A House Into a Home

My house is not in order. This breaks my heart, since my heart loves this place. My spouse and I have worked hard for our 1600 square foot paradise. House versus home, let me begin there. House, to me, I think of as shelter. Home is an anchoring for safety and thriving and growth.

There are periods in my creative bursts and spurts—deadlines looming and “gitRdone” militarism is necessary—turning home into wreckage. I’ve learned to live with those weeks, lately those months.

As 2023 moves into its second quarter, I take inventory of the state of my home. It has felt more shelter than sanctuary. And I want to do better by it. I guess it’s similar to neglect people experience by abandoning their bodies or finances. Gradually there is a decline then suddenly, hindsight as glaring clarity, one sees how undone one has become.

Gradually there is a decline then suddenly, hindsight as glaring clarity, one sees how undone one has become.

I’ve lost touch with the declutter bug I used to be…I want to her again. She creates the most amazing open spaces for thinking and intentional vignettes to inspire. She used to make a house a home and keep it that way.

How did I get here? Busy, I suppose. But that isn’t all of it. So much stuff has rolled in as my child is an only grandchild on both sides of our family. My own mother finds it humorous, I believe, that I physically cringe when she brings in…”just one little thing”…every time she visits. Every. Time. She. Visits. My spouse says, “We have to tell her it will have to be donated if she cannot stop herself.”

He isn’t the one who is present when she looks me and my daughter in the eye and creates a story, “I founds this special, and I hope you’ll keep it always to think of me.”

Is this how she wants to be remembered?

Hard to say. Stuff is tangible to some people whereas memories perhaps fade. I am not sure what it says about me now: I value open space more than anything else (including stuff and memories).

I move through this house and I wonder how it got so congested. My mind works fullest with an inverse to fullness of things around me. Marie Kondo brilliantly teaches a methodology of deep detoxification of one’s house to fully revive joy in the home. I listen to her book on audible twice a year while I do a two to three day clean. She says her method prevents rebound. But, she has also retracted a bit once she had her own children (after all, meaning of objects is profoundly more complicated and tender in the developmental eyes of a child). Until I get my house back into a home, I have to carve out more time for deep cleans. Otherwise, I feel like the ocean and the plastic bags are starting to suffocate me.

I’d like to get to a place where my child and spouse are so inspired they want to do small efforts of tidying and take pride in the flow of the home, akin to small increments of cardio I have naturally integrated into my life. For now, clutter continues to add fatty deposits where my health can no longer afford them. I can do better. For now, I scheduled some spa time for the house.

Join me.

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