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If you’re anything like me, when the home is a mess, the dishes aren’t done and laundry litters the floor, I suggest we eat out for dinner, hang out at the park, sleep in our car and do anything that allows us to avoid stepping foot back in our uncomfortable home.
Comfort is key when setting up the perfect space. No matter if you’re in an apartment, condo, house, mobile home, cardboard box or airplane hanger, if your home isn’t a comfortable place for you, you won’t want to spend time there.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to relax in an uncomfortable environment. You can’t thrive in a home that’s uncomfortable!
Creating a comfortable home environment isn’t easy. The root issue of discomfort goes far beyond just having a messy home, or messy kids, or a messy dog, or a messy spouse, or a messy life, (agh, too much mess!). After years of living in a variety of different living arrangements, I’ve discovered the source of discomfort plaguing too many homes today. The true root issue that makes a home environment uncomfortable is…
… wait for it…
The crap does that even mean? Hear me out – when your home is impractical, you spend too much time fighting your home and end up blaming size, location, etc. for “just not being what you need,” when in reality your tiny one bedroom apartment could have more functionality than you can imagine!
This means the key to creating a comfortable home is what we call Rule #1:
Make your living space practical.
The smaller and the more limited (i.e. with pets, children, trained seals,) your living space is, the truer this principle becomes. Limited space and complicated needs can be frustrating on their own, therefore it’s crucial to have your home to meet your practical needs. This transforms your home from an endless chore list to a tool that helps you succeed.
So how do you make your home practical?
Here are 4 simple steps for enhancing the practicality of your home today:
1) Take inventory of your “Pain Points”
Be intentional about finding what frustrates you in your home and/or your daily routine.
In our one bedroom apartment, we didn’t have room for a changing table, so we just changed our girl wherever we could. But, I started getting really tired of running back and forth between the living room and the bedroom (well, not running so much as taking four giant steps), looking for the open wipes and the clean dipes when it came time for a change.
2) Decide what you want, then work backwards to find the solution.
Growing up, my brother always solved mazes by starting at the end and working his way backwards. That way, he knew that the path he was finding led to victory!
The same principle applies here – for me, I knew I wanted to have the ability to change my baby in any room at any moment, without having 10 open wipes and multiple diapers strewn all over our apartment, even though we had no space for changing tables. My solution? Set up “baby stations” where I could stash supplies in easy-access places so that the house could remain de-cluttered but I didn’t have to run around like crazy the moment I smelled a boom-boom.
3) Look at your resources, both used and unused.
You often have the tools to fix your frustrations right at home – you may just have to dream creatively to see their potential!
I knew I wanted to stash supplies in a space that could A) be used for other purposes and B) fit in our living room, (both in style and size), so I started looking for objects with those qualifications around the apartment. Lo and behold, the two beautiful, medium-sized antiqued light-brown bed side tables with large drawers (that we were currently using for PJs in the bedroom), became the solution. The drawers were large enough to store everything we needed, they fit our coastal living room atmosphere, AND the tops of the tables made perfect food and drink tables for our living room.
4) Try it! Then try, try again!
If you think you’ve found a potential solution, try it out! If it doesn’t end up meeting your practical needs, don’t worry – you’ve find something that does work.
Our baby stations ideas happened to be the perfect fit for us here, but I’ve had many ideas in the past that didn’t work out. Don’t be afraid to take time, try something else, and you can always reach out to us if you need help brainstorming!
Stay restless, Creatives!