Be happier at home with this simple trick that will help you love your home and what you already have even more. Part of One Small Thing monthly series.
Hello my friend! I’m so glad you popped in today. If you are here it’s probably because you enjoy making a home you love and strive to do more to make that happen. You may also be struggling with loving the home you have and need fresh ideas for being happier at home!
Love the home you have!
I am really enjoying being part of a new series called One Small Thing with some other bloggers who not only have gorgeous home decor and DIY blogs but are also passionate about helping the environment, making healthier choices for their families and themselves, and living with intention.
One Small Thing Bloggers
A huge factor into being healthy and happy is your home! If your home is your happy place and you want to use it to it’s fullest with athestic and functionallity then I truly believe that affects your mental and physical health too.
I love discussing ways to be happy at home and have one simple tip for my “one small thing” this month. So let’s get to the goodies. Are you ready? It’s as easy as this. Use your pretty things.
I’ve thought of so many ways to word that one tip but I kept going back to that simple phrase. Use your pretty things. So let me explain. About five years ago when we were stationed at Okinawa my neighbor who was a fellow decor enthusiast came over to my house.
I was showing my latest DIY projects and a table setting that I had set up for the holidays with a beautiful set of gold plated bamboo flatware I had found on eBay for a great price. I told her it was for holidays and special occasions and pointed out a creative solution for its storage in our small kitchen.
She said something that has stuck with me ever since and was really quite profound.
If I had something that pretty I wouldn’t put it in storage, I would use it everyday!
That caught me off guard. “Oh!” I thought to myself, “but don’t we always keep our nicer things hidden away for safe keeping? Do they have more meaning if we only bring them out here and there if ever? Why waste the space? Should we use everything we have, even the nice and expensive things, and enjoy it?” And of course there’s always, “what if my kids break it?” But they are really just “things” after all.
Being in the military for so long and moving so often has really helped us keep things paired down luckily for us. And when we moved to Japan and were only allowed to bring a very restrictive weight of household things you better believe it was all of our prettiest decor, art, nicest clothes, and household items.
When we moved back and got everything back from long term storage I realized something. I didn’t really miss any of it! That was the first step into realizing how much “stuff” we had just for the sake of having “stuff” and what really brought us joy and use.
We’ve now been in our current house for about a year and I still had a lot of things packed up or stored in furniture like the bamboo flatware but also china and crystal from my grandmother, and other family heirlooms.
Last week as I was thinking about what I would write about for this series this month I remembered what my friend said years ago. “If I had something that pretty I would use it everyday.”
But there was still something holding me back. Even after living in a small space for four years in Japan I was still holding on to things that I really didn’t need and “hiding” those really special items for special occasions. Guess what it was? Being a home decor and DIY blogger!
I often feel like I need all of these extra things so I can switch my decor up for different seasons and holidays. I mean I can’t show the same thing all of the time right? I need new material? lol
But my husband and I made a decision to live in a house under 2,000 square feet (still large by most of the world’s living standards!) because we knew we didn’t NEED more space. My focus as a blogger should be what I’m passionate about and not worried about showing something more than once. Ha!
Bonus, living in house with only one living area in an open concept layout encourages the four of us (plus our pup!) to spend all of our at home time together. It also means that I don’t have much room for extra storage so I really do want to get the most use of everything we have. So let’s use our pretty things and get rid of unnecessary or excess items. Okay?
Do you know it took me until last week before I pulled out that gold flatware and started using it everyday? I also did some other things over labor day weekend. I pulled out our “everyday” IKEA dishes and other kitchen items we haven’t used in ages and got rid of them.
Now we have enough room in our cabinets for all of our “fine” things like grandmas crystal and blue danube china and the dining room buffet is completely empty. So by using our pretty things we’ve simplified our living by decluttering unnecessary abundance of kitchen items, needing less furniture (which in our small dining space is a great thing!), and enjoying family meal time even more.
Oh my goodness how fun it is to eat dinner with such pretty dishes and flatware. It made even more since when I realized the china is actually meant for everyday use and it’s dishwasher and microwave safe.
It really is funny how we hold on to ideas on what should be used and when and where. Are you getting the most of your decor and household items?
How do you be happy with the home you have?
Here are some other easy ideas to help you love the home with the things you already have.
- Make your bed everyday.
- Go to bed with the kitchen clean every night.
- Get the most out of your decor items by using pretty dishes and containers for storage on shelves and other flat surfaces.
- Keep your living room furniture off the walls for a cozy seating arrangement.
- Use all of your nice things to enjoy them fully.
- Get rid of items that don’t spark joy or aren’t necessities.
- Open all of your curtains (if practical) to let in as much natural light during the day and use warm light bulbs with table and floor lamps for a soft glow in the evenings.
- Add plants.
Make your bed everyday. Try swapping throw pillows from other beds or sofas in the house if you want a quick refresh! This also works with throw blankets.
Make sure your kitchen is clean every night before bed. When you wake up in the morning you will have a fresh start and a clean space to prepare coffee and breakfast and will not be stressed out by last night’s dishes. It’s a wonderful feeling!
Be creative with pretty storage using what you have. Hide things in plain sight by organzing items into pretty bowls, baskets, dishes, trays, and other decorating containers. This trick can keep necessities close by and help with lack of storage in smaller homes.
Be mindful of your furniture arrangements. Are they suited for easy conversation? Do they feel cozy? A quick tip is to simply pull furniture away from walls. This also gives breathing room and can make a small space feel larger.
Use all of your pretty things. Everything mentioned above. In a nutshell, make sure you are enjoying all of your decor and household items you are hanging on to, otherwise it might be time to kick it to the curb!
Does it spark joy? Yes I’m referring to the KonMari method. If you need help with this popular decluttering and organizing technique, check out how I decluttered our kids rooms and our master bedroom. I also have experience is simplifying decor and have shared my favorite tips before.
How is the lighting in your house? Use natural light during the day and warm lighting in the evenings to enhance your home’s esthetic. If your house is naturally dark like our current home, I find that making sure all of our curtains and blinds are open and having mirrors in dark corners really help.
Add plants. I love mixing faux and real plants depending on how the light is in certain spots in our house but strive to have green in every space. It is such a great way to liven up a room and always goes with any decor! If you don’t want to purchase something, go outside and cut a few green stems to put in a glass on your kitchen table.
Just changing your perspective on how you look at items in your house and rethinking everyday habits you might be surprised how easy it is to change just one small thing to love your home even more!
If you missed last month, I talked about how we use a tradition we learned in Japan and why or why not you should be doing it!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this series and whether strive to change one small thing a month. Leave me a comment and let’s chat!