Visualise Your Dream Home

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment your dream home. When I say dream home I don’t mean a different house to the one you are living in. I mean the home you would like your current house to be. Containing just the amount of stuff that you would feel comfortable with, only items you love or truly have a use for in your life.

Don’t try to envision a minimalist home if that is not your goal, just the home in which you would be the most content. Visualise each space with just the amount of stuff that matches this vision. One which you would be proud to be the caretaker of.

Imagine these spaces being orderly and inviting should unexpected or invited guess come to stay. This opens your life up to being more social.

Imagine being able to find what you need when you need it, quickly and easily. So that all the tasks you must perform can be done so efficiently.

Imagine the restful, peaceful calm pervading these spaces. Even when you are busy you will have the joy of knowing that there is an oasis awaiting you should you choose to give yourself a break.

Back to reality now. Keep these thoughts of the perfect home for you in your head and use them as your guide when decluttering each space. Stay true to your vision and don’t allow the individual objects to distract you from your goal. Let go of anything that is not necessary to your vision. You might be surprised how far you will go.

Today’s Mini Mission

Find a home for something that seems to have made the floor its permanent resting place. Perhaps a pile of magazines, a large pot, someone’s shoes… It is much easier to clean the floor when you can get to it easily.

Eco Tip for the Day

If you peg your clothes outside to dry don’t leave the pegs to perish on the line between wash days. Bring them in and store them in your laundry, they will last longer this way.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. hey ! I nominated you for an award…Check it out here http://spiritualboosters.com/2013/02/13/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • Hi swalia, I appreciate your nomination and I wish you success for your own nomination. Unfortunately I really don’t have the time to carry out the networking component that is required to qualify. I know networking is important to increase the traffic to ones blog but I mainly blog to help others and for my own enjoyment so I don’t engage in it very much. Thank you again. Colleen

  2. Love this! You make me feel as if I am in a Calgon commercial – – Calgon! Take me away!!! So serene and peaceful. This a.m. I tried to put something away in a kitchen draw and had to really stuff it. With you in mind, I plopped on the floor and pulled every item out. I’m not sure why we have two sets of BBQ utensils, but laid those out for hubby to consider when he gets home and I removed six placemats in a color I am no longer fond of as I have another set in a color I do like. Thanks always for your suggestions!

    • Good move Michelle. Those sorts of little annoyances can add up throughout the course of your dad. By removing them one by one it is amazing how much serenity you can add back in.

      • You are amazing with your ability to express yourself and encourage us all to understand what you are trying to convey. Our home is very small but functional. We have decided that we are not going to move for quite some time, however, because it is not financially feasible to purchase what we would like in the state we currently reside. Therefore, if we are going to live in our humble abode, I want to love living in that home. I was to be content and serene. Feeling overwhelmed by clutter does not grant me that serenity.

        I visited the website of a cat rescue that I have a personal connection with – it’s where we got our sweet kitty – and a bunch of items on their wishlist I just so happen to have in my yard sale pile. I am going to go through that pile and pull out whatever I think the rescue could use and donate to them. One item is an older window AC unit and I will visualize the serenity of kitties in a nice cool room! Donating to a good cause – that’s a feeling that just can’t be beat.

        • That is a great feeling, Michelle, being able to give to a cause so near and dear to you.

          • Well, in followup to the BBQ utensils. . . . apparently hubby DOES need two sets of utensils. I did not win this battle, but ladies, I WILL win the war!!! LOL

  3. This is a very interesting exercise. I’ve just realised that I’m keeping a number of things in case X comes to visit. Interestingly X has only been here twice in 10 years so they won’t them anymore or will bring their own. That’s been a very interesting revelation. Will think on my dream home more. Thank you for the help in thinking.

    • Well done Sally. You have taken this exercise one step further by using common sense to ascertain that you don’t need to cater all of the time for something that happens barely 1% of the time.

  4. I love this exercise and actually created something very much similar in my home. Before entering a room in my home to declutter and clean I pictured it as I wish it were then went about making that happen. Visualization really does work and my home is both comfortable and inviting for others who remark that my home reflects exactly who I am.

    • Hi Lois and welcome to 365 Less Things. It really is a great method to help one let go of the things that are oppressing in a space. One simply has to put their desire for tranquility above trivial reasons to keep the clutter. I am glad you discovered this method for yourself and have reaped the benefits.

