One of the things I want to create for my children is a cozy oasis. The moment they shut the front door behind them I want them to let out a sigh of relief as any anxiety, stress or fear fade. In an increasingly fast paced and digitally connected world, I want our home to be a sensual place of wellness. I want to create a home that smells delicious, has cozy nooks to curl up with a good book, settle down to learn, create something, whip up something yummy in the kitchen, or snuggle up for a heart-to-heart. A home should be a haven from the outside world.
The foundation of creating a cozy oasis is cleaning.
Are you groaning about now? Do you hate cleaning? I used to hate cleaning for three reasons. First of all, your work is so temporary; you blink twice and the house is a mess and it is time to start all over again. I hated cleaning because it is gross and makes you sweaty. Yuck. I detested cleaning because it is so monotonous and exhausting. And organizing? Well that was just overwhelming.
But then something brilliant happened. I discovered that cleaning is a critical component of creating a cozy oasis of relaxation and wellbeing for my family and for myself. Not only that, but a clean home helps to preserve good health. My attitude towards cleaning changed completely with this realization. Where as before cleaning was a mundane, low priority activity of little satisfaction, it became an important gift I give my family and myself.
A clean space has pure, inviting energy. It is easier to rejuvenate in a clean home.
So, how do you get a keep a clean home? Well if I were extremely affluent, I would someone come in and do it for me. Maybe you can afford this luxury. If you are like me, then you need to invest time everyday towards keeping a clean house. So here is my advice. Every night after dinner, or at the same time each evening, dedicate thirty minutes toward house cleaning. Small increments everyday of anything always results in big results. By the end of the week you will have completed three and a half hours of cleaning.
A little bit everyday also means that your house will be perfectly clean (at least for a few hours) everyday. Why every night after dinner, you ask? Why not in the morning, or before dinner? If you have children, you know what a mess they can make in just a few hours. By doing your cleaning after dinner, you will be able to relax in a clean space once you put them to bed. Just add candle light, a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relaxation awaits you. Not only that, but you will be waking up to a clean house too. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
So what to do in those thirty minutes of cleaning to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity?
- Consider using the vacuum attachment to do a quick run over the furniture
- Get out your disinfectant (NOTHING is better than bleach) and do a quick wipe down of the bathrooms and kitchen
- Do an organizing sweep of the house and putting things back to their ‘home’
- Tackle one load of laundry
It is clear that the less stuff you own, the easier keeping your home clean will be. There will be simply less to put away and keep organized. Furthermore, it is a design law that blank space is beautiful, creating balance and a glorious sense of spaciousness. So if you need help in releasing some of your possessions and organizing the rest: I highly recommend the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Soon you will be in a home of belongings you either love or find useful.
And less stuff means opening up space and time to invest in what brings you joy.
Now that your house is clean and organized, it is time to turn our attention to creating ambiance. I advise adding some Feng shui elements to increase the positive energy vibration.
My favorite is to add fresh cut seasonal flowers either from my garden or the store. If you are short on money, you can go to the park and collect nature elements: tree branches, pinecones or stones can all make lovely centerpieces to place on your dinning room table and in your kitchen. As an added touch, I add a small vase of flowers to the bathrooms, or a collection of beautiful rocks my children have found in a pretty dish. Candles create a warm and inviting atmosphere, so don’t forget to light them in the evenings.
A cozy oasis is also festive, so be sure to decorate for the various holidays! Be child-like and remember how exciting it is to be surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of a holiday. Often it is possible to make the decorations yourself or buy them very inexpensively. I love elegant, so less is more.
Last of all, to make your home smell delicious, add some aromatherapy. Especially if you or a family member are allergic to candles, you can add some aromatherapy oils to some water on your stovetop to release into the air. My children love the scent of citrus the best.
Nothing is cuddlier than a lovely throw blanket to curl up inside of on the sofa. But remember to invest in a blanket that is machine washable! Slipping into fresh smelling, clean sheets, or wrapping up in a fresh smelling towel after a shower is luxurious. Contemplate investing the time to give this gift to yourself and your family. Last of all, you can create negativity eradicating baths for yourself or a loved one cheaply. Purchase sea salt and add a a scoop of it to a bath along with a few drops of aromatherapy oil and enjoy.
Creating nutritious and delicious meals brings family together around the table. Is there anything cozier and more delightful than savoring good food while conversing with the ones you love the most? We try to protect this haven in our home by turning off all electronics and noise to focus on each other and each bite we take.
Silence is seriously underrated. Try turning off all background TVs and music for an entire day and experience the serenity silence can bring. On the other hand, everyone knows about the power of music to uplift and infuse people with happiness, so choose wisely.
The final step to a making a blissfully cozy home is attitude. Who doesn’t like to be greeted warmly with a hug when they come home? Who doesn’t like being sent out into the world with loving words? So it is critical to say goodbye and welcome home your family with love, (yes, even when you are right in the middle of something important).
Wishing you a cozy home oasis for you and your loved ones, Heather Nadine