Our living space reflects our state of mind. Find out what your living space says about you.
1. Cluttered House, Cluttered Head
It may be an old cliche, but many times it’s true. We reflect our insides on our outsides. We know that serious issues like hoarding are a result of anxiety and a need for control, and it’s common for our living spaces to become chaotic when we are stressed out. Sometimes, we’re just plain lazy – but that can also indicate a mind that needs some organization itself! Get your clutter under control with clever storage solutions, and seek out some peace in a clean, fresh, open space.
2. Heart of the Home
Do you have a “hearth” in your living space? Maybe not an actual fireplace, but where in your home is the place where company gathers, or the place that you might call the “heart” of your home? For many people the kitchen is that place, for others it’s the living room, the dining room table, or family altar. Having a place in your home that symbolizes life and living can really add to your feelings of safety and comfort at home. Make your home your sanctuary.
3. Your Table
Most of us have at least one table or surface in our home that serves as our primary space for eating, making, storing, or displaying items. For a family, this might be your dining room table, where all the homework, bills, meals, art projects, laundry, and computer work are done. If you’re in a small space, you might have that one countertop that serves as a multi-use area for any and all activity in your home. Do you keep this little workshop & gathering area organized? Is it a pile of ephemera and old receipts or clear, clean, and ready for any use you can think of? Our functional spaces can reveal our readiness for action and ability to adapt. Are you ready for anything?
4. Skeletons In The Closet
Symbolism alert: Closets, drawers, and cupboards are easy to hide our dirty little secrets in. We can toss things in and think about them “later”. But we never do, do we? Soon we have hours of work in front of us if we want to dig out our photo albums or find our winter boots. It seems innocuous, but take a look at the state of your storage areas and you will have an idea of how many things you’ve been avoiding IRL. Conversations, emails, responsibilities – even the little things add up and will eventually need to be handled. Maybe some of the stuff we habitually avoid is a bigger deal – in which case facing it sooner rather than later is a good idea. Don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today. Dig down to those dark places and let some light in.
5. Seating Space
The ability to invite a guest in to your home isn’t necessarily high on everyone’s list. Some people keep their homes very private and don’t desire space for “company”. You can take or leave this advice if you like, but having a welcoming space where you and a friend can sit comfortably and visit can really improve the vibe in your home – and your social life. If your home is designed to keep people away, you may benefit from asking yourself why.
There’s a time & place for dimly, romantically, softly lit rooms. If the lighting in your home is consistently dark & dreary, it can most certainly affect how you feel. The easiest way to brighten your mood at home is to change the lighting. This doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive – just getting yourself a brighter light bulb next time you are at the store might help, or swapping out dark lampshades for lighter ones. You can also add sheer drapes to your window coverings so that you can enjoy privacy without having to live in darkness. If you have adjustable fixtures, try repositioning your lights to highlight artwork and areas you spend a lot of time in to brighten up your home.
7. Speaking of Art…
Even if you rent your place and don’t intend to stay forever, putting up a piece of visual interest/artwork puts your stamp on your living space and ties you to it emotionally. Many renters or people with busy jobs that keep them traveling don’t ever bother to put a nail in the wall and hang up photos or artwork because they aren’t that attached to the space emotionally anyways – spaces can feel temporary, even when we live in them. Finding a way to root yourself down to your living space, even just symbolically by hanging up photos or personal artifacts, will help you feel welcome & restful when you are at home.
8. Your Fridge
College students know this well – a fridge that contains only beer, old pizza boxes and mustard is not the sign of a person with a healthy diet. Our reasons for rendering our refrigerator useless are many – we work constantly and only eat while we’re out, we are in the middle of a really busy time at school, we haven’t had time to shop for anything except frozen burritos – but the fact is that if your fridge is clean and decently stocked with fresh food that you can eat to stay healthy and save money, you’ll be doing yourself a favour. Look into community gardens and veggie co-ops for affordable, healthy, local food. Fridge love is body love.
If you rent your living space, your walls are most likely some shade of white or beige. If you own your home, you may also have very neutral walls, or perhaps you’re one of the folks that went a bit more wild with your colour choices. Either way, when you consider how some colours make us feel emotionally, our walls become very important. White walls may feel clean, but they may also become the opposite of comforting without some kind of colour accent elsewhere in the room. Very strong colours on walls – even just as feature walls – need to be carefully chosen too. Red may be tempting and warming, but can also inspire anxiety – as can yellow, a colour often chosen for kitchens because some say it increases appetite. Lighter greens can be welcoming and pretty, whereas darker greens create a closed-in feeling in some spaces. Blues can be healing, or downright clinical.
Do the colours you surround yourself with make you feel good?
10. Finally – The Bathroom
The big B. The place in your home where you do your most private business. Your bathroom can tell you whether or not you are good at taking care of your health, as far as this list is concerned. We want the place where we may be our grossest to be clean when we need it. We want the place where bacteria flourish to be healthy for us and our guests. Whether we need to treat a cut, use the toilet, curl our hair, or brush our teeth, it’s important for your bathroom to be a healthy place that serves a multitude of purposes that no other room can possibly serve. Do you have a basic medical kit? Hand soap to promote healthy habits? Clean, dry towels that aren’t attracting fungus or bacteria? Do your drains work properly? Does it smell ok? Bathtub free of mildew? You deserve to be healthy, and your bathroom is basically your body workshop. Take care of it!