making a cozy home

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::: home is wherever I’m with you :::

One of my goals for the new year was to add more artwork and decor to our walls – to fill blank spaces with things that reflect who we are as a family and that make our house feel like a cozy home. I think it’s people who make a house a home, and how a home looks and feels should reflect the people that live there.

As I shared my vision with Ian, he got this tight, frozen smile that means that somehow I’ve made him nervous. And while we are usually 95% on the same page when it comes to style and decor, turns out that he doesn’t want every square inch of our walls covered in stuff. Huh.

Well, that was never actually my plan. But there were blank spaces that made me feel unsettled. We put so much time into fixing our house that the wall decor was the very last thing on our list. And then just as we were about to get to it, our little Luke was born. And so we spent his first year staring at him, not the walls.

But a few months ago I started noticing it again – the lack of “us-ness” in certain areas. So I’ve been slowly working on cozy-ing the place up, and to me it makes all the difference.

Some things were investments – a canvas and some prints from our family photo shoot last summer.

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Other things were DIY – Luke got a magnet board for Christmas (stainless steel fridge = no fun for kiddos).

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My heart is warmed by fun, organizational additions, like our DIY family whiteboard calendar.

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One of our bedroom walls finally came alive with this DIY collage wall (yes, that is LOTS of Luke, but we plan to change out photos here and there… and for the record, it was Ian who couldn’t limit himself when choosing pics of his boy).

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Even little nooks like the one outside Luke’s room have warmed up.

::: felt flower hoop art available in my shop :::

::: felt flower hoop art available in my shop :::

So I’m feeling a lot more coziness in our home with just these little changes. There are still spaces I want to fill (and spaces I will leave alone, for Ian’s sake!), but I’m happy with our home.

Speaking of adding little tidbits to brighten up your home, you should head over to my shop – I’ve added some new items that are perfect for making homes more cozy.

What are your plans for your home this year? How will you make it more of a reflection or yourself or your family?

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spring cleaning!

Call me crazy, but I love me some spring cleaning. However, with a kiddo hanging around me now, I’ve had to change up my game plan a bit. It’s been on my mind, so I thought I’d share some spring cleaning tidbits!

  • Figure out your method. What will work best for you? In the past I’ve been a fan of setting aside big chunks of time – maybe a whole weekend – to just knock everything out. I knew that was a no-go for me now that baby boo is here. So I decided to do small projects over a longer period of time. You could also set aside small blocks of time (an hour after work a few times a week, or maybe during nap times if you’re home with a kiddo).
  • Come up with a game plan. Set dates, put it on your to-do list, buy any supplies you need – get ready to make it happen! This last week I decided I would accomplish three things: cleaning/organizing the hall closet & shoe holder, cleaning out the top drawer of the shoe holder (it had turned into a junk drawer), and dusting two sets of window blinds. I chose three days to make them happen and put it on my calendar. If you need ideas of what to take on, or if you like lists and assignments, check out Money Saving Mom’s 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series, it’s great!
  • Clean what matters to you. It’s your house – what do you really want to clean? I hadn’t cleaned our blinds since we installed them a couple years ago – some of you are going “what!? you don’t dust them every week?” and others are saying “you’re supposed to clean them?” It didn’t bother me until I noticed a thick layer of dust a few months ago – that was the motivation I needed to want to clean them. Last year it didn’t even cross my radar, and that’s totally fine. Don’t waste your time dusting blinds if what you really want is an organized closet.
  • Use little helpers. Okay, so Luke is not even a year old, so he wasn’t exactly tackling my projects for me. Since I knew I’d be doing my cleaning while taking care of him, I came up with a plan to involve him. I knew he’d love the textures of the gloves and hats in our hall closet, so I had him “help” with those while I cleaned out the closet. When I cleaned the piano room blinds, I gave him a clean rag to play with and let him stand on the couch between myself and the window. He was happy as a clam hanging out with mama and “dusting” the windowsill. Figure out the best way for your kid to “help” – Luke’s at the stage where he just likes being included, but an older toddler could help with matching up mittens or dusting the baseboards while I dusted the blinds, etc.
  • Don’t be an overachiever. If you’re like me, you may get a bit of an adrenaline rush when you complete a project. After I finished cleaning the second set of window blinds, I really wanted to tackle the other three. I really like to get things done, but I knew it would be a mistake to try to knock it out – I needed to make dinner soon, and Luke’s attention span probably wouldn’t have lasted. So do the project that you set out to complete – or use the block of time you’ve set aside – but no more, or you’ll burn out or end up with a half-finished project.
  • Enjoy your accomplishments! I make an effort to look at and appreciate what I’ve already accomplished – it motivates me to keep things organized and take on more projects. It’s a good thing to take care of your home well, so take some joy in that fact!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you, hopefully it helps!

What are your spring cleaning tips and tricks? Happy cleaning!