I know we still have more than a month before the New Year, but this fortnight’s topic is one that can apply to your life right away. Recently, my Journey Home Club members and I have been talking about how to create their forever homes. Naturally, many people struggle to create a colour palette, a furniture layout, or furnishing a room. But the ladies brought up several other struggles they were working through, too, and they weren’t what I expected.
As we talked about these, I realised I’ve faced the same struggles over the last couple of years, too. Some I’ve triumphed over. Others are an ongoing battle. At least one inspired me to take the lead and try something new.
The 5 tips I have for you today all come from these conversations and discoveries. And they might surprise you as much as they surprised me…
1. Overcome the Fear Factor
If you have goals and you haven’t reached them yet, the fear factor is probably in the room. The fear factor is sneaky. He hides where you least expect him and appears when he’s most unwelcome. He’s disguised as the fear of failure, fear of spending money, or fear of wasting time and energy.
The following 3 books impacted me most in overcoming these concerns and getting on with a life I love…
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero helped me figure out how to get over my fear of failure (such as spending too much or investing too much time into a project) and moved me into a more purposeful action.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss has a section in there that is gold! He teaches you why your fear of spending money and putting things off until “one day” doesn’t always serve you. He also shows you how to mitigate the risks that cause your fears and hold you back.
If you run a business, or want to learn budgeting in general, then Profit First by Mike Michalowicz has been the most easily actionable book I’ve read. It is essentially about managing your cash flow and setting aside cash “envelopes” for your business needs: income, profit, owner’s salary, tax, and operating expenses. Following his method will usher in peace of mind over the state of your financials — and confidence, too!
2. Make Empty Space for Great Things in the New Year
Once fear is out of the way and confidence has taken its place, it’s time to open up space in your life for good things. I mean this literally and metaphorically. I was on a call with my business coach, Tobi Fairley, when she told me, “Decluttering opens up space for good things to flow into your life. Things like happiness, money, or success”. Sounds woo-woo, right? I thought so, too…
…until I booked one of my biggest projects last year right after decluttering 50% of my wardrobe. Now, I’m a believer.
Once you can shift your mindset into seeing clutter as preventing good things from flowing into your life, it will be much easier to say goodbye to items (or time commitments) that are no longer serving you. Yes, I’m talking about decluttering your environment, calendar, and mind.
3. When It Comes to Decluttering Your Home, Think Big
Decluttering has been one of the hottest topics discussed among the Journey Home Club. It sounds so easy in principle, but in practice, it is a daunting task that can leave even the most courageous, house-proud women feeling frustrated. Including me.
Wanting to be a good influence and to understand how to help our Club members opened my eyes to the truth of clutter, and I realised I had gotten stuck into my own clutter in a very big way. I stored all of Journey Home’s sampling and stock in my own home. My everyday tension kept rising and rising. I thought I was just busy. Nope, my mind and space were cluttered.
As my members and I started discussing the topic of decluttering (and Tobi’s words echoed in my mind), I knew the stock had to go. I began my own decluttering quest, and here is what I learned…
It’s Okay to Throw Money at the Problem
The first thing I’ve learned is that it is more than okay to throw money at the problem, even if you are conservative with your spending. You are not just paying for help. You are paying to have a weight lifted off your shoulders, to feel more energy, to feel like you can breathe again, and have a home where you can be happy. That is worth any dollar amount. (Not to mention that happiness is generally healthier than stress.)
The first day of our office move was spent tediously trolling through it. The second day, I booked my Installation Day furniture carriers — three strong men and a big truck — and they got the majority of my stuff out in hours. They placed it perfectly at the other end whilst I kept working. Faster and better. Best $660 I ever spent.
If I had been afraid to spend that money, I would probably still be buried in furnishings! Now, I have time and space for more purposeful activities… and a healthier state of mind for interactions with my family, friends, and clients, too.
Overestimate Your Storage Solutions
Don’t underestimate how much shelving and storage you need. For example, buying one lineal metre of shelving when maybe you need 20. Have a go at estimating how many lineal metres your boxes and stuff take up, and shop accordingly.
I am still using racking purchased over 20 years ago, so don’t be stingy or fearful of spending some money to set yourself up. A long-term investment is always better than several small ones that cause you stress. My stock storage required 6 sets of 2m shelving, and I have now bought the same quantity for our garage – but I am hoping not to fill it. (Here’s the shelving I use and recommend.)
4. Design Can Help You Create a New Year of Positive Habits
Atomic Habits by James Clear was easily one of my favourite books for creating lasting change in my life. One of his ideas includes “habit stacking”, the concept of stacking tiny habits that build on each other to achieve the goals you want.
For example, we all know that chairs in bedrooms are perfect for slinging clothes on. After reading Atomic Habits, I worked out that it can take 0 to 1 second longer to hang my clothes instead of putting them on the bedroom chair. So now my “habit stack” is that as I remove clothes I rehang jackets I might wear again.
This new habit keeps my space clean, means that I don’t have to spend 10 minutes putting a week’s worth of clothes away, and I’ve even been able to enjoy that chair for reading, another habit I’ve picked up in the evenings. See how they work together? And this can be applied to any room or your home any habit you want to pick up!
Honestly, I think over Christmas I will read Atomic Habits again to refresh and pick up a few more good habits for 2021. Care to join me? 🙂
(Design Tip: Good wardrobe habits are easier if you avoid sliding wardrobe doors. Sliding doors often block half of your wardrobe space, so you can’t access the whole thing at once. If you have depth available for doors that open, it will help you stay tidy.)
5. Your Home Can Inspire Good Health in the New Year
Your home can inspire good habits, and it can also lead the way to better health than ever. I have always believed this to be true for our clients and recently experienced it firsthand with the near completion of our bathroom renovation (more on that to come!).
I’ve started to use the basin in our new bathroom and have been reflecting on what how a well-designed and beautiful room supports me. Unlike the old bathroom, or the kind of outside laundry bathroom we’ve been using for 3 months, the room now feels like a nice place to be. I can’t rave enough about the heated floor (it’s so comfortable) and having a mirrored shaving cabinet above the basin (we didn’t before) is so handy.
Most importantly, it has got me wanting to be there. I have started a new routine of actually washing my face at night. Not just that quick splash with the washer, teeth, and fall into bed routine of old. Yep, life got so busy that I admit I hadn’t been looking after myself.
The last few nights, I have enjoyed heading earlier to the bathroom to start a routine of cleansing and toning, using all those lovely moisturizers and oils. In fact, the routine has helped me wind down at night and I have slept better. Thanks, new bathroom. I even started to think I might trot off the dermatologist to get a few bumps looked at. I can’t explain the link between my new bathroom and this, but it is there. My new bathroom is leading me toward health!
One of the inspiration photos for my bathroom renovation (source)
If you know that your home could be doing more to support your happiness and health, I highly suggest downloading our complimentary Design and Decorating Project Planner. Our Club members recently completed it, and many said it really helped them to assess their home and provide clarity on the home improvements that should have priority. (Often, knowing where to start is the hardest part.)
It takes a while to get organised for a large project, so get cracking, and use the Journey Home blog — or reach out to me — if you need help. 😉