Shape your dwelling (and your dwelling will shape you)

I have said this many times: “Your surroundings contribute to how you feel in your space”. When you shape your dwelling, it shapes you. And because it does it is very important to shape it well.

Picture this: You walk into a hotel room or a condo you are renting and the beds are unmade. The kitchen counters are cluttered with unmade decisions and the sink is busting with plates and pans from yesterday’s lunch – and dinner. The couch cushions aren’t straight, the pillows are askew, and the remotes are nowhere to be found.

It feels, well…heavy. Cluttered. And not much like a vacation home.

In fact, if you did walk into a vacation home that looked like that you’d ask for your money back. As you should! And yet when you walk into your home every day. The same home for which you pay rent or a mortgage you chalk up the clutter you see and feel to life. To having kids, a business, and too much to do.

The reality is that your home is your sanctuary – or at least it should be.

Your home is where you spend likely most of your time and money. And if you shape your dwelling well, you will benefit in more ways than one.

What I mean by that is that if you were to expect from your home what you expect when you go into a hotel room or a rental property you might find yourself feeling freer.


shape your dwelling

Of course, being on vacation warrants those feelings. Any time you spend away from the fray, space to relax, will and should conjure up good feelings. You deserve that. And I think you deserve it every day, in all your spaces – your office, your home, your head. I believe you can have spaces like the ones you are afforded on vacation where there is no clutter. Nothing on the counters or the floors. Where you can move freely in the space and feel good.

And you can do all of that and feel all of that not because you are on vacation but because your surroundings demand it.

Your surroundings, in fact, contribute to your mood. They contribute to how you “do” life.

Your surroundings can uplift your spirits, inspire your imagination, and make room for laughter, love, decisions, and discernment. They can even make room for disagreements and space to honor your own discomfort. Because we all are confronted at some point or another with things that make us feel uncomfortable or challenge us deep within.

If you didn’t know it, making space for that is what creating your life is all about.

That internal freedom is powerful.

The truth is that so much of the ability to create that internal space resides in our physical dwellings – and vice versus.

I want you to have that freedom necessary for all kinds of self-discovery and explanation, as well as simple moments of joy in your day-to-day doings of being a mother or a caretaker, house manager, or business owner.

To get that vacation feeling in your home try these four things:

1. Tidy up.

At the end of the day, in the middle of the day, any time in the day where you see the small tasks that when complete will restore some normalcy to the space do them. Clean the sink, fold the blankets, put the remote away, sort through the mail, wipe down the counter, and make your bed. Oh…please…make your bed every morning, Okay?

2. Pay attention.

Recognize what comes into your space physically. Look, if you want that vacation feel you can’t just allow anything into the space. Don’t shop without a list or you’ll buy more than you need. And don’t accept a gift or at least don’t keep a gift that is given if you don’t like it or need or use it. Create an area in your home where you put donations so that when something comes in or something has run its course you have an easy way to remove it.

3. Minimize.

You might not think there is room for minimalism in a life of play dates, children and meal plans, of managing a home and a business, and the messiness of life but there is. In fact, it is all there is if you want to have a home that feels light and where you feel calm and clear in it. You must let go of excess, or too much, or anything that gives you pause and clutters your space and your head. You can’t plan well a great day – on vacation or other – or a life when there is just too much noise in your space.

Clutter is noise. Things that are trash, that you don’t like, need, or use, or are in excess are noisy. Remove them. Swiftly.

4. Listen up to the mental thoughts you have swirling in your head.

Pay attention to what you are telling yourself and letting in. Shape your dwelling – internally. Because what you tell yourself shapes your psyche your internal space, and that will reflect on your physical space. The reason is that there is an internal reason why we clutter. Usually, in some way, it is to make us feel better, more adequate, and necessary. It is to help us feel as though we have some purpose or meaning. When all think we really want to be heard and to understand ourselves – in a broad sense and I think also in the day-to-day sense in trying to manage other people’s expectations and needs. Sometimes, we just need space to slow things down. I am here to tell you, that you have the power to create that space. And to better understand yourself and your place in the process.

It is an internal job.

To dig internally, try journaling your thoughts to give yourself the opportunity to slow things down, and make sense of what happened, or what you want to happen. Meditate to quiet your mind and open that space up for answers to come flowing through. Affirm, often, that you are worthy and deserving of the best. {I love and approve of myself. I am worthy of all the good that is coming to me.}

When you do these things it helps you dig and, as Emily Freeman says in this article, “create space…and offer compassion for ourselves and how we may or may not have responded in the moment.” So, keep your interior space free and welcome in the good stuff that will help you decide and move forward with your next best step.

You can have that vacation feel in your home. And in order to achieve it you just need to be willing to shape your dwelling well – internally and externally.

You deserve to feel lighter, happier, freer – with more clarity and calm just like you would on vacation.

Shape your dwelling, and you can.


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