September 12, 2017

How to have more Harmony at Home.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a moment and realized that everything around you is needlessly chaotic?

This realization finally hit me a few years ago in the middle of a ridiculously small and petty argument with my spouse. A bit of research convinced me that it was a lack of harmony in the home that was causing these silly spats.

It turns out a messy, chaotic environment makes people more stressed out, less able to relax, overloaded, frustrated, and wracked with guilt. It also inhibits productivity and creativity, along with causing anxiety. How could any relationship stay happy and vibrant when chaos is dumping all of these factors onto both people every single day?

I decided that the obvious solution was to take steps to reduce the madness.

But where could I begin?

I knew that tidying the house was an important first step, but this didn’t seem like it went far enough. I mean, sure, items were technically put away, but something about our home still felt chaotic. That’s when I discovered that tidying could only accomplish so much if the entire flow of the home was set up wrong.

I embarked on a long journey to make improvements, and I’m happy to report that my relationship has never been better. I’ve also achieved a more peaceful feeling at home, and I can finally get a good night’s rest on a regular basis.

If you’re asking yourself how I did it, I have one simple answer: I looked to other cultures for inspiration.

You see, the American culture often feels to me like it’s overly based around the concept of working long hours and acquiring a lot of possessions. But there are many other cultures that place an emphasis on different things. What could they teach me? Would their ideas work any better? I was about to find out.

India Helped Me Pick Better Colors for Inner Peace.

The first country I turned to for inspiration was India. I quickly learned that the usage of color is very important, because it helps set a mood for the entire room. With this in mind, I repainted the house with the intention of making it more tranquil to live in.

I used soft green, a soothing, light beige, cool gray, and light lavender. The amazing thing is that it actually worked! After the paint was finished and dry, I began to feel more relaxed in my living space.

The Indian culture also introduced me to the concept of vastu shastra, which means “science of architecture.” Although it’s often used in connection with religion, it isn’t necessary to adopt a new faith.

Instead, I did extensive research to learn in which direction things should be set up to provide harmony and balance to the house. I also took on some of the tips about reducing negative personal energy through journaling, meditation, and tai chi.

China Showed Me the Importance of Furniture Placement.

It’s impossible to look into boosting the harmony of your home without running into the Chinese principle of feng shui. I didn’t know what that actually meant, though, until I desperately wanted a change in my life. What I learned is that everything in my house reflected my inner feelings. This can be a vicious cycle. For example, if I came home and felt chaotic, I was more likely to keep contributing to that feeling because it became my norm.

Feng shui taught me to arrange everything more carefully. Between this and vastu shastra, I saw how the flow of my furniture placement and knickknacks had been off since day one. After moving things to a more feng shui friendly setup, my home did begin to feel more harmonious!

Japan Taught Me How to Let Go of Needless Possessions.

The Japanese culture was the third, and final, source of inspiration for my home harmony needs. Japan is known for decluttering and organization, so I picked up the go-to guide for such things: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

I was amazed by how much sense the entire idea made. Clutter constantly accumulates, because we have too many belongings and hang on to things we don’t need, such as old papers. It was tough to go through everything and do a major purge, but Kondo was right; I’ve never looked back, and I don’t allow clutter to accumulate any more.

Coming home to an environment that has pleasant colors, a lack of clutter, and a nice furniture flow has made a world of difference. Everyone is happier, including our pets, and silly squabbles are a thing of the past. Now my home has harmony, and it’s truly my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the world!


Author: Holly Chavez
Image: Michael Browning/UnsplashAllie Deanie/Unsplash
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Taia Butler

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Holly Chavez