Visual Calmness

Have you ever flicked through one of those magazines like Home Beautiful and wondered why your house doesn’t look like the houses featured on its pages? Even though reality tells me that a team of designers, stylists, photographers and editors have helped transform already incredibly beautiful homes into exquisite images of homes, some how the illusion that one can live like that continues. Experience tells me that even if my family did live in a house like the ones in that magazine it would not look like the images for long – because it would become lived in, and so it should.

So why do I continue to pursue tidiness? 

(1) It makes it easier to find things when they have a spot where they belong.

(2) Organisation is an important skill to practise and to teach to my children.

(3) I find it calming to walk into a tidy room.

I used to think that if I could just keep one room in the house tidy, then I could cope. At least I could leave the mess of the house behind and sit in that one room and relax, unwind, and not think about all the housework that needed to be done. Now that I have a husband, 3 kids, a dog, a cat and a new business even this seems out of reach. I can’t even keep my desk at home tidy because I share with my 3 children who invariably bring with them ‘stuff’ and leave it there.

So I don’t always have a tidy room, I don’t always have a tidy desk, where can I go for visual calmness? I have discovered a new corner of the house to bring a moment of calm and order – the cup cupboard. Now this may sound a little strange, but it works for me. I used to have a hotch potch of cups, mostly with chips and scratches. Lately I’ve splurged on 9 new mugs ($2 each from Coles!), 3 sets of 3. I take great pleasure in lining them up neatly, in their colours and rows, then selecting one and pouring myself a cup of tea. My love of stopping for a cup of tea is evident in the fact that one of my 2 year old’s first words was “hotta, hotta” followed closely by “hot tea, hot tea”. So my little corner of the house, the cup cupboard, affords me a moment of peace with its tidiness, in an often chaotic house.

Where do you find moments of peace in your day?

What images of calmness are around you during the day?

4 replies
  1. Jen
    Jen says:

    You know what? I have the same thing with my cup cupboard! I am a little more OCD: the freshly washed ones unpacked from the dishwasher go in the back and I move the unused clean ones towards the front. That way, all the cups get “rotated” so to speak!

    Tea is definitely a good way to find some peace…it’s a great way to break up the day!


    • Stacey College
      Stacey College says:

      Love it! I think our OCD tendenceies are to be embraced and used for good (ie. bringing peace to the day). The challenge for me is when my children unpack the dishwasher and put the cups away. I have determined to appreciate their kindness and hard work, and not insist they follow my cup order!
      Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. kimconstable
    kimconstable says:

    Totally with you. I think when my house is tidy (virtually impossible with four kids, a dog and working from home), I feel better viscerally. When I look at untidiness I am transported to my childhood and my father yelling “Look at the bloody mess you girls have made in here!”. So to cover up with uncomfortable feeling that arises when I look at mess, I try to keep things tidy. It’s a control strategy really 🙂 Problem is that I’m kind of a messy person. So lately I’ve been practicing the mantra “Don’t put it down, put it away”. It really really works. You should try it! Only takes two seconds to put the thing back where it belongs, and the place is a million times more organised. Love your blog. Look forward to more! 🙂

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