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House Therapy: Peace and Harmony

Mar 09, 2017 01:27PM ● By Ren Campbell

Striving to achieve balance in our lives is a notable goal. Your home can either help or hinder. Here’s something for you to consider—Are you the person who puts things away or leaves things out? If you live alone the answer is obvious, just look around. If you live with a passel of others, be they family, friends, lovers or strangers it may not be as easy to tell; you have to actually be paying attention (hint: if you get angry because the cereal box is left on the counter then you are the person who puts things away.)

 My tip for creating tranquility—and I am constantly practicing this myself—is that those of us who are the ‘put it back’ people are also the ones who sort out where everything goes to begin with. We are the ones who just have to take it on as part of the job to make sure everything goes back ‘where it belongs.’ Sound familiar? Best case scenario is that you put the morning cereal in the place that it is easiest for the offender(s) to replace it. Doesn’t always work! We know. It seems that one type of person nearly always finds fault with the other type. So, next best scenario is for everyone to find some humor in the whole set up without anyone feeling badly about their atrocious habits. Did I say that?  My mother hardly ever lets my father in ‘her’ kitchen after 58 years together. I’ve also heard of one person who had a list (apparently a long list) posted in the kitchen with the household rules, including “If you remove it, YOU put it back.” In my book, that list would not be conducive to creating loving, joyful and productive relationships at home. I frankly would be as embarrassed as were the people who told me that story.

Our goal here is to create a home—be it tranquil or dramatic, formal, casual, flamboyant or studious—so it is helpful— necessary really—to know your own habits when designing and decorating a space. Awareness is key, not only of yourself, but also of those who you are creating your home with. They may not have a clue and it isn’t their fault. After all, you are reading these articles, not them! So how can we do it together with some peace and harmony at home as we face a new year?

If you are having trouble getting things in the right place, I recommend letting each item tell you where it should go. Here’s how. Use the same steps you take when creating anything (this actually does work and is not some form of hocus pocus.) Take the steps from House Therapy in last month’s issue of FACE Acadiana (January 2017, page 27. Or, just put it away and stop whining—it only takes 10 seconds and the person who doesn’t put stuff away probably never will.

Ren Campbell has practiced the discipline of architectural interior design for over 30 years. He’s been a University studio instructor and currently consults with individuals on their issues concerning their homes and how they live in them. For House Therapy questions, email [email protected].

For more of Ren's House Therapy, click here.