give me your tips for creating a serene home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 39 Old 01-08-2006, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am in the process of reading home elnightenement. love it. this forum has prompted me to purge, simplify and streamline which is an on-going process. such a great feeling.

now, i'm wanting to create a more serene, peaceful home environment. less clutter, plants, etc. so, mamas, give me your tips for creating a more peaceful home.
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#2 of 39 Old 01-08-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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for clutter - i have a closet full of plastic (bad - i know) bins. You could use baskets or recycled boxes i suppose. I like the clear plastic bins. I label them and they contain cleaning supplies; hats and mittens; extra soap and other bathing supplies etc. I have them in the coat closet, linen closet etc. In DD's closet I have baskets and they have shirts, PJ's, her bath towels and washcloths etc I'm very anal about being organized. My spices are all alphabetized (just by letter not in the letter) etc This keeps it so much easier to find things and to put things away.

Soft music playing and nice wind chimes outside are nice.
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#3 of 39 Old 01-08-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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Purge. Purge. Purge. You don't need probably half of what you have. That was my first step.

I admit that right now we are pretty packed...we have DH and I and two kids living in a two bedroom single wide mobile home. It was fine while my dd was a young baby but now that she is getting older and has toys we are having a hard time finding a place for both hers and DS's.

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#4 of 39 Old 01-08-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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Interesting suggestion re: soft music and wind chimes. I know that would probably appeal to many folk as a way of creating an environment of serenity. I'm curious whether I'm alone on this, though, in that background music and wind chimes function as auditory clutter to me. For me its silence that creates an environment of serenity. The hum of the fridge, the sound of a bathroom fan left on, a radio nattering away in a bedroom, even the ultra-high-pitched buzz of flourescent tubes ... they don't drive me crazy in the course of a busy day, but I notice them when I'm actively trying to create some calm in my life.

I'm a musician, if that's relevant. Maybe it makes it harder for me to not actively attend to sound?

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#5 of 39 Old 01-08-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Oh, it has to the "noise". I'd say, No TV, No Radio, ambient music (low volume) maybe but be careful there too.

If there is traffic or neighbor noise, I'd cover it with a water feature somehow. Falling water helps drown background traffic noises.
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#6 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 02:50 AM
 
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I enjoy windchimes (good quality ones) but we don't have any because they drive my husband mad. I do enjoy silence when I can get it (ever been out to the middle of the desert with no one else about? -- wonderful!!)
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#7 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 02:59 AM
 
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I just read the title of this thread to my husband and told him I wanted to suggest "kick everyone out of your home". He just laughed and went back to his reading....
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#8 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#9 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 04:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma
Interesting suggestion re: soft music and wind chimes. I know that would probably appeal to many folk as a way of creating an environment of serenity. I'm curious whether I'm alone on this, though, in that background music and wind chimes function as auditory clutter to me. For me its silence that creates an environment of serenity.
No, you're not alone! Background music drives me insane. My DH loves having music playing, and would have something on 24/7, if it weren't for me yelling, "I can't think with all this noise!"

Interestingly, he is also a musician.

Kath contented vegan mama to my trio of free-range boys
Permaculture Design Student & Wannabe Urban Homesteader
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#10 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 07:56 AM
 
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Purge. Purge. Purge. You don't need probably half of what you have. That was my first step.
RIGHT ON! nothing more humble and freeing than a good ole de-cluttering. why don't you join the january de-cluttering challange? it's fun, ill say that much.

you said you wanted serene? well, what is *your* definition of serene? is it living simply? is it living in harmony with the earth? is it having no noise?

to me, living in a serene environment is living in harmony with the earth. that means having nothing more than what we truely need in our home, living everyday but treading lightly on this earth, being at peace with other family members living in our home, and having a home where *everyone* feels at home. (gee how many times could i have said home?)
for me, it has nothing to do with wind chimes or stuff like that (no offense to the mama that mentioned this).

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#11 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamelia

to me, living in a serene environment is living in harmony with the earth. that means having nothing more than what we truely need in our home, living everyday but treading lightly on this earth, being at peace with other family members living in our home, and having a home where *everyone* feels at home.

excellent point. just what i needed to hear.

as an aside, i have some baritone wind chimes outside and i love them. i think it helps to keep me attuned to my outdoor environment. and i'm not big on background music and i'm not a musician either.
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#12 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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1. Eliminating noise.
Throw out the TV.
Stop answering the phone. Let the machine get it, and designate a few times throughout the day to return calls. Only pick it up if it seems to be urgent.
Run dishwashers, washing machines, etc. when you're going to be in another part of the house or out.

2. Eliminating junk.
Give away, sell, or throw away stuff. Lots of stuff. Stop buying new stuff.
Deal with paper only once. Pay bills when they arrive, file papers or throw them away immediately. Don't let that stuff pile up.

