others participating in this challenge to share your home love story and don't forget to subscribe to my email list to follow along each day.