(See May’s practice here.)
A year ago, most of us were stuck at home, and home improvement retailers made bank.
I say “stuck,” but the truth is, anyone who wasn’t worrying about staying in their home was well-off. If you or someone close to you was suddenly in danger of losing their home, I hope things worked out. The fact is that most of us will feel uprooted at one point or another, whether it’s because of the loss of income to cover housing, a new job—yours or a family member’s—that sends you elsewhere, a divorce or breakup, a dream college acceptance, a missions call, a loved one in need, or simply a deep desire for change.
Some of us are living in our dream homes. Some of us are living in what we consider to be temporary homes while we work out our future plans. Regardless of which group you’re in, let’s take a moment to be grateful for our homes: a safe, comfortable place to lay your head, have your meals, and live day-to-day life.
In the spirit of gratitude for our homes, June’s practice is nesting. “Nesting” is often used when referring to parents-to-be or engaged couples, but here I want to paint the picture of a bird’s nest painstakingly constructed and tended. Let’s take June to clean up, care for, and appreciate home.
- An easy way to go about cleaning up or clearing out is to go room by room. Pick one room in your home to clean up this month. Low bar, high reward! In your bedroom, you can deep clean your mattress and pillows. In the kitchen, clean your microwave, oven, range, fridge, and dishwasher if you have one. Tackle that scary garage.
- Maybe you’d rather pick one thing to clean all over the house. Clean your air conditioning vents and ceiling fans. Then burn a scented candle, diffuse nice-smelling oils, or melt some scented wax. Or wash your windows, inside and outside, and vacuum or shake out your curtains. Grout, baseboards, caulk… Or would you rather paint?
- Rather do the yard? Enlist your family’s help (or your friends’; bribe them with pizza). Don’t do it for the neighbors, do it for pleasant summer evenings spent outdoors.
- You can rearrange your furniture. Sometimes we buy new things when all we really want is a little change. Take some items from one room and put them in a new room. Or trade with a friend who’s up for it.
- Donate duplicate items you own. This includes phone chargers, the million travel coffee mugs in your kitchen cabinets, and the six different Christmas tablecloths that live in a box in the garage. A closet clean-out is always a good idea.
- If you work from home now and you haven’t set up a special workspace yet, take the time to do so.
- Think of ways you can personalize your living space. Maybe you have your own art or a family member’s art you can put up. Maybe you want to learn to take care of plants (pro tip, start with one). Maybe you want to add more photos of family and friends where you’ll see them every day. Maybe you have heirlooms tucked away in storage. What would make your home more special that’s NOT spending lots of money on mass-produced items everyone else has?
- Have people over! I don’t know about you, but I went out to dinner, drinks, and coffee a whole lot before the pandemic. Having people over instead is cozier, more personal, more vulnerable, more intimate, and…cheaper. Let your loved ones get familiar with your home. Let it become a sanctuary for them like it is for you.
Whether you’re renting your first one-bedroom or have lived in your family home for decades, take a moment to appreciate your home. Honor and thank it like Marie Kondo would.
The bottom line: Care for your home with gratitude, and let that gratitude bring you peace and joy.