In this episode, I’m talking about where to start in your home, key mindsets, the permission you need to give yourself to have a lovely home, and more.
In this episode, Shannon discusses:
- Where to start in your home
- How your mindset affects your home and family
- That nobody’s house is perfect and photos online are not the entire picture
- God created beauty, so it’s okay to want that in your home
Mentioned in this episode:
Alrighty, so in this episode, we’re going to talk about where to start in your home.
Welcome to the Lovely Home Podcast, the show for homemaking mamas just like you. I’m your host, Shannon Acheson. If you’re looking for ways to confidently create a clutter-free, cozy and beautiful home, you are in the right place. To learn more about what we’re talking about here today, visit homemadelovely.com for all our blog posts and podcast episodes. Plus, you can get your hands on some awesome freebies there too.
So if you have just stumbled upon Home Made Lovely, and you are just a mama at any age or stage, be that a first-time mama or a grandma of 15, it doesn’t matter. If you are looking around your home and you just don’t feel like you love it, or you feel like you are unfocused in where to start, you’re overwhelmed with where to start, maybe you’re lacking motivation because you’ve tried some things before and they just haven’t worked and you just don’t know where to start.
And so in a survey that I did a couple of months back, a lot of people said that they were feeling these things. A lot of the mamas that replied to that survey and filled out that survey said that they were feeling those things. They were feeling unfocused and overwhelmed, and they just had no idea where to start. Do they start with decluttering? Do they start with picking a paint color? Do they start with buying a rug? And honestly, in my opinion, those are all great things, and yes, you can get to those eventually. But in my opinion, when you are feeling that way and when you are just starting to get a handle on this whole home thing and making it a beautiful, amazing space, and a clutter-free and organized space, the best place to start is with your mindset.
Now that may sound a little woo-woo or a little weird and out there, and what does mindset have to do with your home? And isn’t that just for people who want to work out or make bazillions of dollars? But the truth is, is that your mindset kind of plays into everything. So if you like a lot of other women and mamas are desperately craving a calm, peaceful, cozy home that will affect your moods and how your family functions in a positive way, instead of dragging you down and making you feel like you’re just drowning or spinning your wheels and frustrated. And even sometimes embarrassed to open the front door because the house is either so messy or you feel like it’s ugly and doesn’t reflect how you want it to look, and things like that, then here’s where I want to give you a pep talk.
Now I’m really good, and some have said is kind of a superpower, that I can take really big abstract ideas and break them down into step by step. So five steps to organize anything, and how to decorate your whole home in three steps and things like that. And so this mindset thing is a little less step by step and a little more feel-y and a little more like if I invited you into my house. So a little bit less, like one of my courses and a little bit more like if I invited you to my home and I poured you a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or whatever it is you feel like drinking at the time of day and sitting in my living room and just giving you some loving encouragement, maybe a little bit of a kick in the rear to get you going and prompted and motivated. But also wrapping you up in a big hug and saying, you can do this.
So we mamas get so bogged down when we think about our homes, in looking at images of other people’s homes. So whether you’re looking on Pinterest for organization ideas, or you are scrolling Instagram, nursing a baby in the middle of the night or whatever, or waiting in the school pickup line or whatever it is that you’re doing and you’re looking at these images online. I need you to remember that all those images are a snapshot of a moment in time.
Now, even my pictures, the pictures that I share on social and on our blog, it’s literally like a split second of time in our house. So our house gets messy just like everybody else’s. So some of those pictures have the mess pushed out of the way. Some of them are taken when we have done, a nightly reset or our morning routine, and picked up and cleaned up everything. But, as much as I wished these things and our home and everything stayed pristine and perfect in their place all the time, that perfectionist little nag in my head, that isn’t going to happen. Because a true home and the kind of home that I genuinely want to have for my family and for myself and for our friends and our neighbors is a living, breathing organism of sorts that’s always emotion.
So glasses and mugs will get used. Pillows will get smushed and tossed around on the couch, books hopefully will get read, and then discarded hopefully back in their proper place, but sometimes just on the table nearby when someone leaves the room, and your home is never going to be perfect. And so for some of us who are such perfectionists, that is so hard, but it’s just not going to be that way. And it really shouldn’t be. But on the flip side of that, you deserve a home that functions like clockwork and allows you to live your life and love on your kids and your spouse and your neighbors, and to do all those things without bogging you down and taking all your ever-loving time and energy. You deserve a home that can be picked up in just a few minutes, because everything has a place and you don’t have so much stuff that it’s overrunning your entire home.
Your home does not have to be a hot mess. Now, I also want to say something to Christian mamas in particular. So it makes sense that we should be good stewards of our things and that our home should function well. That totally makes sense as Christians, right? But something that I personally have struggled with is, is not being okay with, or feeling guilty about the fact that I want my home to look pretty or beautiful. And just feeling like that’s shallow or selfish or something like that. When really, God created beauty. He created beauty in all the things around us, in the ever-changing always different sunrise, sunset, in every single flower pedal that he created, in every mountain landscape. And so he hardwired us to want and to appreciate beautiful and pretty things. So mommas if you are struggling with feeling guilty about wanting a pretty space, please stop. Please seek out God, please pray about that because it’s okay to want to have a beautiful home.
