Last week Kelly, the kids and I went to Disney World for the weekend. We had a fantastic hotel room with all the amenities. I was sitting in a big armed chair and found myself thinking, “Awe…I could just live here.” Have you ever stayed somewhere and found yourself murmuring those words? I’ve asked a few friends since then and to my surprise it’s a pretty common scenario.
So that got me thinking…
Have you ever taken a moment to consider what you want your home to be?
I ask because I believe that some of our clutter issues exist because we have not asked – and more importantly answered that question.
So what is your home?
Is it your retreat?
Your hobby shop?
The place where all your stuff is?
Your Christmas wonderland?
Your secret garden?
The reality is that our actual and physical homes can only function as one or two of these things.
If you’re like me, in our over-stimulated and over-marketed-to minds we feel that our home needs to be all of these things, all the time.
The solution to your clutter problems just might begin with you answering (honestly) what your home should be to you.
For me the answer is that our home is our home-base. It’s where we eat, sleep, shower, do homework, discuss, plan, argue and consequently – share some of the best times of our lives.
Our landscaping is decent but it’s no botanical gardens. Our Christmas lights are nice but it’s no Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s not our retreat or sanctuary because let’s face it…life happens here. We’ve honestly answered the question and now are free to make wise purchasing decisions based in reality.
So now you might be asking, “What if I want to enjoy an incredible garden, or spectacular Christmas lights, or boating on the weekends, or just reclining in a lounge chair at the pool or beach?”
The answer. Go and do just that! Thankfully we live in the most advanced service oriented societies that has ever existed – so take advantage of it.
For us life is all about the experiences, so we are intentional about creating experiences that make for lasting memories. If we want to experience the most spectacular Christmas display in Florida – we go to Disney World as we just did. The experience was phenomenal. Our family danced in the streets (see post pic) with all the lights and music and faux snow. We had a memorable time. And guess what? I don’t have to manage any of it! No putting up the lights or taking down the lights, or setting the timers and standing in line at Target because I need one more strand of lights to “make it perfect.” Nope, instead we just went. Had the time of our lives and now we are ready for our next experience. No clutter involved!
The same could be said for just about any experience. Love boating? Join a boat club. Love gardens? Find a local botanical garden and enjoy some tea as you stroll through the beauty of nature. Need to get away and just relax? Do it! Book a room at your favorite resort and take the time to recharge. No matter how much you spend on making your home look like a resort the fact is that you will never truly achieve your goal. Why? Because its home…not a resort. You will always have “home” problems in your home/resort which defeats the purpose. There will always be laundry to do and things to clean and clutter to clear – which if you ask me completely ruins the “resort” experience.
The point is, let’s stop letting everyone tell us that home needs to be everything – all the time. It’s not – its home. Let’s stop letting the TV Commercials and magazine ads and billboards tell us that our home should be what they are selling. Instead, let’s be intentional about the function of our home, and in the process keep the clutter away.
So let me encourage you to answer this question:
What is the primary function of my home and how can I make my purchases reflect that purpose?
Once you’ve answered that question you will find extraordinary freedom and saying “no” to purchases that don’t fit your function. It will also give you freedom to enjoy the things you love outside of your home-base, and peace that comes from having less clutter.