There’s a big focus on Spring Cleaning each year—you’re supposed to rid your home, and your life, of anything and everything that’s taking up too much space. While I love, love, love me a good purge, what I really adore is organizing and cherishing the things that do bring me joy. There is a special warmth in celebrating the items you’ve chosen to keep, and the emotions that they conjure up for you and your family. With the Winter Solstice on the horizon, November means that the weather is still staying above 40 (for the most part), and the windows can stay open and the candles lit. There’s still some time to nest, mama!
Step 1. Clean that kitchen!
I’m from a small suburban town in New Jersey, where food always, always, always means gratitude. Want to show your neighbor that you’re thankful they keep the lawn manicured? Bring them a casserole! Want to show Mom that you’ve been thinking of her? Invite her over for a slow simmered, hot cooked meal. No matter where you are from, or where you now reside, your day probably begins and calms down around the counter and/or table. Savor the moments and memories by doing your best to keep this space organized and free of clutter. It will open your mind, and your AM coffee will always taste a little sweeter when you come down the stairs.
Step 2. Make the bed.
It’s a small, forgettable tip but it truly makes a difference when you do it each morning. Sleep is important—it refreshes your brain, body and your soul. It helps you stay awake throughout the day, and your bed is a calm and safe space each night. You’ll feel a sense of freedom, knowing you’re returning your head and body to a clean, arranged abode.
Step 3. Use products that you believe in!
Whether it’s cleaning, cooking, or self care… surround yourself with elements that respect your values and beliefs. You go about your day out in the world desiring to be seen and heard. Listen to yourself in the spaces that you can have 100% control over.
Step 4. Organize your trinkets.
Jewelry, make-up, the screws in that I-don’t-really-know-what’s-in-here drawer: these are all things that you’ll eventually need or search for, and you don’t want a simple process to become a stressful one, when you do. You can lay out items in decorative ways. and use trays and baskets to keep small pieces where you can easily retrieve them later.
Step 5. Place your personality in prime locations!
You have your own knack for design, for spirituality, for humor, for color. Implement these aspects of YOU into areas that you use commonly. You want to be reminded of what you love about yourself and the life that you’ve built—maybe it’s your favorite quote hanging on the wall, or a plant that brings you a smile each time it grows a new leaf! Make sure you can see these reminders daily, and recognize the positives they bring to your spirit.
Step 6. Fill the air with music.
Music is a form of auditory sound therapy; music can produce recollections, emotions, and build up serotonin in the brain! It can also reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol (a stress hormone) levels and increase endorphin levels in the blood. It elevates your mood, even if the song sounds “sad”! Music can boost the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine, which helps relieve feelings of anxiety and depression. And yes, it’s November—you’re finally allowed to play Christmas Carols.
November is one of my favorite months. It’s socially acceptable to stuff your face for at least one full day, and the sun always hits just right during golden hour after Daylight Savings has given us an extra hour of sleep. November is for nesting; it’s for cherishing the little things in life that bring you childlike wonder and pure excitement. Light the pumpkin candle, watch the Harry Potter film under your favorite blanket, bake your boss Grandma’s best apple pie recipe. There is, simply-but-ever-so-wisely put, no place like home.