The idea of infusing harmony into your life extends to your living space. Read on for simple ways to transform your home into a more peaceful, balanced, and beautiful place.
The Japanese philosophy of Kirei is about living life in beautiful harmony. It encompasses your health, family, friends, belongings, planet, and living area.
"When our homes feel harmonious, they instill a sense of calm and peacefulness," says Rachael Grochowski, an interior designer, architect, and yogi in Montclair, NJ. Her architecture and interiors firm focuses on creating spaces that help people connect physically, emotionally, and spiritually. "Being in a harmonious home helps you to stay in the present moment. You're not distracted, and that allows you to experience gratitude, peace, and joy," Grochowski says.
Here are a few simple ways anyone can bring more beauty and harmony to their space:
1. Clear the countertops.
"I always start in the kitchen. It's where you do a lot of prep work for the day ahead, so you want to set yourself up for success there," Grochowski says. The top goal here is to clear things off of the countertops. "I really like the idea of sliding the small appliances, cooking utensils, and knives into cabinets or drawers." That gives you more surfaces to work on, which increases efficiency and focus. It also looks cleaner. Another great idea from Grochowski: "I have an affinity for designating a drawer in the kitchen for file storage. Otherwise, people tend to keep their mail, bills, bulletins, and paperwork piled up on the counter." Ultimately, the hope is that you have one hand soap and hand lotion by the sink, but otherwise? Not much else.
2. Organize the bathroom.
Everything in here should have a designated spot. Maybe it's one drawer for lotions, one drawer for makeup, and another for hair products or tools. The rule in the shower is that the only things stored there are the things you actually use. And as soon as you finish using it, you put it back in its place. "It becomes second nature so that you aren't having to think about it. When decisions are easy, you have peace of mind. You can breathe," Grochowski says.
3. Consider kicking off your shoes.
"I believe that a shoe-less house makes a big difference," Grochowski says. Yes, it hopefully cuts down on tracking dirt into the hallways, but "it's also the idea of allowing our feet to touch the ground. Doing so reminds us to connect to the Earth, to feel more grounded, and to stay in the moment."
4. Bring the scent of nature inside.
Another way to connect with the Earth and ourselves is to place fresh flowers or a thriving plant in our space. Grochowski suggests using products that contain fresh, soothing scents that engage your senses.
5. Declutter as much as you can.
"When everything is beautiful, then nothing is beautiful," Grochowski says. In other words, if a room is packed with stuff, the eye doesn't know where to rest. As a result, we tend to feel confused. Becoming a minimalist is a tall order, Grochowski acknowledges, but you can create ways to hide things. For example, Japanese screens are a smart solution, or you can add solid doors to shelves or built-in cabinetry. If you have a lot of kid stuff, crafts projects, or work-from-home piles, then create a system that you follow. "At the end of each day, gather up the stuff and put it into big baskets, bowls, or trays," Grochowski suggests. Then, when you wake up the next day, you're not immediately confronted by a mess of stuff. "You want to start each day with space," she says.
Try any of the above ways to transform your home into a more peaceful, balanced, and beautiful place - see what it's like to experience life the Kirei way.