How do you live in your home?

I came across this article through Domain last week and shared it through my Facebook page. It has been playing through my mind since, so I thought I would delve deeper and share my thoughts. 

In short, a study was conducted by UCLA’s Centre on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF). It studied the way 32 families live and how they use their homes.

  • Only 25% of families can park their cars in their garage. 
  • Women feel stressed by messy/cluttered spaces.
  • The desire to bulk buy items creates more clutter in the home with the need to purchase more items to store these extra items like a second fridge/chest freezer or shelving. 
  • Each child brings 30% more clutter into the home. 
  • Despite spending up big on pools/spa’s/cubby houses/trampolines/outdoor furniture etc, only 25% of adults and 50% of kids use the outdoor space.
  • People also complained about not having enough downtime, yet spend 70% of that downtime on devices/screens and not utilising this outdoor space. 

Wow! It got me thinking about my personal situation and what I observe of my friends and family. 

I don’t think we have an excessive amount of storage at home. No garage. No linen closet. We do have a double door pantry which I use for a mixture of items. We have a shed for all our tools and garden items ect. We have installed an attic ladder and store our Christmas decorations and camping gear up there. 
Out of my friends and family that I know to have garages, only 20% of them park their cars in them. The balance use it as an extra storage area.

Clutter and mess certainly stresses me out more than my Hubby. Over the Christmas period, the double door pantry got out of control. Stuff everywhere. Stuff that didn’t belong there had been chucked in there because I didn’t have the time to deal with it properly. I knew it was something I had to tackle but didn’t have the energy to do until after we got back from our vacation in Mollymook. It was weighing on my mind as a ‘to-do’ item.  When I checked in with my Hubby about this he said that the cupboard didn’t stress him out, but it bothered him that it was bothering me. 

A couple of weeks back we were going to be home most of the Saturday so I spent Friday night emptying it, forcing me to deal with it on the Saturday. I did it. I got rid of a box of items for charity, a bag of rubbish and put everything away back in it’s place. I immediately felt better with a decluttered space and a decluttered mind. I don’t know that this comes down to gender, I think it comes from a sense of control and order, a need to know where things are and that jobs are done. I know men who feel this way. 

We have a Costco membership. People are often unsure if it is cost effective or not. The savings we make on fuel alone plus savings we get on my contact lenses sees us well ahead of the cost of the membership, let alone what we save on other household items. We mainly only buy toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and some laundry/cleaning products. Occasionally we buy food items. I am able to store these items either in the laundry, under the sink or in a single basket in the pantry. We only have the space for one fridge/freezer in our kitchen. If we had the space? The only time I would like a second fridge/freezer is when we are entertaining a big group but for the couple of times a year we do this, I don’t see the value. I’ll just keep shuffling things around. 

We have gone through various stages in our home. When we first moved in 12 years ago, all we had was the stuff from our bedrooms at home. I felt the need to fill our four bedroom home. And so I did. Two spare bedrooms were set up. A home office was created and we said yes to most items we were offered, filling our cupboards to the brim. Then Miss 5 came along and we took a room back to set up the nursery. Then we took half of the fourth bedroom back to create her playroom. Then we took another room back to create Miss 5’s big girl room so Mr 3 could go into the nursery. Then we took the other half of the fourth bedroom back to create my studio and now we are as we are. I can’t even tell you how much has gone in the bin/to the tip/to charity over the years. But if feels good!

Outdoor vs Indoor time. Like the article says we have spent a lot of money outside. Whilst our pool was already here, we’ve spent lots installing retaining walls, excavation, fencing, plants, furniture, swing set and a cubby house.  The kids are starting to spend more time outside. Daylight savings plays a part in this for us as we are at work through the day. They’ll play before dinner after we get home from work, after school the days I’m home and flit between different activities inside and outside on the weekend. This also depends on whether the TV is on or not. As to how much time my Hubby and I are outside with them, not so much. Realisitically we are on our devices too much but we are also busy studying/cooking/cleaning/washing or taking a moment to watch our TV programs. 

A couple of years back, I fell in love with this beauty. (Images from Barrington Homes). 


Take a look at the floor plan. 


Gorgeous, isn’t she. The house just screams ‘me’ (I felt so at home here, and have visited the display home many times. Family have visited it and agreed and I have taken two girlfriends here who also agree) and I thought it would be the perfect home to entertain in, grow in and give us each some space. We became priced out of the opportunity to build this dream home in an area not too far from our family and I think I am a little bit glad (only a little bit – it still stings a bit to know we can’t build the dream yet).  I hate cleaning bathrooms, and I would have had an extra one to do. We would have had more space for the kids playroom, but would that be at the cost to lost family time?  Hubby and I still have the dream at building a place from scratch, and it might happen one day, but for now we are sitting tight. 

This post has rambled on a bit. For me, the article ignited my passion to help people declutter, to live comfortably within their home, to feel less stressed, to enjoy it and to love it and for it to bring you joy!

How does your home make you feel? Does the clutter stress you out? What methods do you employ to tackle the clutter? KonMari? Ignore the mess?  Please, let me know!!!

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