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New Year, New....Space?

Here's the scene; The Christmas décor is slowly being packed away. The gifts you received need a place to land inside your already congested home. What are you going to do with all this stuff? For you it may be loads of kids toys, four to0 many scarves in the front porch when you really only wear one of them on repeat, or perhaps your counter tops seem to be buried under new gadgets, serving platters or random cookie containers as a result of the holidays.


With all that said, I can also expect that you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed with new and existing clutter. There is proven science behind the saying 'what clutters your home, clutters your mind'. Our brains are looking for a path of least resistance. Studies have shown a direct link between clutter in your home and increased cortisol levels in your body. Particularly in women. Surely you have had a moment where you looked around a room in your home, felt defeated by it and closed the door rather than deal with it?


Where we are in life mentally & emotionally, generally spills over into our home.


Reflect on that statement. Our home should be our sanctuary, the safe cozy place we escape the from the world and create life's best memories with our loved ones. Then why to we continue to close the proverbial door in these spaces in our home? Continuously making excuses for the 'mess' when people visit. Find ourselves with 'board' kids when they literally have dedicated play rooms spilling over with toys. At the end of the day the enemy here is STUFF.


North Americans in general fall into the trap of consumerism more than any other Continent. Even from my small city in Newfoundland, Canada, the trap is regularly baited. Social Media and other propaganda telling you that you need the latest hair tool, décor trend or kids toy. We allow 'them' to hold the power over what fills the spaces in our homes and as a result, our minds.


I am here to tell you, you've had antidote, the power, all along. You hold the key to deflecting what society pushes at you. You are 100% in charge of what comes into your home - and more specific to this blog post - what goes OUT of your home.


Let's begin this New Year by garnishing some of that control back into your own hands and truly creating a home that allows you a sigh of relief after a long days work, or excitement (not panic) when a friend shows up unannounced. Here are some tips I have learned along the way, both in partaking in numerous decluttering challenges and studying Scandinavian Interior Design:


  1. Declutter. Remove unnecessary items from your home. There are a ton of resources and check lists online, should you feel you need structured guidance on this step. I myself, do the 'Declutter Like A Mother' session with Allie Casazza every January and continue regular purges throughout the year. Find something that you feel would work for the season of like you are in and get started.

  2. Function over form. If something deserves a spot in your home, it should serve a purpose. Just because you see the most stunning ottoman while browsing through some amazing sales on Wayfiar, doesn't mean your home needs it. Think intentionally about the pieces you add to your home.

  3. Focus on natural colors and textiles. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere by using neutrals as a foundation in your space. You will find this decreases the stimulation in your brain and allow the eye to wander throughout a space with a sense of calmness. If you absolutely LOVE colour, remember there are no rules that say you can't spruce up a space with pops of contemporary color, just allow yourself to truly enrich your space in a way where you still feel happiness and contentment.

  4. Get your family involved. Your home may contains kids, partners, roommates, etc. Explain to your family members your intentions around simplifying your home and ask that they join you in this journey. Kids especially can benefit from less 'stuff'. Ask them to go through their belongings and see if they can come up with some things they not longer need. Also ask, when they are pulling at your shirt, begging for moreeee Pokémon cards at Walmart, that unless they are willing to part with some other items to make space, or if they are old enough to understand, are they are willing to use their own money to purchase the cards. This allows them to analyze the need vs. want dilemma and more often than not, you walk away with no additional cards to clutter up their desk.

  5. Space plan. Set your intentions ahead of time for a room or space in your home. Truly study what you want the space to do for you before adding furniture or décor. Should you already have the staple fixtures in your space, but feel like the room is not flowing right, perhaps and extra set of eyes can help. the Windshook Lab offers space planning to walk through options around the placement of furniture pieces, art and task lighting.

Over the past few years, we have likely spent much more time inside the four walls of your home then intended, due to the seemingly never ending Coronavirus pandemic. Life in general is more stressful than ever as we navigate each new twist and turn. I encourage you to use some time over the next while and focus in on creating a home that gives you a mental break from outside influence and allows you to connect to intentional life, inside your control. It's worth it.

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