Since buying this house, over three years ago now, we have been trying to create a slow and simple home. There are some weeks when I glance around our home and the space is far from slow and simple, and having a slow home feels as elusive as ever.
When you are in the midst of house renovations there are bound to be patches of chaos. We have spent the last few weeks with the house feeling topsy turvy whilst we restored a sash window and then moved all the furniture out of one room into another in order to paint a floor (more on that later.)
Recently, I’ve been getting frustrated with how slow the progress has been. I know it’s ironic for some one who writes about slow living to admit that, but I just wish we could speed things up a little. How your home feels, and the space around you can have a really big impact on your well-being, and at the moment I am definitely craving more calm and order from our home.
Up until now, it hasn’t been possible for me to give anymore time or energy towards the house. Plus, if we’re shopping intentionally and we’re waiting for the right piece of furniture to come along then we simply have to be patient.
I have noticed that I always work best when I can deeply focus on one thing, however that’s not always practical and most of us have to juggle lots of things at once. Creating this blog space and all that entails, plus the freelance work that has come as a result has been my main focus over the last 18 months. I understand that I cannot do it all without running myself into the ground, so progress on the house moving slowly has been the compromise.
Something has shifted within in me though, and I have realised that if we are to deepen our slow living experience we have to start here at home. There is that beautiful Maya Angelou quote,
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”
Whilst I realise that this is true in many ways, we cannot underestimate how our surroundings effect us. And in order to really work on ourselves so we always carry our home and truth within us, we first need a space in which we feel safe and at peace.
Sometimes you have to work from the outside in, and I am sure that by creating a calm space and a slow home the impact will ripple through and effect all areas of our lives and well-being. Not only that, but we will have a home that will support and allow us to connect deeply to ourselves.
My initial motivation for creating a slow home was to get rid of needless things and simplify our home and belongings so there is more space and time for the important things. Well, this is as true now as ever but there are several elements that go towards creating a slow home.
What makes a slow home…
The design and decor of the space; How calm a room feels, the materials and colours that are used. To me, a slow home has pockets of space, and room to allow life to happen.
The things and belongings that are in the home; How well they are organised and how easy things are to find. If all the cupboards are in a mess and things are unorganised it makes day-to-day things harder than necessary as I don’t know where to look for anything and more importantly I don’t know where to tidy things away. Of course the less belongings you have in the first place, the less ‘stuff’ there is to sort through.
Finally, the rituals, routines and the rhythms of the people that live in the home; Over the last few years I have developed (and am still creating) daily rituals that bring more moments of calm into my days. These are things I can personally do, or things we can do as a family, or specifically for Bailey that help our days flow smoothly.
What are your thoughts on creating a slow home? What does it mean to you? Perhaps your relationship to the term ‘slow home’ is always evolving? Would love to know what you think.