Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Simple Home - What is The Simple Home

This was first posted at the beginning of the year.

Some women ask, "What's the Simple Home?
My answer: the Simple Home is that place where sanctuary's been created, family is nurtured and well fed, good memories are made and a legacy of hope, life and purpose is left.

The Simple Home is the place where dreams are dreamed, peace is sensed, and life is lived.

Other women ask, "What do I need to do to make my home the Simple Home?

My answer: There are two main things to do to make the Simple Home. The first involves the external: de-clutter, minimize and organize the spaces in the home so as to have a sense of simple living - of peaceful living - one unencumbered by unnecessary "stuff" that only needs to be managed.

I tell women that the drill of de-cluttering and minimizing is a step-by-step process and it's often little baby steps that include thinking about the purpose of the home because purpose defines space and space defines flow and organization. And, after the thoughtful process of considering the purpose of the home, then comes color and other little touches that make the Simple Home beautiful and personable.

A year ago, my husband moved my washer and dryer back from the garage and into the house. Up until that time, the originally designed space had become useful for another purpose: a larger pantry to accomodate hospitality. It worked fine, until I wanted to do some new year organization.

Before organizing, I evaluated. Evaluation must precede organizing. As I stepped back and took a good look at the space, it dawned on me that I wasn't using that space effectively - not only was the pantry very cluttered (with too much stuff), it was a poor use of time management to do laundry out into the garage. The space needed to be redefined according to purpose.

Re-evaluating and thinking through space doesn't have to be a big ordeal. It truly can be simple. Just stand back and take a good look and ask yourself, "What's the purpose and is there a better usage of this space?"

To make a space change, I went through EVERY item and minimizing it to what you see here. I de-cluttered, minimized and let someone else put to use what I no longer really needed (had a garage sale and gave away). It was more effective for that space to be used in a different way. Just ask my daughters, I really minimized!

So, one of the keys in making the Simple Home is to evaluate space and define it's purpose, de-clutter, minimize so that you can organize. Organization is key for home front time management. Often you'll discover that needs for that space have changed. Sometimes lifestyle dictates a change in the purpose of the space.

The second key in making a home the Simple Home has to do with the internal: a woman's heart attitude toward her home. If a woman doesn't like being home, there's a slim chance she'll like her home. If a woman spends much time away from home (granted many women work outside the home), she'll struggle finding out who she is within her home. If a woman compares her home with another woman's home, she'll struggle with appreciating what she's been given to make a home with. If a woman doesn't understand God's heart toward the home, her God-given ability to influence from her home and that she's the heart of the home, then it will be difficult for her to make her home that sanctuary of peace which IS the foundation of the Simple Home.

Attitude of gratitude toward whatever your home is or whatever it looks like is key. The times I have felt frustrated (and complained) about my home and my attitude was less than stellar - was truly my own internal issue. The times I didn't get an attitude adjustment - that frustration was felt by others in my home and I robbed my home of peace. It's not what it looks like that counts the most, it's the Spirit that's in the home that counts forever.

I LOVE my home. It's not that I love my home because of what we've updated or changed - it's that I love my home because I've accepted with joy that it's the place God's given me to use to serve my family and others. It's the place of sanctuary for me. Who I am gets expressed with little Lylah touches - all throughout my home. It's me.

As I've journeyed closer to the heart of God, my home has become The Simple Home. If you've not begun to make your home the Simple Home, after your heart attitude, your kitchen is the place to start. Then move to the bedrooms closets and evaluate how you can make your Master Bedroom sanctuary. After this move back to your kitchen and address linens and dishes. How are you doing?

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Keisha said...

Your posts about The Simple Home really nourished and renewed my spirit and my commitment to the art and ministry of making my home a haven; just when I wanted to submit to the notion that what I do on a daily basis doesn't matter. This past year the Lord has been revealing to me, piece by piece, that the abundance is in the simplicity. He led me to the ideas and concepts of Sarah Susanka author of "The Not So Big House" and my heart sang because she articulates in such a precise way what I was feeling all along but couldn't put my finger on it. Then at a fundraising auction I picked up a book for only a $1.00 that has brought immense richness to my life titled Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. And now your post on The Simple Home.

Lylah said...

Hi Keisha - Thanks for the sweet comment! I love how God often creates themes in our life to bring home a point of His goodness and grace and to teach us of His ways. Way cool.

James and Andrea said...

I followed your link from Passionate Homemaking. I love this post. I love how you talk about having a good attitude toward your home. I'm pregnant with my first, living in a tiny one room apartment with a husband and a pug, and nesting like crazy! I've been working through my little home packed with more than we need or have room for and gradually decluttering and organizing. Sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes I DON'T like my home very much. But it's funny how much my woman's heart is linked to my home. Not liking my home very much leads to not liking myself very much. Thank you for this encouragement. As long as God grants me the strength, I won't give up. I'm seeing improvements already!

Melissa said...

What was not frightening about this topic is that you create simple steps to take when transforming your home into a sanctuary. I like that. Its not scary for someone who seems to have a home that is majorly in disorder. Maybe you can lift my home up in prayer, so that it can be transformed through the Spirit and made into a sanctuary? I'd appreciate that.

mary beth said...

What a wonderful post. My home had always been my sanctuary and a place where I could nurture those I love so much...and then one day I found myself single supporting a family. I worked three jobs and unfortunately, my home became a place where I slept and little else and so 19 months ago, I left a company that I had invested every penny I had in{and then some}. I left because I could no longer spiritually or morally corrupt myself and sacrifice my relationships. Life is simpler now, and it is so much better. The house that I had worked so hard to hold onto had become stuffed with "stuff" because I never knew what I had and didn't have, what the kids had or didn't have and there was no time for organization. It has been a slow process, but I am regaining what I had lost/given up. God is so good. My desire has always been to be a Mom and I love the home He has so graciously blessed me with, and so out of appreciation and thankfulness, it is being reclaimed. Thanks for the venue...sometimes just "writing" it done is a comfort. :)

Keri Lyn @ She Saved said...

I am so thankful to have found you tonight (via The Thrifty Mama...who linked to Amy's Finer Things ... who linked to YOU) ... wow...this really touched my heart and ultimately, will touch my entire family. It really STOPPED me. Between the "on purpose" and the Simple Home concepts - I really think I have a starting point to the peace that I want, and my family deserves. Bless you!! oh God is good!!!