Keeping up appearances

Your home is an extension of you - but when you look at your home, what does it say? Michelle Denholm explains why what your home says about you is so important.
Home is where the heart is, or so they say, but one thing I know for sure is that my home has my heart and there's no place like it.

Our home encompasses so much of us - our personality, mind, spirituality, loves, and values. It's a visual statement of what is going on inside us.

So I ask you a question: Is your home a true refection of you?

Are you the type of person who is incredibly organised at work yet come home, and chaos reigns? You know you can be organised because in one area of your life you are, so what's stopping you following through into other areas?

Believe me, I understand and appreciate that it takes time to get things into order. But trust me when I say that once things are in order and systems are in place, it takes minimal time to maintain.

A home is a material object, but at the end of the day it's the humanity, the people and our furry friends inside the home, which make it really special.

It astounds me when helping clients declutter, and they uncover items from the past which they really, really love and can't possibly release, yet they have been trashed sitting under mounds of clutter for goodness knows how long. If you love something, set it free! Bring it out and put it on display. Polish it up and make space for it. Otherwise, with so much "stuff" around your precious possessions, it's hard to see the beauty in these items.

Here's another question for you: Are you a person who lives your life obliging others? Always doing for others and never for yourself? If so, this may manifest in your home being transformed into a holding cell for everyone else's stuff. Or keeping items that were given to you as a wedding present or from a special friend, when the item in question is not actually anything you like. Yet you keep it - which takes up your valuable storage and is also a daily reminder subconsciously of "I don't really like that."

What we take in through our eyes filters in to our subconscious mind. So if you are seeing something every day and it's not what you really want to see, it's a negative input. 

And that's why it's imperative that you set up your home as a happy place. Your home should be a place of release - release from the past, from guilt, from obligations. Because, let's face it, we have enough negative visual reminders on the news and in our daily papers.

Is your home a statement for others? You may have the latest of everything, a magnificent home and perhaps a magnificent mortgage to match. And with that mortgage does it bring you unnecessary stress, worry and tension?  Are you spending your life trying to prove to the world that you are successful, that you do live in the right area and do drive the right type of car, that your kids do the right things?

If you are constantly living your life to prove to others that you are valuable and successful, then what drama does that bring about for you? Arguments over money, arguments over spending, worry in the middle of the night, anxiety, long hours working to pay for it? Is it worth it?

They also say that the eyes are the window to our souls.  I'd like to add to that and say that the windows in our home are also a refection of what's going on inside.

Check out your windows and the way they are dressed from the outside. Scenario one: Curtains are pulled back, clean and sparkling, windows open, window frames are tidy, and everything looks neat and presentable.
Scenario two: Curtains half pulled and ripped, windows clamped shut, mildew and mould on the sills, paint peeling on the frames, and cracks in the glass. What looks more inviting? What looks less stressful? Remember that what the eye can see, the mind can feed on subconsciously. Is that the image you want to project to the world outside?

It may sound superficial about "presenting an image", but again I refer back to your home being an extension of you. If you are as house-proud as some women I know, their homes mean a great deal to them. Not only for the obvious reasons of financial security but for bringing forth beauty into their lives. Having a friendly place to create friendships and build family relationships.

Some homes are left to wilt, and I find that so sad because homes have a heart too - it's all about appreciating what you have and identifying the positive within. 

Michelle Denholm runs her own decluttering and organising business, Harmonious Living. She has helped many busy families bring order into an otherwise chaotic and cluttered environment. Check out the website  for more information, or call 021 421 900 for a chat about how she can help you.




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