On Taking Stock Of Your Home Before The New Year

When the calendars rolls over to January first, it seems as though the pressure to analyze your life, home, and even family is far greater than it is any other month. We all go through a bit of self reflection and our home is an important part of that. Even though it might not be painfully obvious, your home could be affecting your mood and overall happiness and ability to accomplish the things you need to do. No really!

For a long time I used my home as an excuse. I'd tell myself that I couldn't do whatever task or project was at hand because I had to do 3 other ones first. I couldn't clean out the garage until I built those shelves and I couldn't build those shelves until I painted the bedroom.

Our home has an interesting power over us. We spend a great deal of time talking about how to clean and care for it and until we really snap into place on what has to be done and when, then that power can grow. In addition, if we aren't building good habits towards the condition and care of our home, then we are leaving the door open for headaches along the way.

Each year when we do the Home Cure, or even make a cleaning list and share some of our techniques, we hear two common comments. The first is that they're home isn't 100% clean and the little piles and unorganized nooks and areas hold them back. The second is that the list is over the top and that their time is better spent out enjoying life and lightening up a bit. The two go hand in hand. By saying you'd rather enjoy life than tackle those spots of jumbled papers and stuff you don't really know what to do with, you're creating a sense of worry and unrest in your home.

This December I've taken a step back and looked at my home and have tried to assess the spots that are never taken care of, the piles of stuff that are always in the way and how I can help out my own frustrations by better organizing or caring for them. My home was overwhelming me, and was making me feel bad that I wasn't more on top of it. I would hide in certain parts of it and ignore the rest. Since we're converting an old church, we have diy projects and renovation work around us and it's made things extra difficult to regain that control.

So I started making a list: Do I need a coat hook or a bench for my bag so I'm not always tripping over it? Do I need a different dish drainer so I'm not always putting off dishes because I know I'll have to dry some by hand? I encourage you to take stock in your own home and truly look at the habits you have versus the way you interact with your space. Are you causing your own problems? Is there anything you can change.

In a few short weeks it's made all the difference in the way I feel about my house and has removed a great deal of dread from regular chores and increased my patience with more trying projects or tasks. It might seem silly, but taking care of these things now takes the extra stress off the new calendar year and makes it a way of life, instead of a resolution that we'll just end up breaking. Because isn't that we do with all New Year's resolutions? It's like a rule right?

Image: Flickr member gagilas licensed for use by Creative Commons

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Sarah Trover has lived all across the Midwest and currently calls the hot dog-laden city of Chicago home. She rides scooters and seeks out kitchens that make the best pie.