3. Eliminating tension and stress.
Have all adults in your home resolve to leave workday related stress at the door.
Don't talk about money during meals or leisure time. Don't talk about other stressful topics. Designate special times for sitting down and discussing these topics, when you can give them their due attention.
Similarly, resolve to watch your tone of voice and choice of words when speaking to each other. Don't nitpick or snipe at each other. If there is a conflict, resolve it assertively and fairly, and then move on.

4. Bring the outdoors inside.
Houseplants, potted trees, photographs of beautiful places, art that suggests or depicts natural forms or scenes, open windows, light curtains that let sun and fresh air in.

5. Get your kids to help.
Have a definite place where each toy belongs, and a special time of day for putting stuff away. Make it fun and do it together.
Get them outside whenever possible. Let them blow off steam in the great outdoors, like children were meant to do.
Gently begin to teach them to moderate their tone and volume of voice indoors. Think of it as a life skill they need to learn, not as you laying down an authority trip.

me knit.gif, he bikenew.gif, my three reading.gif, sleepytime.gif, and fairy.gif-- and the one we lost angel2.gif
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#13 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 03:04 PM
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Get rid of your crap.

Get rid of anything you don't love or use.

Allow there to be empty space. Empty space does not need to be constantly filled up.

Light candles, windchimes, flowers and plants in moderation. Flowers and plants in excess in the garden.

Only keep things you love.

If it's broken, fix it or ditch it.

DB
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#14 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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* Get rid of as much as you can

* Make sure everything has a "home" and put it there

* Have a routine or schedule for the stuff that has to get done (laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning)

* Clear your family's schedule as much as possible

For me, when all these things fall into place (rarely!), I can enjoy the serenity of an early evening, when the kids are home and playing together, I have a plan for dinner, the house is tidy, and we don't have anywhere we have to be.
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#15 of 39 Old 01-09-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Lots of great ideas here, so I'm subbing...
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#16 of 39 Old 01-10-2006, 08:27 PM
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Well, we rent so it is hard to do everything I want to do (like paint every white wall in this house a warm color!!) so we make do...

I second the suggestion of purge, purge, purge!!! Do you really need 25 coffee cups? Do you really need that bag of old make-up from your bar-hopping days under the bathroom sink? Do you really need that Kool and the Gang CD you have been holding on to because it was playing the night you and your dh met? ...Okay, I am being a bit silly, but seriously, purging is so clensing and freeing -- if a bit traumatic for some people (me included)...

Freeing your space of anything EXCEPT things that are beautiful, functional, or sentimental to you (to me) is the first step to a calming environment. I did this with everything...and it is an ongoing process...

Gone are the 10 cleaning products under my kitchen sink full of toxins and taking up space... I have 2 spray bottles filled with vinegar and some baking soda under the sink now (for cleaning products)... I clean EVERYTHING with them... is it sanitary? Well, our daughter was born here at home, cleaned only with those 2 things...hasn't been sick a day in 7 months....

Gone are the 203497230497 products in my bathroom... I have one make-up bag with everything needed to put on "my face" (when I do wear make-up that is!) ... we have the basics...mostly I use natural things on hand already -- olive oil to moisturize, soap to shave (when I shave, which is rare lemmee tell ya) and my shampoo has lasted for months now because though I am not a *no pooer* yet, I use like a pea sized amount...

Everything has a *home*...I am not anal, but when you simplify and purge your space of unnecessary *stuff*, everything finds a home, exactly where it should be.

I keep things contained, even if what is contained is messy...so for instance, on my desk there is a small, square bin of envelopes, stamps, thank you cards, blank note cards, etc...which in the actual bin are not too tidy, but no one sees in the bin ... they just see a neat, simple space which is uncluttered...

We have soft lighting throughout the house instead of say, an big old lamp in the living room that lights the whole place... we have a small lamp on the desk, 2 small lamps in the living area, a lamp in my reading and crafts *nook* -- this helps cut down on lighting a space we don't need light in, and also helps when 2 people are doing different things... for instance, I can read by the light in my reading space while my husband drifts off to a cd in the living space, even though we are a few feet apart...

plants, plants, plants plants plants... did I mention, plants? You know, I have about 10 thriving plants all started from the same one plant... it is kind of cool.. I don't know what they are called, but they are very low maintenance, and are really lush and green...they grow in just plain water, or soil (I have some in wine bottles that look really cool on my kitchen window sill where the light comes in and casts a jade hue in the kitchen).... man, living in a space where things are actively growing is WONDERFUL!!

NO TV'S OR COMPUTERS OR ELECTRONICS IN THE BEDROOOOOOOOOM!!! Bedrooms are for sleeping, cuddling, reading the Sunday paper with a hot cup of tea, and for making love. They are sacred spaces and that energy gets sucked right out the door when there are electronics in there... we only have one thing, a clock/radio...which has a small plant sitting on top of it to diffuse the energy...

We cover our television too with a beautiful piece of maroon fabric. It sits off most of the time, but I don't even like looking at it when it's off the beautiful fabric is much prettier to look at and when we have guests over, no one is wondering what is on TV...out of sight, out of mind...

