One of the ideas I’ve talked a lot about this past year is the idea that you are the keeper of your home. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it basically means you get to decide what passes the threshold of your house and what products and elements you allow inside.
The reason this is such a powerful concept is that you no longer have to just bring home ANY cleaning product, you can choose to allow the healthiest, least toxin-filled option into your home. It means that you get to decide what you love and what you feel is the healthiest option for your family.
Anything that you’re going to purchase gets to go through your “healthy house” filter or lens. It means that when you look at a purchase through the lens of creating a healthy indoor environment, you’ll get to decide if you bring it home or leave it in your cart. It’s the best way I know how to only bring home what is a healthy item and something that I really want for my house.
This idea is also in sync with the idea of conscious consumerism. This means really thinking through your purchases, whether it be your groceries, or your home products or even big purchases like furniture or appliances. It means that you choose a product based on not only it’s health, but your needs as well as it’s packaging and manufacturing process too.
But, sometimes using a new filter for your purchases can be easier said than done. When you’ve spent a lifetime without thinking through purchases or just buying what you see, it can be a really hard change to make. Let’s walk through this mindset shift and expanding on some of the key concepts and reasons being the keeper of your home can benefit your indoor environment while creating a cozy minimalist home.
THE PROBLEM WITH INSTANT GRATIFICATION MENTALITY
Over the past decade, social media has become THE number one way we get our information and make many of our decisions on purchases and products. This is even true of myself. There are bloggers I have followed for over a decade, and I trust their opinion on products and problem solving way more than a commercial on TV.
The problem is, when we see another person talk about a product or item they have, there is often this feeling of wanting to go along with that. After all, this is a real person, not just a commercial — if they have it, then I can too. And so begins the downward spiral of mindless consuming based on the feeling of want and not need.
Personally, I think this stems from our need for instant gratification. Our world is filled with gadgets and tools to feed this need. From the microwave to Amazon Prime Now, if we want something, we want it right away. When’s the last time you waited to purchase something you really wanted? It’s hard! I know for me, adding this filter or lense of “do I really need THIS exact thing RIGHT now?” has helped. I know that I can wait and it won’t be the end of the world — and sometimes I find that it’s better to wait and purchase something later after I’ve done research or after I’ve made a decision based on more than just my initial want.
One of the things that has helped me is to keep a list. I have a list of items I want to replace at home or purchases I want to make. If I’m out shopping and I just happen to see something that looks cute or I want to buy it just because, I look at my list and see if it’s on there. If it is, then I consider the price, the material, etc., and possibly purchase it. If it’s not, I really think about if I need or even want the item.
I do the same thing with my clothing. Online shopping has been a HUGE help in this sense. If I see an item I want, I think back to my if I really NEED it, or if I actually want it. I absolutely keep a list of clothing items I’d like to add to my wardrobe or replace in my wardrobe. If I find something that’s on my list, then I get it. If it’s not on the list I really think about that purchase.
TAKING CONSUMERISM DOWN TO JUST THE NECESSITIES
Let’s talk necessities. If you’re like me and my house, then you might be in the same boat as me in the sense that you have MORE than enough when it comes to your clothing and home goods and cleaning products. Keeping this in mind, that I have more than I really need helps me to limit what I’m bringing into my house in general.
I like to keep my brain in the “just the necessities” frame and not in the “stock up” mindset. When we shift over to the “stock up” mindset, we end up purchasing things we may not use or need in the future. If you buy just what you need and what you know you will use, you’ll avoid wasting money and resources on something that isn’t really in your filter of a “healthy house”.
But you don’t have to skimp either. Just the necessities doesn’t have to mean cheap or chincy either. You can purchase necessities that are of a really high quality and have a really great feel to them without buying what you don’t need. I actually think that less is more when it comes to this idea. Sometimes buying more of the less expensive item or product means your getting what you pay for. Instead, opting for a high quality item (either in food, clothing, products or decor), you can get a product that’s not only healthier for your environment or body, but one that will last longer in the long run.
Have you ever noticed when you get something from the dollar spot at Target, it doesn’t really last all that long? There’s a reason — you get what you pay for. Getting the best bargain doesn’t necessarily mean paying the lowest price. It’s based on the material, how it was manufactured or it’s ingredients. Finding a great price for something that is high quality and something you actually love and will use is key.
YOU CAN STILL CREATE A BEAUTIFUL HOME WITH LESS
You can still create a beautiful, cozy minimalist home with these ideas. With this idea of purchasing less and making it a more meaningful purchase, you might worry that your home will start to look bare or drab. Honestly, I have found quite the opposite. By carefully choosing what is going into my house, I feel like it’s brightened and opened up my spaces so much, that I appreciate my actual house instead of the stuff that is in my space.
A home that has just minimal decor, or well-chosen, tasteful items around is often a beautifully styled space. Take a moment and scroll through Instagram or Pinterest looking at home decor. I find that the most beautiful rooms have just a few key pieces. It’s the same with putting out a spread of food for your family. The more choices you have out, sometimes the more overwhelming the process of eating can be.
It’s just like our rooms, the more we have in our home, the more overwhelmed our mind and eyes become. Choose a simple color scheme with a cozy pattern and go from there. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that more is better when it comes to any part of your house. Simplicity can speak volumes!
REUSING, MOVING & REPURPOSING WHAT YOU HAVE
I absolutely love reusing pieces around the house and moving them from room to room. Just because you bought a chair to go with your couch set, doesn’t mean it has to stay there. The beauty of having furniture that is versatile is that you can move it to a different room in the house and give it a whole new feel without purchasing something new.
You can also repurpose frames, small tables and other items that you might use as decor to fill in another area of your home. Even small items like vases and trays can easily be moved around into other areas of your home to create a fresh feel and make your space feel new to you.
My girls and I will rearrange their rooms to give it a fresh feel every now and then and it actually does make the room feel like we’ve added something or given it a makeover, when in actuality we just cleaned it up and moved some of the furniture.
The great thing is that when you use what you have, often you’re not purchasing anything, nor are you getting rid of anything. But at the same time, you’re changing your space. It doesn’t create waste, spend your money or introduce toxins to your space by moving or repurposing what you have.
CHANGING YOUR HOME STARTS WITH YOUR MINDSET
All of these tips and tricks start with changing your mindset, though. One of the most helpful things I have done in changing my own mindset to keeper of my home is creating that filter or lens I talked about earlier.
All I do is ask myself before I buy something, if I need it and if it is something that will really bring joy to my home. If the answer is no, then generally I won’t purchase it. Or at least I will do some deep thinking on it before I buy it. If the answer is yes, it doesn’t automatically mean I buy it. Instead I give myself an “okay” to really think about where it will go in my house, how it will be used and if it will be used to its full potential in my house.
If this is a hard change for you, start with your online shopping. Anytime something goes in your cart, leave it there for a few days. If it’s something that you have had time to think about and you’ve given it an “okay” in terms of health, usefulness and happiness it brings, then go for it. If after a few days you’re just not 100% sure, then remember that YOU get to be the keeper of your home.
It’s also important to remember that your home is YOURS and what you want should be truly what you want, not what others have in their house. If it stresses you out to add decor to your house, then don’t do it. If you’re only buying things to keep up with your Instagram feed or impress your next guests, chances are you won’t be happy about the purchases in the long run.