What a year 2020 has been so far, with the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic and all the consequential effects on all of our lives. It has been a time of huge loss and sadness set against an outpouring of love, creativity and an increased sense of community.
Running a business called 'Beautiful Homes' it has not been lost on me how the role of our homes has had to adapt to these changing times.
On March the 23rd when the nation went into 'lockdown' all schools & educational establishments, pubs, eateries and all but essential shops, such as supermarkets & pharmacies were closed. Where possible, people were encouraged to work from home & only to use public transport for essential travel.
As a direct result, our homes have had to be adapted for home schooling, working from home & a constant requirement for cooking, as most of the household occupants have been at home most of the time.
So how has your home worked for you?
Has it been easy to adapt while keeping some sense of order?
Have you noticed things that you do not like, but have not been motivated enough to make any changes?
Is it easy to find things in your kitchen so that cooking is cathartic as opposed to stressful?
Have you been able to allocate an area for your work?
Alternatively, have you created a dedicated space to store work things when you are not working, if you do not have a home office and work from the kitchen table for instance?
Have you realised that you simply have too much stuff?
Some of my clients have used the time quite productively by starting to clear unwanted items. Initially, this was challenging, as both charity shops & the council recycling sites were closed. Once these reopened, they were relieved to be able to dispose of things appropriately.
My role has been to offer a virtual service whereby I give advice, encouragement & suggest storage solutions, which has helped the clients to persevere & 'get the job done.'
Other clients need some 'hands on help' as while they want to declutter, they find it very hard to make decisions........
If I come to work in your home, we would discuss your situation in an initial exploratory phone call, so that I can identify if there is anyone shielding etc. You can read more about on this link 'How we can work safely together'
Sadly, since the relaxation of restrictions on the 11th May, the number of people with the COVID-19 virus has begun to grow exponentially again, both here & in Europe. The virus is far from done, so to speak. People are understandably feeling disillusioned with the current situation & there is a sense of doom & gloom.............
While we are not in full lockdown, and schools & shops will remain open, we are all being encouraged to work from home again, avoid using public transport unecessarily, and a 10pm curfew has been placed on pubs, clubs & restaurants.
Fear is again gripping the nation, and we are waking up to the current news of many outbreaks of the virus on university campuses. Students fear not being able to return home for Christmas. For many of the 1st year students, this may be the 1st time they have lived away from home, so this situation is particularly challenging for them.
There are so many things that we have no control over, but we can in truth have control of our home environment.
I have recently started working with a new client & as she said, she needs me to 'galvanise' her intoo action, which I thought was a good description of my initial role. However, once working with a client, I offer supportive encouragement to help them to make decisions & coach them during the process, on how to maintain the new order that we are able to create.
Are you panicking about having to manage working from home again?
Do you need some help to create some order?
Remember that we do not have to have a dedicated room for a home office. My office currently occupies a small area in my spare bedroom shown below:
When not in use, the desk slides up flat against the wall to create more space. Where possible, I hold digital files and keep physical paperwork to a minimum. Just as my office space is ordered so to is the desktop on my laptop as shown below:
There are 3 folders: one for Pleasant Homes Ltd, one for my personal files & one for items that still need some action. Everything within each folder is categorised which makes it easy to access any file. I have seen some horrendous desktops such as the one below:
This desktop oozes stress. Imagine how tricky it is to find anything easily & is not dissimilar to a huge pile of random papers.
Creating some order in our homes is about self care. I love my home because it works practically, while at the sametime having a fresh & relaxing ambience. It is a pleasure to return to.
To conclude, this is a time as never before to be kind to ourselves. With the likelihood of more local lockdowns, it is increasingly tough to remain optimistic & upbeat. Our homes can be a safe place & a haven of rest & relaxation, if we work to create an environment that works in a practical sense, is manageable, and has a peaceful ambience. Where possible, it is good to have one quiet space in each home, where people can unwind.
Do let me know how you are managing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and also let me know if you have any questions at all, or are looking for some other tips.
Take care, stay safe & love yourself.
With Very Best Wishes as ever,
MD Pleasant Homes Ltd
phone: 07775 728447