Surround yourself with things you love... they don't have to be fancy or expensive, God knows we are poor We love books, and art (I paint so that is handy) and music and ONLY knick nacks that have special meaning or remind us of a place or time of happiness...we strive to not own one freaking candle or knick nack or paperweight or whatever that isn't significant to us in some way...

Our space flows too.. from any place in the living area you can see any other part of the living area without obstruction. I have decorated in this manner so the energy flows freely amongst whoever is in our home... in other words, many people, if you look at their decor -- all their furniture is basically pointed towards the television -- I don't care for that at all....it creeps me out...

Anywhoo... baby is up, I have to go, but I hope you find the serenity in your home that you are seeking... everyone deserves it!
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#17 of 39 Old 01-11-2006, 06:30 AM
 
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Great ideas, CC!

Kath contented vegan mama to my trio of free-range boys
Permaculture Design Student & Wannabe Urban Homesteader
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#18 of 39 Old 01-11-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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captain crunchy--do you offer workshops? No seriously, you've got some good stuff goin' on at your place!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#19 of 39 Old 01-12-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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Captain Crunchy ~ I printed your post out so I can read it over and over again. You have awesome ideas! You should share more!
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#20 of 39 Old 01-12-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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subbing.
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#21 of 39 Old 01-13-2006, 02:08 PM
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awww shucks guys you are really nice!

I am trying to think of other things... I will definately come back if I do!
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#22 of 39 Old 01-13-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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I think the sound of water as in a fountain of some type is

Of course Iwas raised with a creek under my bedroom window

But any time anybody visted they said the sound water was so comforting and relaxing.

After I got married and moved out I had to have a fountain running as I just needed that sound.
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#23 of 39 Old 01-13-2006, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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captain cruncy, i love the idea that "everything has a home." i've been in the process of finding these little homes. good advice.
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#24 of 39 Old 01-14-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
We cover our television too with a beautiful piece of maroon fabric. It sits off most of the time, but I don't even like looking at it when it's off the beautiful fabric is much prettier to look at and when we have guests over, no one is wondering what is on TV...out of sight, out of mind...
I'm curious what this looks like CC (could you possibly email me a picture perhaps?) I have a shelving unit that houses out TV and I really want it to not be so predominant in our livingroom. DH wouldn't like me to get rid of it (as much as I would like too ) or move it, so I'd like to cover it. I was initially thinking just plain canvas drapes hanging from the top, but I like your idea much better. I hope you can send me a picture so I have a better idea of what it looks like IRL.


ETA I'm going to the fabric store this wednesday so if I need to buy fabric, Wed. would be the day

Thanks
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#25 of 39 Old 01-14-2006, 11:24 PM
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We got an armoire for free.

My daughter and son-in-law used some of their wedding money to purchase a lovely armoire. About one month after their armoire arrived the furniture company delivered a *second* armoire.

DD called the company to say they had accidentally delivered a second armoire and the company insisted that they didn't and the delivery was legitimate.

DD tried to convince them that they received two armoires and the furniture company refused to listen to her so she called me up and asked if I wanted an armoire.

I had admired hers and was more than glad to have one of my own as long as they didn't mind us having an armoire identical to theirs.

So we got a free armoire and I don't see my tv when it isn't playing.

Debra Baker
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#26 of 39 Old 01-16-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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#27 of 39 Old 01-16-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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#28 of 39 Old 01-21-2006, 07:06 AM
 
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Great ideas. Subbing.
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#29 of 39 Old 01-30-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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I am trying to organize from the inside out- by going thru my drawers- etc. Silverware on up. I did the under my sink area! WOW! I just got a .99 basket- put the stuff in it- but all the plastic bags in a small trash can and WALA!!! WOW!
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#30 of 39 Old 01-30-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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in my kitchen, the prob is the lack of space. I know I have way too much stuff in there anyway, but not enough space for the food stuff, you know? Too many clothes in everyone's closet and drawers...too much paper clutter... too many toys. I find myself going through and tossing out toys every couple of weeks. And I don't know how they keep multiplying. At least my sons aren't too bothered by it. They actually look forward to giving the stuff to the Salvation Army or wherever. That is usually my dumping ground, since it's around the corner, almost, from my house...okay a few blocks. But other than that, alot just goes in the trash cans.

I love windchimes and the water sounds...I would LOVE to have a fountain in my living room. We are tv free so we don't have to worry about electronics in there. I have books and this is actually the one room where there isn't any clutter. It's mainly MY room. The laundry area is in there for now...so the clothes get tossed into piles on the floor and folded on my bed. The ironing board sits out from Sunday until like mid-week out of laziness..... and since I am 8 mths preggo now, most of my clothes don't fit, that are hanging in my closet, and someone just gave me like 2 bags of clothes. Where am I going to put these AND all the maternity shirts and stuff I CAN wear>? Anysuggestions with that? I had thought about putting away all the stuff I CAN'T wear now...but not sure where to put them.

ramble ramble...
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