Energise My Environment: realising I have mixed feelings about home

What I’m doing about my energise my environment resolution Part 1

If you’ve been following my Happiness Project you’ll be aware that I kind of ignored January’s Energise my Environment resolution for the first half of the month. But when I did spend time with it wowee did I realise I have a lot to say on this one. I had no idea how charged our relationships with the spaces we’re in can be. Nor did I realise that I have a mixed positive and negative relationship with the space I live in. I realised I wasn’t thinking about it too much because it’s a difficult area for me.

My history with renting

Boyfriend and I have been living together for two and a half years. In that time we’ve lived in four different flats. We’ve been in the one we’re now in for a year and a half. So yep, you’ve probably figured out that in one year we lived in three different flats.

We’ve not had a great experience with figuring out how to best energise the environment we live in, because we haven’t lived in one place for that long. We moved for various reasons from clothing-consuming mould, to awful noisy neighbours and a landlord choosing to sell a place 3 months after we moved in. All this to say that since we’ve been living in our current flat I’ve basically just been happy to a. not have to move after 6 months and b. have somewhere actually nice to live.

Realising I have negative feelings about the space in which we live has been hard

‘Energise my environment’ just sort of crept onto my resolution list for January’s energise theme. I’d been thinking for a while it’d be nice to learn about interior design from a point of view of helping develop the kind of energy I want in different spaces in my home. But I hadn’t really stopped to really think about how my space affects me on a day to day basis/energetic level.

When I did stop and write out my uncensored feelings about where we live some interesting things emerged.

A bit more info on where we live

Sunrise view from our flat.

Sunrise from our flat. Definitely something to be grateful for.

Our flat is a lovely new build on the top floor of the block, with great views across Brighton. It’s full of natural light and it’s the nicest place I’ve lived my whole time in this city. It is also full of somebody else’s belongings and it’s tiny.

The tininess isn’t the biggest issue, I’ve read a lot of great things about the tiny homes movement that seems to really be taking hold. But I’ve realised that living with someone else’s possessions is starting to get to me.

Our flat belongs to a friend who moved abroad for a bit and rented it to us (for which I will always be grateful). They moved with a lot of their things, but still left a fair bit behind. Plus all their furniture (which is not shabby by any means). So their bed is dismantled under our bed, there are whole cupboards/sections of the wardrobe we can’t use because they’re full. If the Feng Shui philosophies I’ve been reading are to be believed, and inanimate objects do give off energy, then we are living with the energy of somebody else’s clutter.

I hadn’t really stopped to think about this before, and now that I do I can see how it might be causing energetic problems.

The importance of having a place of your own

Towards the end of last year I realised something I really want is to have my own home. I’m fed up living in other people’s houses, renting spaces I can never truly feel secure in. I know that a lot of people have great experiences renting, and my feeling of insecurity may largely be due to the structure of our rental market in the UK. Buying definitely isn’t for everyone, but I feel it’s right for me at this stage in my life. And I am lucky enough to have the financial means to be able to put down a deposit (more on this coming in February’s financially focused month).

I want to have a home I can make homely in the way that is right for me. Paint and organise in the way I want to. I think my relationship with the space we live in is somewhat similar to the way I was feeling about my general state of happiness which kick started my Happiness Project. I’m not totally miserable as I have been in previous flats I’ve lived in, but I’m not as happy as I could be. I’m incredibly grateful to live where we do, and in many aspects I really love the flat. But it’s time to acknowledge the negative feelings I have about it too.

How I’m working on the energy of my home now

Knowing I want to be buying my own place this year means I don’t want to implement big changes/spend lots of money to adjust the energy of my home now. I took Gretchen Rubin’s advice to identify the problem and wrote a list of the main issues I have right now with the space. These were:

  • I don’t find the bedroom that cosy, or warm feeling.
  • My work space, lounge and kitchen is all one room. I don’t like hanging out in the evening and seeing all my work stuff sat on the desk.
  • The lounge was beginning to feel cluttered. The coffee table was constantly full of books, as was the floor by my patch of the sofa.

Then I asked what I could do right now, spending minimal money, to make these things feel better. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Set a tidy up at end of work day rule. I’ve found homes for all my work books and stationery. Now I move it off the desk to its new home at the end of each day.
  • Similarly I’ve found homes for all the books lying everywhere. Turns out I did have space, I just needed to re-jig some things.
  • I’m going to research what kind of lightbulb I should get for my bedside light to emit a warm, cosy glow and swap my current bulb for one of these.
  • There’s a big blank space of wall behind our bed. The owner (our friend) used to have a picture there. It needs a picture, I’m going to order a frame and make my own collage of some of our favourite holiday snaps.
  • I might also buy a cheap fluffy rug for the bedroom as well as new duvet and pillow covers.

 Over to you

So that’s it. I’ve also thought about how and when we clean the flat, but I’m going to write another post on that. Plus I’ll be sure to update you on how the creation of the artwork goes in the bedroom! Now I want to hear from you, have you changed things in your home to make the energy of your environment feel better? Let me know in the comments below!

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

2 comments on “Energise My Environment: realising I have mixed feelings about home

  1. I completely get the point of owning your own place. At least in Finland you are generally not allowed to make much changes in the apartment if you are renting. And I am someone who loves to be home. I was so excited when we got our new place because we had the opportunity to renovate the bathroom and kitchen and even add another toilet and walk-in closet. My hubby is in love with his gas stove. Some people are travellers, I’m a homebody. And a homebody who cares about interior design 😉

    • Love this Jenni! It’s the same here, we can’t make any changes to places if they’re rented. I’m so ready to be able to paint the walls and put my own stamp on a place! I do love to travel, but I also love knowing I have a lovely home to return to. It sounds like you’ve done some great renovations on your place!

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