Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy at Home

Happy New Year! Happy First linkup of 2013!
Last week I found (and by found I mean, someone shared it) this list of 10 ways to be happier at home and I just about died. Everything they suggested sounded amazing.
You know what makes it better? Most of their sourcing comes from Gretchen Rubin, the Happiness Project guru.
I was so inspired by this list that I've decided to go through it and makes some notes on how I could apply these 10 suggestions to my home.

1. Make your bed. Apparently articles have been written about how this quick and easy task can make you happier. Our bed is really only made when I change the sheets, but I fully believe that having to pull back blankets from a freshly made bed every night would make me a little happier. I always have to straighten out the sheets before I go to bed anyway. This would eliminate that step. AND Panda wouldn't be able to sleep on our pillows because they would be protected. ;)

2. Bring every room back to "ready." This one is going to be a challenge for me. I don't know about you, but even though I clean up after pretty much everything I make and do 90% of the time. Some things are just out of my control. Bringing the room back to "ready" turns into a complete home cleaning every day. I would LOVE to have a "ready" house, but this one seems beyond me. We'll see...

3. Display sentimental items around your home. Can I caveat this with "in moderation"? I'm all for sentimental things. We have a painting I did when I was 9 in our guest bathroom, photos just about everywhere, and when Christmas rolls around, I pull out this old Santa-riding-a-bicycle music box that my Grandma used to put on her living room coffee table, but I feel like I have new eyes when it comes to keeping crap things around. My in-laws just cleaned out their storage unit, drove by on Christmas Day and left us with boxes upon boxes of stuff to go through. I find myself torn between insensitive and pragmatic, but also I now feel like I need to go through whatever tubs of my old stuff we got from my parents house and get. rid. of. stuff.

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal. I'm a journaler. This one's a no-brainer for me.

5. If you can't get out of it, get into it. I am in love with this idea. The example they used was doing the dishes. That sh*t has to get done - no way around it - so why not make it amazing? I plan on blasting the songs I love to sing along with and dancing around the kitchen while I do the dishes and clean our room. They also suggested enjoying the hot water and bubbles, but I'm just gonna be real here and say that is not my bag. Dish water is gross.

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. AAAAAH! Yoga! Aaaaaah! Did you know that setting an intention at the beginning of every class helps you focus your energy during class and throughout the day. This is just taking that principle and applying it to everything else. This makes me so happy. I'm going to do it. No question.

7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return. (not even a thank you) This sounds nice. I kind of do this already, but now I am going to make a mental note when I do. Maybe I'll write about it in my gratitude journal. ;)

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day. I am not a phone person. I'm always happy to talk to my family and friends, but I feel like the phone is an interrupter. It's an excuse to be rude to the people that are right in front of you. Soooo, yeah, I'll call people... when I'm alone.

9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. What a nice idea! I would love to have a table by the garage door to put my purse when I get home, and I desperately want another dresser for the bedroom so that I can better organize my clothes! These things would definitely make my home experience happier... but you know who wants to carry another dresser up 3 flights of stairs?... nobody. That doesn't mean it won't happen though.

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. Meditation is on my 30x30 list. What a wonderful excuse to make this happen. This line from the apartment therapy post really connected it all for me,
Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on your annoyance with the those-are-definitely-not-mine-and-they-are-abso-fricking-lutely-repulsive socks under the coffee table.
Another way to look at this if you're not really spiritual is to take some "me time" - read a book, get a massage, go for a walk, appreciate the ginormousness of the world!

I am not one to make new years resolutions. I think being good to yourself and those around you should be all year every year - no need to resolve to do them - but I am going to try and make some changes in my home so that maybe, just maybe, it can be a happy, relaxing, safe haven. Hopefully, I'll remember to touch back on this in a little while so we can see how I'm doing.

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