  5. As I read the post, the thing that sprang to the front of my mind was a cobweb in a hard to reach area. My dream home doesn’t have that cobweb! Now my real home doesn’t have it either.

    More on topic, my dream home doesn’t have any junk drawers / shelves / boxes. I just found a few of those in the closet and desks, so I’ll be working on sorting things to where they’re actually supposed to be and see if I can get more things out of the home.

    • You have excelled in this exercise Rebecca J. Good for you. It is amazing how ruthless one can become when they do this visualisation exercise. It suddenly occurs to them that their goal is way more important than the individual items.

  6. Aaahhhhhh. I’m happy to say that I’m well on that way to this goal.

    • Good for you Cindy. I feel this way about my house in general but there are some things still lingering that I would rather see the back of. However they aren’t mine to choose whether they stay or go. This does not disturb, very much, my feeling of calm though so overall I am happy.

      • I’m with you, Colleen. Our home is peaceful and tranquil in general, and I can say–for those who are new to decluttering–it’s a great feeling, and it’s even better never having to be mortified if somebody comes to the door unexpectedly.

        When your home is pretty well decluttered, there just isn’t anything to be embarrassed about if somebody happens to drop in and see your house.

        • I am glad for you Becky. My daughter says I am mad because sometimes when people drop in I apologise if there is anything out of place. She thinks that this people must think I am crazy because my idea of a mess is probably “normal” peoples’ idea of tidy.

  7. Keeping your eye on the end goal! That is what is most important. Item by item, day by day, and month by month, I am getting closer to realizing that dream home. Having a peaceful, serene home where we feel calm and peace when we are there. A place free from chaos and hustle and bustle, now that sounds great!

    • Hear! Hear! Jen! [raising a glass in a toast]

    • Hi Jen, although it may seem like keeping your eye on the end goal was my message here, it isn’t something that I usually subscribe to. Visualising the end goal can be very daunting when one is at the beginning of their declutter journey and can only see the workload standing between their current situation and that end goal. I believe that the real psychology behind this idea is to be inspired by the feeling of contentment that is possible, allowing this to convince oneself to let go of things they may otherwise find excuses to keep.

  8. My current home is my dream home and became more so after I began decluttering. However now that there’s just two of us in our large family home we are dreaming of another smaller space in which to live. In putting our house on the market we’ve discovered another benefit of decluttering – a house that does not need a frantic purge to be presentable for viewing. The agent even complimented us on not having to be decluttered or “styled” 🙂

    • Having attended a lot of open houses lately, I can really relate to this. Some of them are in an atrocious mess. I wouldn’t dream of allowing people through my home looking like that whether I owned it ~ therefore having a vested interest in it being presentable for sale ~ or not.

      • Hi Colleen,
        Are you still looking to buy or just looking to downsize? 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • If my husband had his way he would retire put what we absolutely must keep into storage and travel the world for an extended open ended period. I prefer to have a house to come home to but I suppose buying could wait until we came back. We still keep looking and if something just right comes along we will probably buy it. Lets just say we are making it up as we go along.

      • Colleen – yes on the atrocious messy homes for sale! Even though we are not planning a move, it doesn’t stop me from purusing the internet to check out what’s for sale and I am floored at the state of some homes for sale. Can anyone tell me why a real estate agent would post pictures of piles of laundry or dirty dishes in the sink?? Good grief!

    • Hi Megan S,
      I so agree, we sold our home last September and every agent always remarked how quick they could bring someone around. They often remarked about it because so many of their clients would say ‘could we make it later the house is a mess’. Not me though, thanks to Colleen and everyone here I always had a reminder to do things then and there, not put away for later!!

      In hindsight though, I wish I hadn’t visited some of the house I went into. Man oh man I swear some of the agents felt like cleaning up the houses they were trying to sell!!! Horrid Houses . com for sure. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Thank you for the positive twist. 🙂
    It’s amazing for me how often I go through the same areas.
    Today, I was fighting the paper monster again. I always dreaded dealing with mail, “official” or “work” papers etc. – and I still dread it and put it off, but today I wanted to go through a few old things – and was quite baffled about how little I have stored these days. It’s really mostly rather recent stuff – and even that (though it might take up space in my mind) doesn’t take that much physical space, especially if you compared it to what I stored just a few years ago. That does make me happy. My dream house certainly doesn’t include bookcases full of file binders.

