Last week I shared with you why we we're now living a quieter life (you can read that blog post here), but I wanted to share with you what that actually means for us.
Firstly, it doesn’t mean we all sit around in silence because, believe me, our house can be loud at times. It just means that we try to be as calm as we can at home, and really try to unwind and relax. Here’s a few ways we do that:
- We don’t have any harsh, dark colours anywhere in our house (don’t talk to me about those sofas, they are going ASAP!).
- I open the curtains/ blinds and windows for a little bit each day. Yes, even in winter! It’s so refreshing to have some fresh air in your home. Stick on your favourite jumper or dressing gown and get those rooms aired. If it really is pouring it down all day, then make sure you at least open all the curtains in the house. Let that daylight in!
- We (try to) keep the house as tidy as we can. You know how you feel better when the house is clean and tidy? It really helps to destress in a tidy home.
- I tend to go through all of the rooms at least once a month and have a really good declutter. Get rid of anything that you don’t need or want. Clear out wardrobes and toy boxes and donate to charity. It’s amazing how much children grow in such a short space of time, get rid of everything that doesn’t fit anymore.
- I keep on top of paperwork. I have a few folders that I keep in my office (easy to get to) where I file any bills or important documentation that I need to keep a hold of. Each month I go through any stray bits of paperwork and I either file them or shred them. I do this with the kids desks too. My two love to write and draw, but then it all gets shoved in a drawer at the end of the day. A good declutter and cull of their ‘artwork’ always works wonders. The kids love to shred things too, just make sure they don’t catch you binning their masterpieces!
- I keep on top of the washing and ironing! Yeah, right? Well it’s true! I do one load of washing everyday, iron it and put it away. Little and often is key. That way it doesn’t build up and become overwhelming. Seriously, how do people cope doing the laundry once a week?!
- Our evenings are spent relaxing! Make sure you have a chill out space where you can all truly relax. For us, it’s our bedroom. It’s right at the top of the house out of the way from everything, and it barely has any furniture in it (we have a walk-in wardrobe where we keep everything. Out of sight, out of mind right?). It’s a place where we all pile into on an evening with books or watch a film with snack bowls. It’s perfect for us. I think it would otherwise be our living room once I’ve got the right sofas! Where is your chill out space?
- We turn the lamps on, not the big light! We also light some candles. This really helps us to create a nice relaxing atmosphere and unwind on a night.
- I surround myself with the things I love. For me that’s books, candles and blankets. For the children, their favourite toys, books and teddies can stay out on display but the rest (board games/ dressing up costumes etc) can be hidden away in toy boxes. I think it’s important to let children have a say in how their bedrooms are decorated. They’re the ones who have to sleep and play in it everyday. Harriet will often move her bedroom around, but I can guarantee that by the following day, she will have it back to how it was. She knows which way round her bed works best for her to get a good nights sleep.
- We have time for each other. This works well for us at meal times where we can chat about our days and what we did/ how we felt. Leave your phone in another room and don’t touch it while you eat/ talk. Just enjoy being together.
- Allowing ourselves a treat each day. I save my favourite chocolate for evenings when we’re settled together relaxing. Or I stay up later than everyone else does to scroll Instagram and do something just for me that’s nothing to do with work or being a parent or wife. Do you do something for yourself each day? Save yourself some of your favourite chocolates, have a nice long bath, watch your favourite box set or FaceTime your best friend. Just do something nice for yourself each day.
- And lastly, this is outside of our home but equally as important. We allow ourselves to say no to things. If the kids don’t want to go to a party that will be loud, or to a relatives house who they don’t really know, then that’s fine, we won’t go. If we don’t want to do something, we don’t do it. There is no point in going along to things that you know you’ll hate or feel uncomfortable in. It’ll only end up in an argument or the kids crying to go home. Learn to say no.
- I’m all for an easy life. Do what you want to do, don’t do the things you don’t want to, learn to say no, put yourself first and don’t be embarrassed to say you prefer to spend time with your family on a night, rather than being somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable.
It might be different for you though. You might prefer a darker colour scheme, or prefer a room that’s FULL of your personal belongings/ keepsakes, and that is fine. You need to live in a place that you love being in. This is just our way of making sure we can truly relax at home, but everyone is different. The important thing is that you do feel relaxed at home, and if you don’t, then maybe a few of the suggestions above could help.