Now I have to speak to the flip side of that too. And this is something that I have also struggled with. Imperfect. Imperfect human being, I tell ya. It’s easy to go off the rails with wanting a pretty home too. So I have definitely looked at all those beautiful pictures and homes on Instagram and Pinterest and coveted them and wanted them and had to go to God and seek forgiveness for that. But just … It’s not okay to do that and to go to that place. For me for example, where I live, all the beautiful brand new farmhouses that I’m seeing all over Instagram on these great big pieces of gorgeous land, if I were to have one, if I were to try and buy that or build that here where I live, I’m in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and sort of Southern Ontario, that land and that house would cost millions upon millions upon millions of dollars.
And so, me wanting that and looking at those and wanting those is just not okay because it’s not realistic. And our house is great in the suburbs. It’s beautiful. And so that brings me to the next thing is, did you see how I just said, I loved those houses and those farmhouses and that great big land. Like I would love that. That would be amazing. But then I turned it around and I said, our house in the suburbs is great and it’s beautiful. So here’s what you do if you find that you’re struggling with not loving the home you have. And I talk about this in my book, Home Made Lovely. It’s one of the first couple of chapters about practicing an attitude of gratitude. And so this comes into play in how you think about your home.
I know an attitude of gratitude. I can actually see an Oprah magazine from like, I don’t know, like even a decade ago I think, I can see the cover of it. And it says practice an attitude of gratitude. And that’s just not a woo-woo kind of thing. That’s where you think about what you think about is, you know, grows in your mind, and you will think about that more. And so if you are constantly thinking about how awful your house is and how much you wish you had a different house and how so-and-so’s house is better, or you hate your floors, you hate the wall color, blah, blah, blah, if you are constantly thinking like that, it’s going to be hard to want to make progress, to even declutter and clean up if you’re always focusing on the negative.
So you need to focus on even the tiniest, smallest things that you like about your house. When this podcast is over, I want you to do a little exercise for me. I want you to walk through your house, and I want you to notice the little things. And that might mean depending on where you are right now, you might have to look really, really hard. You might have to look past the mess. You might have to look past if you’re in a rental if it’s something you can’t change to find the things that you love. To find the hardwood under the rug or the doorknobs that are just beautiful, like they’re a hundred years old, they’re the crystal doorknobs. Even though everything else is run down, they’re beautiful. Or the big bay window that faces south so that your whole living space gets bathed in the afternoon sun. Whatever it is, I want you to walk around and make note of all those things and thank God in silent prayer or an out-loud prayer, however you want it, for those specific things.
And I want you as a step further, to write those things down and keep them somewhere where you’ll see them and you’ll remember to be thankful for them; post it your fridge, tuck it in your Bible, whatever you need to do to remember to be thankful for those things. And that will really go a long way to changing your mindset and make helping you want to put in the effort to declutter or to decorate as you can, and things like that. And then as you start to be able to make those changes, as you start to be able to declutter and get organized, and maybe even decorate, think about how you want your home to feel. How do you want it to feel for you when you walk in your front door? How do you want it to feel for your family? Really think about words that describe that and keep those front and center as you go about creating this lovely home that you want so much.
So just to recap, I want to say, remember the pictures that you see online, they are like a moment in time, and they’re not the whole picture. There is a whole house outside of the picture that you’re seeing. Your home is allowed to be beautiful and it’s allowed to be peaceful and calm and to serve you. It does not have to. You do not have to subscribe to the hot mess mom culture. Your home does not have to be like that. You need to start with gratitude for the house that you’re in, the home you’re in, the apartment you’re in, whatever it is, wherever you’re living, start with gratitude for those things.
And then move on to thinking about how you want your home to feel. You are disciplined and you can be focused enough to declutter your home. Again, when I did this survey a few months ago, the mamas said that they didn’t feel disciplined or focused enough, but you are. You can do that. You are also one thing that always comes up with my Decorating Uncomplicated students, when people who have read my book Home Made Lovely, they feel like they’re not creative enough to decorate their own home. They feel like they’re missing some designer gene that excludes them from decorating their home, but that’s wrong. You can do it. You are creative enough and you can do it. You may need some guidance and some help, but that’s what I’m here for. But you can do it. You are the best person to do these things and to get started, to change your mindset, to lead your family in this decluttering and creating a home because you live there, you love on them and you are the mama in your home. You can do this, Beautiful. You really can.
Thank you so much for joining me today on the Lovely Home Podcast. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more on your home to make it more clutter-free and beautiful, go to homemadelovely.com. There are free downloads, virtual classes, guides, and other resources there to help you create the home you’ve always wanted. I’m cheering you on, beautiful. Again, thank you so much for listening. This has been Shannon Acheson with the Lovely Home Podcast.