Raise your hand if you feel like your home is your haven, where the messes are small, decor is magazine-worthy, and there is only order…no chaos. (If you are raising your hand right now, you should be slapped in the mouth. But I don’t do that because I’m a lady.)
Let’s be honest. Life is busy. Our days are hectic. Messes happen. But it isn’t the day-to-day that necessarily needs to change, it’s our perspective that needs to shift.
My dear friend Sharon from Mrs. Hines’ Class has published a new book called “Creating Success at Home“, in which she shares practical tips for creating order from chaos, decorating to suit your style, and enjoying the mess as a part of life. It’s from her heart and it’s inspiring. Today, to help Sharon celebrate this fabulous book of hers, I want to share a few of my own takeaways with you. Allow me to show you How I’m “Creating Success at Home”.
“Creating Success at Home” is your guide to redefining home, conquering clutter, taking back time, boosting your energy, and overcoming decorating fears. That’s pretty high standards, right? But it truly does help with all of those things.
I’m pretty organized and have a solid grasp on my decorating style, but I learned a lot from Sharon and her book, and I want to share what I learned with you today:
THERE ARE LIFE LESSONS IN THE ORDINARY THINGS
Sharon shares a story about finding a life lesson in a dish towel, something so ordinary and simple. She walks by it multiple times throughout each day, and one day, all of a sudden, it spoke to her.
Ok not literally spoke to her because that would be freaky. But she gleaned some life nuggets from that dish towel.
It’s not even so much about the dish towel. It’s about taking the time to appreciate the things that we take for granted. A few years ago, I shared a post about how I’ve come to love dirty dishes. Sometimes the things we start out hating end up being really great therapy, and give us a new appreciation for the little things.
SET THE TABLE FOR NO REASON AT ALL
Why is that we only set the table with our “good dishes” and linen napkins when it’s a special occassion? I’ll be honest – I don’t have any “good dishes”, I just have dishes. And when we had friends over for an early Thanksgiving dinner, I couldn’t find my linen napkins.
I improvised, with my white plates my mom found on sale at Marshall’s and my Target-special dishes Mark & I bought for ourselves when we got married. Nothing about my table setting was fancy or expensive, but it sure was pretty!
And I left it like that for more than two weeks y’all. Not because we had anyone else coming over to enjoy it, but because every time I walked past my dining room, I’d see it and smile. (And to be 100% truthful, I can’t bare to take the burlap and lace off the chairs to this day!)
Sharon reminded me of how much I loved this table when it was set, and it inspires me to set it more often, for no reason whatsoever than to enjoy cereal with my daughter in the morning before school.
CREATE A METHOD TO THE MADNESS
Ok, remember last week when I shared how I’m working on my goal of Whole Home Organization this year? And I made those sweet printables (if I do say so myself) to go with it? Well, Sharon is making this process even easier, y’all!
Not only will I be going room by room throughout the year, but now I have a 4-part decluttering method to help me tackle these spaces! Essentially, I’ll start with containers and label them for everything – trash, keep, recycle, donate, and lost & found (to relocate those items that don’t belong). I’ll choose my space, which I’ve mapped out in my Monthly Home Road Map, and sort every single item in that space.
Here’s something I didn’t consider: Sharon says if you are working in a room, to start in one corner and work clockwise. Under a cabinet? Go left to right. And in a closet – top to bottom. Makes sense, but I tend to start at eye-level or with the most frustrating item/area first. And then, of course, I get distracted by all the things I find that I forgot I even had!
REMEMBER THE 3 BEARS? BE GOLDILOCKS
That doesn’t mean you eat other people’s food and then take a nap. Remember how Goldilocks tasted all the porridge, and one was “too hot”, one was “too cold”, and one was “just right”? That’s the message here when it comes to defining your version of “clean”.
The biggest takeaway for me is the reminder that our homes do not have to look like the homes in a magazine, or our friend’s home, or a blogger’s home. We have to decide what “clean” means to us – what we are comfortable living with – and strive for that.
I used to be ridiculously picky about things in my home not matching, or not being put away. I wanted my home to be perfect. But the older I get, and the more I actually realize how crazy that expectation is, I’ve learned to let go of “perfection” and I’ve become comfortable with “good enough”.
Here is the reality of what goes on in my home:
*I have a husband who doesn’t know how to close doors or drawers completely, and can’t seem to locate the laundry basket so he settles for the foot of the bed or the edge of the bathtub.
*I have an almost fourteen-year-old daughter. Enough said.
*I have three dogs who shed and slobber and live in our house. There are two things you’ll hear me say if you ever come over to visit: “This is the dog’s house. We just pay the bills.” And, when I get frustrated with the tumbleweeds of dog hair or the blankets covering every inch of my home to protect our rugs and furniture, you’ll hear me yell, “I JUST WANT NICE THINGS!” #truestory
*I now work from home three days each week. And yes, I actually work, which means I don’t have time to clean while I’m home.
We live here. It’s all good. I’m comfortable in my home even when things are not perfect. They’re good enough for me.
DON’T LET YOUR INBOX DICTATE YOUR DAY
In Sharon’s book, she tells the story of how she used to check her email first thing each morning and get caught in the trap (anybody else hearing Elvis right now? No? Ok, move on…), of answering emails rather than preparing her lesson plans for her day as a teacher. Her principal gave her some sage advice that I have decided to take to heart.
“Don’t start your day with someone else’s agenda.”
I’m guilty. After Bible study & breakfast, email is the very next task on my list. I try to allow myself about 30 minutes for inbox management each day, but more often than not, it takes way longer. The good news for me, though, is that I don’t hoard emails. I’ve seen those pictures of people’s inboxes or phone notifications showing thousands of unread emails and it makes me twitch. I can’t handle even one unread email notification.
But I do have the bad habit of trying to respond immediately, and I keep my Gmail tab open all day long when I’m working at home. It’s going to be a hard habit to break (and now I’m hearing Chicago…) but I’m determined to take back my time.
So, how can you Create Success in your own home?
What would you say if I told you that you can start creating success in your own home for less than a cup of your favorite Starbuck’s coffee? “Creating Success at Home” is yours for immediate download for only $3.99 y’all! 134 pages of inspiration, encouragement, helpful tips and Sharon’s heart poured out on the pages in all it’s glory.
If you’re still not convinced that “Creating Success at Home” is worth breaking a $5 bill, Sharon is even allowing you to read a sample chapter from the book. Click HERE or the image below to read it now!
Where do you feel you need guidance in your home? Is it the clutter, or taking back your time? Or perhaps it’s decorating. Share your struggle in the comments below, as well as your tips for your own brand of success in your home!
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