Care for Our Homes: Care for the Soul?

I am finishing the book, Care of the Soul, by Thomas Moore.  In this book he states,

“Care for our actual houses, then, however humble, is also care of the soul.  No matter how little money we have, we can be mindful of the importance of beauty in our homes.”

Moore proposes that our homes are our small piece of the world, and what we do in our homes reflects what we do in the world.  This is a very thought provoking premise.  Something that I think would be worth our while to think about.

Our homes are our own canvas.  There are many ways we can paint that canvas and make it our own.  Some of us are full of ideas, and are only limited by time and money.  Some people need stimulation from Pinterest or a decorating show to help them envision how to care for their home.

Is there a correlation between how we take care of our home, or a lack thereof, and how we live in the world?

Later Moore discusses the psychotherapy of things and suggests that the cause of some peoples depression is the depressing building they are living or working in.  I have struggled with depression in the past and when I do I don’t care for my home the way I normally do.  I keep my home clean, but I don’t have the energy or desire to put anything extra into it, and this attitude does correlate with the rest of my life.

There are some good reason to use our creativity, organization and cleaning skills to care for our home:

  1. It helps us connect to things.  If we connect to our home, we connect to a part of the world.  When I was depressed I cut my connection to my home, and to the world.  It’s important to stay connected to our lives.
  2. Caring for our home is a way of caring for our family.  We build a sense of family/home when we put our time and energy into making our home beautiful, organized and clean.
  3. Our care for our home will spread to care for other people, and the world around us.
  4. Caring for our home is good for our soul.  It feels good to live in a cared for home that we are proud to share with friends and family.

When I was first married we didn’t have a lot of money.  I remember my grandparents buying us paneling for the living room, and coming over and putting it up for us.  I was so excited.  I remember being happy to find decor at yard sales and thrift stores.  Back then I shopped at those places because I had to, and today I shop at those places because I want to.

No matter how poor we were when we started out we could always keep our home clean, and organized, and we found creative ways to decorate.  In fact my love for creative decorating started back then.  I found it a challenge to come up with affordable curtains, and unique decor.

Over the years we were able to afford more decorations, but I have maintained my love for finding unique pieces at yard sales or thrift stores.  I look at decor magazines, websites and go to furniture and decor stores for inspiration.  Once I get an idea I figure out how I can make that piece, or find it used.  It’s the most fun.

Our homes are important.  No matter what size they are.  They are a part of us.  They are are our own piece of the world.  Let’s care for our homes, and use our creativity to make them all our own.  As we do we will care for our soul in the process.

Marcy Pedersen

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