I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. I have some big adventures coming up that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s funny how big adventures, that are slightly scary, can really make you think twice about what your plan and purpose is, and why you believe what you do, and do what you do. I wanted to share that with you because one thing I believe is that your home is meant to be a place of creativity and inspire you. For you, for your family, for your soul. While your home should be a soft place to land, I also truly believe in my heart that when your home is a place that inspires you, it makes you feel like you can do brave new things. It’s not about spending lots of money to get the perfect home, it’s about creating a home and a life that reflects you and your people. I made this printable quote from something I believe to my very core. (this post may contain affiliate links)My friend, Melissa, also has some awesome home quotes in her inspiring home book Love the Home You Have. I love her book, because it reflects very closely to the way I think a home should be and feel.
This is something I have learned the hard way, because for years, we lived in chaos. Our home wasn’t creative or inspiring at all. When I looked around, the house was a constant mess, I hated everything including the the wall color, I felt like the daily clutter of everything from piled up paper, to stuff added to the craziness. It wasn’t just because it felt like a mess, it was because our home didn’t feel like me. It didn’t feel like us. It felt like a different family lived there. I would picture in my mind this kind of home that I thought would feel like us, and it was really different than the house we lived in. In my head, vs. reality, was neat and tidy,it had lots of light, it felt bright and open, and somewhat organized unlike our cluttered, dark home. The thing is, I couldn’t take the step to make the change to that house. It had dark paint, and I kept repainting with the same dark colors, going maybe one shade lighter and thinking it was too bright. I kept shoving things in closets instead of just sorting through and getting rid of the excess, and made excused on why I needed to keep what I really didn’t need.In fact, for years, I would just shut the door on our bedroom every day instead of dealing with how hideous it was. It just seemed too tiring to deal with. In fact, I may have never tackled it if I didn’t have the pressure of writing a blog. I also had bad habits that didn’t help matters. When people offered us things they were getting rid of, I would say “yes” every time, not really considering if I really needed it, or had a place for it. I would say our home was “eclectic and collected”, but really, our home felt really tight and closed in, an almost claustrophobic. Instead of really thinking about my purchases and how what I bought in my home, and taking my time before I spent and money, I would buy things on impulse because I wanted a change and it was cheap. I thought that “thing” would make it better. The problem is, it was the wrong kind of change. The end result was,instead of having something quality that I really loved, I would eventually get tired of it and want to change it again, spending more money (I didn’t have) on something else that was just as cheap. It became and endless cycle that made me spend money I didn’t need, and accumulate a lot of clutter I didn’t want, and added to debt we already had. I was looking to satisfy myself in the wrong place by adding, instead of taking away, instead of digging deeper.
When I finally reached the end of my rope and every last nerve, and last inch of space, I started exploring what I truly wanted in a home for my family. I was tired of living how we were living. For years, I’d wanted a larger home to hold all of the stuff, and give us more “room”. That wasn’t going to happen, so, I wondered how could I move toward a home that I could love, that would make me feel inspired, without actually moving? Or spending a ton of money we didn’t have. I realized we were limited by space, but not potential. After a lot of soul searching, I also realized I was sabotaging myself.
I needed to take a risk and move towards what I truly wanted and change habits. So,after a big gulp,I (first) stopped spending on things that I didn’t truly love. If I kind of liked it, it was a no-go. I also stopped taking everything from people just because it was free. I vowed I would only put things in my home that I absolutely fell in love with (But, if they were free,that was a bonus.). I grabbed onto a vision, and held tight. No more impulse shopping on a trend if it didn’t fit with the idea of what I thought our home should be. It was hard to stick with at first,and I had moments of failure and buyer’s regret, but I did it. It meant digging in and cleaning out closest and drawers, and instead of adding more, having less. It meant not thrift store shopping when I was bored, and it meant putting a timeline on wants vs. needs (We still have a 24 year old fridge.). And, putting money towards our debt instead of cheap things that didn’t really make me happy. It meant saying no to extra “things”.
And suddenly, the clutter started moving out of our home. As we made small changes,and steps forward, I started to really like, and then love what I saw. It made me feel more content to be at home, and our home functioned better without stuff on every surface, and in every corner and closet. It felt easier to be at home.It started to become an inspired space for us, and place where I felt like I could take more risks, and experiment and explore, and work harder towards a home we could love. Because I wasn’t looking at the white-noise of clutter and chaos, I started to see not only potential, but everything else we had already accomplished. It made me feel brave, and in control, it went from chaotic craziness, to organized craziness. And, once the ball was rolling, it kept rolling.
Don’t get me wrong. My homes still has “stuff”. There are still many things I can clean out. There are days I still wish we had a little more room,maybe some day we will. I’m still holding out for the “dream house”, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. There’s no magic wand,but when I look around, I like what I see. It makes me feel good. It feels like US. Our couches are still my grandma’s and a thrift store couch. My kitchen table, a neighbors hand-me down, and our bedroom furniture came from my Mother-in-law. In fact, minus the (mostly)excessive clutter, and the debt, we still live this funny, cobbled-together existence,but THAT feels like our home…I love everything that has residence and space in our home. If I don’t, it’s gone.With that clearing out, I found brave, and painted brighter walls, and LOVE them. If I hadn’t cleared away the white noise of sameness, and take a risk by deciding the change things, I might have never been able to go in that direction, it would have been to overwhelming just to paint. I might have thought about it for a long time, but never actually done it. That makes me feel inspired, and make me feel creative, not all the things, or the big tickets items, but the “what I could do, what our home can be.”
I believe your home is meant to be a place of creativity to express yourself, and inspire you to do big, bold, beautiful things. It’s just holding tight and taking that first step towards it.