Mindfulness: Let your home be your refuge

One of my favorite quotes: “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” –William Morris

My super awesome yoga teacher, Lisa challenged me recently by talking about the “mindfulness” class she’s teaching at a local high school. This class helps students learn to better manage their stress so they are able to perform better in school. Mindfulness is about slowing down and really paying attention to your surroundings and how you feel in the present moment without judgment. This is my definition, not a dictionary one, and, from my perspective, applies to any situation, including your home.

Your home should be your place of refuge where you receive comfort, are nourished physically and emotionally, and where you can rest to recover from dealing with the craziness of the “real world.” If you’re not able to do these things, you’re limiting your ability to be your best version of yourself everyday.  It is essential that you take care of yourself and that truly starts at home.

Take a look around the room you are in right now (or imagine a room in your home if you’re not there) and what do you see, I mean really see? Is it calm or cluttered? Are the horizontal surfaces clear or filled with piles of papers? Is your bed made or a rumpled tangle of sheets? Are there dirty dishes in the sink or kitchen counter? Do you have closets and drawers that are overflowing?

So let’s just say that you answered “yes” to at least one of the above questions. There is no judgement about that (that’s mindfulness in action, too. No judgement.) but I’m here to tell you that you have the ability to overcome these distractions and have your home support and nourish you. If you can start to look at the clutter, piles, and tangles with an objective eye and start to manage these areas, they will lose their power over you. Take a deep breath.

Start with one room and think about what you want to happen in that room. Is it a place for resting or socializing? Is it just for you or is your family or company welcome to be in this room? If you decide how a room is to be used it will be easier to remove the things that do not belong, e.g. shoes do not belong in the living room, briefcase or work bag do not belong in the bedroom.

Attack a pile by quickly reviewing the contents and throwing away anything that is trash. See, the pile is smaller already. Get some bags or boxes and mark one for Donation. Put anything in there that can be donated because you don’t use it anymore and don’t need it anymore. Next decide where the items that don’t belong there go and take them there. I know that is easier said than done but once you’ve decided the purpose for a room, anything that doesn’t serve that purpose shouldn’t be there. The items that remain in that should should belong there so it’s easier to enjoy the space for its intended purpose.

Once you get started with this process and you see progress it becomes easier to move to other areas of your home. I hear some clients say they get so energized after clearing one area of their home that they take on other parts of their home faster and more efficiently.

When you don’t see piles or clutter, your mind is free to relax. When you relax in your comfy chair after putting away the dishes and leaving a clean sink, your rest is genuine and not interrupted with “I should clean that.” When you can get into a made bed at the end of the day you are rewarded for your hard work with rejuvenating sleep.


If you find that you need help getting started or getting finished with making your home more supportive, nourishing, and energizing, I would love to help you. Please contact carrie@neatsmart.com to set up a free, 20 minute session to discuss any questions you have about your home being your place of refuge. 

For more information on Lisa’s great yoga classes please visit her website at East Cobb Yoga Sol or her Facebook page . 

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