Earlier this year, my husband and I were sitting on our couch discussing what he’d like for his birthday. Now, he is not a big birthday person, but nonetheless, I like to make each of my family members feel as loved as possible on their special day. All he asked for was a more peaceful home, which really meant, he wanted me to clean the house.
Now, my house isn’t horrible, but I can think of a million other things I’d rather do than declutter, mop, or dust. Don’t get me wrong, I have my certain chores that are more like routine, such as laundry, errands, and paying the bills, but I really don’t like cleaning.
My husband said something to me that stuck out. He said a clean house made him feel peaceful, and he was able to relax when the house was clean.
Of course, I cleaned the house from top to bottom that day (I was exhausted), but it got me thinking about ways I could make our home more peaceful. How could I make my home a sanctuary and bring peace so we could all relax a little more? Here are a few things I came up with. They seem to be working, and I hope they work for you too.
Clean the house.
Now, I know I just said I don’t like to clean, but seriously, who doesn’t like to come home to a clean house? For many years, I was a follower of Fly Lady. For those of you who don’t know who Fly Lady is, she basically has a set of routines and baby steps for you to follow to get the C.H.A.O.S. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) out of the house.
I’ll be honest. After following her for several years, the amount of routines she came up with were overwhelming, but the basic principles were great. I’ve eventually adapted her philosophies into my own system. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.
Routines give us predictability and help us put mundane tasks, such as unloading the dishwasher in the morning, on autopilot. Being predictable initially sounds boring and controlling to me. Where’s the spontaneity? Where’s the fun?
I’m not saying get rid of all of that, but sometimes our hubbies thrive best on routine and schedules. My husband is still a military guy at heart. They know what to expect, for the most part, and there aren’t too many surprises to catch them off guard.
Get Rid of Stuff
When we first moved into our current home, we had just left a 2 bedroom apartment. The first night we spent here seemed empty. In fact, the living room echoed at the lack of furniture! Fast forward 9 years later, and I’m not exactly sure where all this stuff came from. It’s much easier to clean your home when there isn’t as much stuff to look after!
I read a book this year about the Kon Marie method of decluttering. Instead of decluttering by room, you declutter by category, and instead of doing just a little bit at a time, you do it all at once. It sounds weird, but it has really worked so far and made a huge difference in how our home looks and operates.
Make Space in Your Calendar
Recently, I cut my hours back at work. I was extremely nervous, because of the pay cut that came with it, but having more time at home has invited an immense amount of peace that’s indescribable.
I realize not everyone can cut back their hours at work, but try to have fewer activities on the calendar. Don’t feel like you have to volunteer for every school event. Have a day where you just rest and spend time together as a family.
Get Rid of Bitterness
In my women’s Bible study, we talked about a verse that tells us to get rid of the poisonous root of bitterness. It’s not easy. In fact, it sucks. I’d rather hold on to my justified anger. Trust me, I know you do too.
It’s similar to a walnut tree. The walnuts that fall to the ground leach toxins into the soil that are poisonous to other plants so nothing can grow around it. You have to totally uproot it to invite other plants in. I recently did this, and it’s made a huge difference in our home. It’s not easy, and it’s a daily struggle to choose peace over my real feelings, but it’s totally worth it!
Having a clean home, creating routines, decluttering your stuff (and your calendar and heart!) aren’t the only ways to create a more peaceful atmosphere in your home, but they are a start. I’ve found I can light candles or have a great meal cooking on the stove to create a welcoming and peaceful environment (Never let your man get hangry, hungry + angry = hangry). I also love to bring home some fresh flowers when I’m at the grocery store to brighten up our kitchen table.
What are some methods you can use to create a more peaceful home today?