Home is “a way of organizing space in our minds"(1) .
It's not just Homebodies who are Home-Minded!
Subtle ‘background emotions’ permeate every home. Neurologist Antonio Damasio explains: "These background emotions…are about keeping track of ourselves...Feelings for home emerge from rest and restoration, comfort and security."
"Home becomes the place where we could collect ourselves before venturing out into a dangerous world... the hominess of our homes rests on something more important and universal: our psychological wellbeing.”(2)
“Marie Kondo’s international bestselling book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' ... argues that the useless, distracting and fundamentally unwanted stuff that accumulates in our houses becomes at first a physical and then a mental barrier to the home being a source of contentment and happiness.” (3)
The effects of clutter are home wrecking. Clutter causes our senses to work overtime on excessive stimuli that aren't necessary or important. Clutter distracts our attention away from what our focus should be on.
Clutter signals our brain that our work is never done. We have a background anxiety and guilt about whatever is in “that pile".
Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. It invades the open creative spaces in which we productively brainstorm. (4)
Clutter kills fluid movement and breathing space.
Decluttering is one way we can change a home without spending money,
that is: if we reduce clutter, instead of just reorganizing it somewhere else.
When you walk in the door, do you sigh in relief? Is your eye lead to open space, where there's warmth and ambience? An entryway is a buffer zone where you detox from outside life. Is the family door as welcoming as the less frequently used guest door?
When are you assaulted by clutter? Clutter happens, but is it absent from the places where you rest? Are areas of rest maintainted specifically for this purpose?
Keep the lighting of your refuges, out of the blue hue (LED, florescent, screens) An evenly spaced soft glow, controlled by dimmers is essential!
Minding Sentimental Items
A simple way to clear the clutter is to photograph cherished collectables. Catalogue the pics of these sentimental items in a special album alongside brief stories. This is a more honourable fate, than to be forgotten in a box buried somewhere...
Minding Your Three's
For some reason our brain finds comfort in seeing groupings of three's (or five's). Declutter shelves and tables, then try topping them with just two necessary knick-knacks or tiny groupings of items. Negative space is just as important as what is displayed. Now add a third item or grouping and see if it inexplicably feels better.
Create multi-sensory vignettes of Pause both outside and inside.
Create every reason to linger peacefully somewhere,
create diversions from the television room.
When life is nutty, we forget to breathe. Create empty spaces for this, too.
Home is Where the Heart Is…
Where do your pets curl up? Does doggy decor go with the flow? Rather than being relegated to odd-fitting accessories, give your loyal friends a fully integrated presence. Slip cover that kennel, plush up the pet beds. Cedar box the litter lining. Richly drape the cage.
Connecting the creatures of our heart into the positive background emotions of a decluttered home, improves the overall psychological habitat.
A freestanding towel rack, or basket of 'Spaw' towels grace every door. Spring-loaded shower curtain rods become fancy couch-deflectors (tuck in the crux between back pillows and sit pillows, when humans occupy). A french-rustic aluminum wash bin contains all pet dishes. A trio of tightly lidded tins contain treats and collars . Pets may not care about background emotion, but when there's decluttered harmony in our decor, we might!
Introversion is not a pathology. It is a state of quiet inwardness that serves to rejuvenate. Regardless of personality, we all function part of the time as introverts. When a home is comforting, energy is regenerated to spend outwardly. When home provides restorative recovery, the energy and inclination to share a home with others naturally increases.
Tea in a tiny secret garden. Apple pie in the kitchen.
A harmonious magnetic ambience. A warm welcome to a well-minded home.
©️Låna Brown 2017