How To Turn Your Living Space Into A Place That Serves You
Hi, beautiful people!
Let’s talk about our living spaces, shall we? I’m a recent college grad and currently, the living space that I am occupying is my childhood bedroom in my childhood home. The circle of life, right? You graduate high school, then (if you so choose) you spend four years of college living in dorms or apartments, aaaaand then, for lots of us, we end up back at home for a hot minute. For many recent grads, we aren’t only home for the summer, we are home until businesses or our industries are able to get back on track.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I’m actually enjoying having some extra time to spend with them. And coming home, I was excited to have some more space than I had in my little apartment. (Plus, at home, I’ve got a bigger bed and my momma’s cooking). But I loved my little apartment because when I moved in, I had total power to make that space my own. Unlike when I got a new bedroom in grade school, now I had the power to decorate my room in my apartment like an adult and make it my own little sanctuary.
So, coming back home to my childhood bedroom made me feel a little nervous. I was excited to be home for all those reasons I listed, but I didn’t know how I would make my childhood bedroom into the same little safe space that my apartment bedroom had been. That room was always the place I could go to seek calm and quiet, and I knew that I would have to take some necessary steps to make my room at home feel the same way (really, for my own sanity!).
If you need some thoughts on how to make adjustments so your space serves you, here are a few suggestions!
- Evaluate What You Need– Take some time to just sit in your room or the space you are aiming to re-vamp, and evaluate what changes would be necessary to make that space feel more like you, more like home, and more like a space you want to spend a decent amount of your time in. Maybe start a list or document highlighting what you’d like to do with different parts of your room, things you would like to add/take away from the space to make it more “you,” and where you’d like to maybe donate the things you decide to get rid of!
- Make the Necessary Changes to Your Space!– When I first moved all of my things back home, the first thing I did was take stock, reorganize, and gut my room. I had so many things in there that I had just let sit between my visits home, and still had lots of things left from my childhood. I took stock of the things I no longer needed, wanted, and the things that no longer served me at this point in my life. I spent a lot of time rummaging, but once I finally got some organizing done, I was able to start making the space mine is a more aesthetic way. I pulled out my summer bedding, hung up new wall decor, put out the other decorations I loved, and made that place a space that I look forward to sitting in when I need some quiet time!
- Will It Really Serve You?– Marie Kondo the crap out of this situation, peeps. As you go through old papers, clothes, mementos, ALL THE THINGS, ask yourself if it really brings you joy. If you are feeling like you may not need to hold onto something and your immediate reaction upon seeing it or finding it ISN’T joy- it wasn’t meant to be held onto! I encourage you to donate things or give them to younger siblings or family members. Chances are good that someone else could use and appreciate those things much more. What a JOY for you to be able to provide them with that JOY!
- Don’t Try for a Finished Product Overnight– So I went in that room. I started organizing. But it took me a while to sift through everything and make the space feel totally like mine! Don’t try or expect to get your space complete and perfect over night! I know, it is easier said than done. I am the first person who jumps on a task, and then tries with my whole being to complete it as soon as possible for what I think is my own peace of mind. But really, the expectation of getting it done ASAP only causes me more stress or frustration, especially if it doesn’t immediately go as planned. Be gentle with yourself. Take all the time you need to be happy with your space!
Now once you’ve conquered creating a desirable space of your own in the room you are working on, you may need to work to create an environment that serves you within your shared spaces! So many graduates and even students still in college are now back at home this summer, maybe for the first time in a long time. Summer work plans have shifted, and I know for me, this is the longest I have been consistently at home since I started college four years ago. This has not only caused me to have a shift in my living, but it has also created a shift for my family.
Some tools to help make your shared living spaces just as peaceful as your private ones:
- Be Open About Your Needs– As with most things in life, communication is key! Communicate your needs to your loved ones and allow them to communicate their needs to you. If there is a time of day you would like to dedicate to your work or yourself without disruption, let them know and ask that they respect the schedule you have established for yourself while not living at home .
- Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out!– Remember that while you may face moments of frustration with your family…you do have to live with them and them with you! If an issue arises that warrants a discussion to be held with a family member or your whole household, absolutely have that discussion! If you are having a day where everyone in the house just seems to be on your nerves and you are frustrated, don’t be afraid to call a friend or someone you are close with and vent it out! Don’t sit and fester in the frustration, because that will only hinder your mood/productivity and disrupt your safe space. If you aren’t comfortable with calling someone to talk it out, allow a journal to be your friend. Pouring it onto the page is also much better than letting it sit in your heart and mind!
- Find Some Means of Escape– Sometimes, in order to gain some peace, you may need to find a positive means of escape! We love our loved ones, but sometimes you need a minute for just you. Because many of us have been at home with our families for months, you may have already experienced the difficulty of “escaping.” But if we can’t get out of the house and be with our friends, we can find other ways to feel a sense of “escape” from our homes! Reading, writing, and watching TV and movies are all pretty common means of escape that may be right at your fingertips! This may also go hand in hand with your self-care routine!
Any space that you occupy should be a place full of positivity, love, and the things that make you feel full in the best of ways. Take stock, change things up, and settle into the space that serves you!