    • I agree Sanna, paperwork is a really insidious form of clutter. Not just because there is no joy in it but because if left to get out of hand it can be an enormous task to rein it in. One box of paperwork can take hours to sort through, ten boxes is a nightmare.

      • Very true. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, had I not already incorporated the idea of slow and steady decluttering. I took it the very easy way and got a whole lot done in a rather short time last year. I used a very simple system working several “rounds”.
        It’s embarrassing, but I used to have about 10 file binders (also uni-things) and another one to three boxes (shoebox size) of rather unsorted stuff. These days I have only two file binders, one of them very slim and a little stack at my desk which never exceeds a height of about 3cm. I really had forgotten that I didn’t drag along this huge mass of paper any more.

  10. I have always had a clear picture of what my de-cluttered home would look like and so far I am really pleased with the progress, but I do get impatient that I’m not there already. I have to keep reminding myself it isn’t a race and that there isn’t a looming deadline like a house shift coming up.

    • Hi Moni, to me it is more about what my de-cluttered home feels like. Even in, what in my opinion was, its cluttered state my home looked good, it was how I felt about the excess that was the problem.

      • Colleen – you have mentioned several times that you are a tactile person so interesting that ‘feel’ is your primary motive.

        I am traditionally not good at visualising, I tend to get distracted, yes, even in my own imagination, so was surprised how quickly the image of what I wanted came to me. However, I did add a spoken post script to this vision: easy to keep tidy, everything has a place and is in its place.

      • Hi Colleen,
        Don’t know whether you follow JFM regularly, but I was so intrigued with how he set up his home. I have often thought I would love to have my place just like his with just the right amount of ‘Stuff’ and I love the vision and then I am startled back to reality, that is, I have a son that dances and I have soooo much still that I am still getting through and I dance too so it multiplies, but I still like to ‘visualise’ my dream home, so much so I’m having the new one built to the vision I have in my head. Sans half of the ‘Stuff’ I have now!!! aarrhhhh BLISS!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • I must be having brain fade as I have no idea what JFM is Dizzy. However I do think that if dance is your thing and you need stuff for that then it just isn’t clutter and you should accept that it will just be in your life. Find the best way to keep it organised and be content with it.

          Everyone on my home has their own selection of clutter. Probably the only clutter of mine is the craft clutter which is nicely organised. My hubby owns most of the dust collecting clutter which I am not so happy about but it is his right to keep what is important to him. Liam has his pile of old skateboards and his camera gear which aren’t littering up the living space so that is fine. I don’t need to go into his room very often. To cut a long story short, most of the rooms in my house give off a very tranquil feel so I am a happy homemaker.

          • Hi Colleen,

            I know what you mean, and I am getting there, I know I need the ‘stuff’ but eventually I won’t and then the ‘stuff’ will be gone yay!!!

            🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Oh sorry Colleen,
            JFM is Joshua Fields Millburn, I love the site The Minimalists, check out his pad! I also loved the story of Ryans’ packing party. It’s a great way to de-clutter!!
            🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. I think this is a fun exercise because you can imagine where you are going. That imagining gives you the ability to take the steps needed to reach that dream.

    So excited. Two square, wood, paper holders (3 shelves) out the door today along with a 2-in stack of card stock. Ahhhhh!! Feels good.

  12. It’s basically starting with the end in mind, and I love it. If you do not have a vision, you certainly are not going to create actionable steps in order to achieve it. Visualization works with..well..just about everything. Wonderful concept!

  13. This is so timely for me. Tuesday night we did a relaxation meditation in my weight loss group. We were asked to visualize a space we were comfortable and relaxed in. I realized that not one room in my house was what I needed to be comfortable and relaxed in.

    • Hi Cheryl and welcome to 365 Less Things. Don’t be disparaged by this revelation just pick a room and start bringing up to your vision of relaxing and comfortable.

  14. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE. I hope you have a fun filled day with your loved ones and get lots of kisses and hugs cos they don’t cost anything and they don’t create clutter!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I don’t believe in having to wait for a specific day to show people you love them but I thought I’d mark the event anyway. ENJOY 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. I will be making a new post on my blog tomorrow with a reference to your post here. I have been mindfully perusing your archives and I think this is a wonderful idea. When we visualize our homes, we don’t visualize them with all the junk we keep piled around do we? Reading this post has allowed me to go even further in my journey as it allows me to look at my home in a whole new light. I thank you for it.