You're driving home from a long day of work, and now you're ready to kick your feet up and unwind. You pull into the driveway, pet the dog as he comes to greet you, and then step inside. Rather than being welcomed into a retreat, you are slammed with an energy-draining mess!
This topic has been on my mind for months now. Do you have a house or a haven?
A house is a structure – the walls, the roof, the flooring, the paint – you get it. You can throw furniture into a structure, but that doesn't make it a home. It actually makes it a storage space! Some people are fooled to believe that because they have the structure of a house and some furniture in it, they have a home. Don't be fooled!
A home is a haven – a place of refuge. It's a place to retreat to at the end of a long day. As a custom builder, I hate to say we simply build houses. I want to believe that we are building homes. And yet, when it comes down to it, we are building the structure, aka "the house," and you – the person/family living in the house, are the home/haven builders. With that said, building homes remains our passion, so we are here to help you "build" the haven you've always dreamed of.
Three reasons why you should take the time to create a haven:
It will strengthen bonds in your family, in your marriage, and even in your friendships!
Think about it. When you take a vacation, you retreat to a beautiful space with beautiful scenery. If you're with your significant other, you both come back rejuvenated. If you retreat with your family or friends, your bonds are restored! Why can't this be the case at home? It can be. Now I'm not saying you can't take a vacation to achieve these things; vacations certainly have great benefits, but rejuvenation can be obtained without spending thousands of dollars on several vacations every year. Ample studies have shown that the home environment has a direct correlation to the relationships we build with our families.
You will be able to rest better by having control of your environment.
There is science behind this! Creating a haven in your home gives you control of your environment. With this control, anxiety is reduced, and when anxiety is reduced, you are able to rest better.
According to this Cornell study, "101 female undergraduate students participated under standard kitchen conditions or in a chaotic kitchen condition. Participants were also asked to recall and write about a time when they felt particularly in control or particularly out of control. Finally, participants were given cookies, crackers, and carrots to taste and rate.
Participants in the chaotic kitchen condition and the out-of-control mind-set condition consumed more cookies (103 kcal) than did participants who were in the in-control mind-set condition (38 kcal). The chaotic environment had no impact on consumption of crackers or carrots."
When we create a home environment that is controlled, we are able to rest well and live well.
Creating a haven is an energy booster!
Sure vitamins, exercise, and a healthy diet are important to your overall health, but if you're looking for a daily energy booster, look no further than the space you're living in.
If you read the abstract above, you can see that by creating a haven (a structured environment of safety and refuge), you're also creating a healthy environment. Want to live longer and healthier? Create a haven! Need more energy to get you through your day? Create a haven!
That's great, Jill! But how do I create a haven in my house?
Here's the single, greatest piece of advice I can offer you in getting your haven started: Get rid of clutter!
If you avoid going home because you know you have a mess, that's the first indicator you're in need of a serious de-clutter session. Here are a few tips to get you on track to creating your haven:
1. Start by doing one room at a time and divide your "stuff" into four different piles. (Boxes work great too!) Label your piles or boxes as: stuff to donate, stuff to throw away, stuff to keep, and stuff to store. Here's my own rule of thumb: If you haven't worn it or used it in the last 2-3 years, you probably don't need it. * You can also use the Marie Kondo method if you prefer. If it doesn't "spark joy," consider getting rid of it! (I used this method and it helped me eliminate so much more than I expected.)
2. Once you've decided on what you want to keep, find a place for everything and make sure it's a logical place!
3. Lastly, work one room at a time and GET IT DONE! So many people give up on de-cluttering. I'm not gonna lie to you. It's hard work! But so is going to the gym, and so is eating healthy! Anything worth doing takes sacrifice and hard work! Don't give up!
Keep in mind the benefits of making your house a haven! Your relationships are worth it, your health is worth it, and your overall peace of mind is worth it!
Give it a shot and leave us a comment below to let us know you've taken the first step in building your haven. We'll totally toast to that!