So it's happened: I've moved in all the boxes, arranged and rearranged the pantry, contemplated organizing my bookshelves better, hung every picture, and moved around furniture until it looks just right. But with all that in place, there remains quite a bit of work to be done in making my new house a home.
Here, I offer you my top five ways to make a new space more than just a place to crash, but a vital, nourishing sanctuary:
1. Cook. A lot. For friends. For family. For yourself. Nothing says home like a meal made from scratch. The first night I was relatively all moved in, I had my special moving helpers--my family--over for a big pasta dinner. And I had them over again this weekend for a nice cheese tasting and steak dinner--with a pumpkin fudge chaser thanks to Coconut Mama. I made stuffed acorn squash for myself all week and epic breakfasts over the weekend. I'll be making Tea a la St. James Tea Room in Albuquerque for a good friend next weekend. And I plan to keep cooking! The menu planning, the preparations, the enjoyable get-togethers all bring warmth to a home the way nothing else can.
2. Take a long bubble bath. Okay, so this might not be for everyone, but after long hours moving, an Epsom salt bath does wonders for the soul. It's also become a ritual for me to take a super long bubble bath in each new space I move into. There's something about letting the soapy bubbles wash over you as you get lost in a good paperback that lets you relax and feel like you're in a nourishing space. If bubble baths aren't your deal (no judgement!), craft your own ritual that allows you to feel nourished in your new space.
3. Have a pajama day. Who says jammies are just for nighttime? A home isn't a home until you spend time in it--especially down time, where you don't have to go anywhere or do anything. So set aside a day to putter around in your PJs. Have no agenda, merely float from cooking in the kitchen to lounging on the couch, to staring out your window to lingering over the titles on your bookshelves. It's a great way to get to know your new home.
4. Brew a pot of tea. Even if you don't make your own tea blends like I do, there is something about putting on hot water for tea and then drinking a pot on the couch as you sift through magazines, knit, or get lost in a good book to sooth the soul. Tea says home. And if it's a relaxing herbal blend, it might also say nap on the couch. Either way, brewing tea connects you to the rituals of your daily life--an essential aspect of making your house a home.
5. Do yoga or meditate or whatever you do as part of your self-care routine. During moving, it is easy to let your normal self-care routine (exercise, eating right, sleeping) slip in favor of getting your house settled. But as soon as humanly possible, get back to that routine. Fill your home with the tranquil energy of a good meditation session, the clean energy of a wholesome meal, the catharsis of a good yoga that wrings out the aches and pains brought on by hauling boxes.
So there they are--my tips for making a house a home. They're also useful to reconnect with your space if you've been out a lot lately. I hope they inspire you to make your living space a sanctuary that nourishes your soul. Happy homemaking!
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