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Home decor

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Now more than ever, many people are spending more time at home. There have been predictions that organizations will highly consider work-from-home arrangements for employees even after things cool off. More at-home jobs are created. And scores of people will continue to invest more time at home.

While the outside world is definitely going to be popular as safety measures are put in place, we also think the home is becoming a hub of a lot of activities now and it may continue to be so even after this. And with a little time, organization and storage hacks, it can accommodate all these things that may not have crossed our minds initially. 

Home libraries

Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

We can no longer visit libraries or physically hang out in book club meet-ups during this time. 

Book lovers are stocking up more books, creating mini-libraries at home. It is a great opportunity to start virtual book clubs. And all these ideas are emerging now while we try to find ways to adjust to the current times. 

Books, readers, reading nooks and internet access can bring this concept to life. It is that easy. 

Salon and beauty spa

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Fashion and beauty enthusiast Caroline Abok has been braiding her own hair and weaving it too from the comfort of her home for a number of years now. 

She recommends having products that you have used before or that you have been advised by an expert. Some of the items in her hairdressing kit include lots of hair shampoo and conditioner, blowdry, a small dryer, rollers for hair styling, styling gel, weaves, braids and towels. 

Entertainment at home

Photo courtesy of Caroline Abok

Well, house parties have been there. But it is the first time to see live concerts and deejays mixing on social media. While we are not really certain if this is going to continue and be as popular as they are now, what we know for sure is that it has as a shock that parties can be attended through social media. 

More people have been hit by the baking bug and try to bake more at home.

And if you would like to whip up your own cocktails and mocktails at home, Ruth Nzau taught us this 6 Easy Mocktail And Cocktail Recipes To Make At Home

A home workspace

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

A desk and chair, a laptop or desktop, pens, pencils, sticky notes, calendar are some of the needed items to have.

Kitchen on baking. Many birthdays this year will get people to bake their own cake.

Fitness at home

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Skipping ropes cost between Sh400-2,000 on Jumia. You can also get exercise mats and a head-to-toe fitness gear.

“I engage in morning jogs while in the evening I do lower body and upper body workouts. I do train boxing on Saturday,” said Edda Otieno.

Distance learning

When school reopens, there is a possibility that parents and guardians can still continue to team up more their children in teaching them at home too. This is also in line the Kenya’s new school curriculum.

Some of the essential items for studying at home include technology, books and stationery.

We would love to know, what activities have you invited into your home?

A home is a safe haven- or we hope it is for everyone.

All the same, we could do with our own private spaces within a home. A mini sanctuary, ‘cocoon’, a ‘cabin’ as we call it here. A private space to retreat to. A space to recharge. A small space to just be in silence, reflect, meditate, rest, pursue a hobby, or just to daydream, you know.

This reminds me of a colleague who explained to me about how introverts sharing living spaces with others could become drained of energy in the past weeks of staying at home. He said that there may be little time and space for them to be alone to restore energy. And they still need to stay at home to be safe.

A research has it too that every person within a household needs to have their own personal spaces. And even when living alone, having a small space you can retreat to inside your home is certainly good for the soul.

It is greatly advised for introverts and highly sensitive people to cater to the need of alone time. This is because people with these qualities become overstimulated by a lot of things; noise, bright lights, busy schedules, very often. As a result, there is a need for a plenty of downtime. A quiet time is a well-wrapped gift.

You do not have to go above and beyond in getting a private space. A little ‘cabin’ can be on the bed, in a room, a balcony with a good view, at the back of your house, at the window, at a home office, and so on.

Each one of us deeply knows how we want a private space to be. We offer tips you can pick to create your own little ‘cabin’ as you wish it to be.

Keep it tidy and organized

A cluttered space can easily lead to a cluttered mind.

Studies have revealed that people with cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Besides, the idea behind having a space of your own is to help recharge your body and mind. A neat space is a good start.

Create a space where you can definitely enjoy the time spent in it. A space you would want to go back to again and again.

Absorb yourself in rejuvenating hobbies

Photo courtesy of Caroline Abok, who is into gardening

Mindfulness colouring and painting, writing, taking a nap, journaling, reading, gardening, exercising, listening to music are some of the hobbies to pursue in your little ‘cottage’. Engage in activities meant to build you is a powerful way of showing love to yourself.

Make it a phone-free zone

We agree that phones are convenient tools for communication. They can cause distractions too.

We could go on a social media detox for the time we intend to spend alone. Clicking on news updates is not really spending time alone. If we really have to stay with the phone, we suggest going online when what we seek contributes to idea of enjoying personal company.

But a phone-free zone is much better, we think.

Collect items that you like for the space

Photo by Elaine Howlin on Unsplash

Treat your private space with your favourite items. A sentimental gift, candles, good books, a mirror, a cozy blanket, handmade decorative objects, or anything that speaks to you. If you are outside the house, have a small garden or a plant to nurture.

Imagine collecting some of the objects you absolutely love for your sanctuary.

Go for a soothing scent

Burning scented candles, essential oils and incense, or making your own scent at home, can transform a simple space to an inviting ‘cabin’. A pleasant aroma helps in rejuvenating the mind and body too.  

Indulge in your guilty pleasure

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Favourite movie or TV series, a bar of chocolate, a delicious slice of cake, a smoothie, a cup of coffee, or anything that makes you happy can be done in your little sanctuary.

Establish a serene place

The mind submits to our actions and words. If say, we dedicate an area solely for work and nothing else, that is what our minds will identify the place to only be about.

Establish boundaries of how you want the place to feel and your mind will pick that up quickly. Also, the energy in the space will remain as you want it to be. Dim lights, warm blanket and a relaxed place can be some of the elements to go for.

What are some other really simple tips to creating your own ‘cabin’?

Does minimalist living speak to you?

Minimalism is a conscious choice of simplifying life by owning less. This concept is a stamp to the thinking that we do not need to keep accumulating material possessions to be happy. It trains us to be less attached to possessions and instead find fulfillment from within.

Storing everything and hoping to put them into use one day is only a tale. One day never comes. When finding sentimental value in every item and keeping them on window ledges, under the bed, rooms start to seem smaller and cleaning is a tedious task, right? It does not have to be the case. You can opt for minimalism.

This gives us the freedom to own necessary items and those that add meaning to life. In organizing a minimalist space, placement of each object is purposeful. A single item like a plant, artwork, fabric, colour, and the like can become a centrepiece in a room. The use of colours in items and walls are collectively minimal too.

Photo: Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Minimal spaces radiate calm and wholesomely contributes to our wellbeing. We are able to clean our homes with little effort and to know where everything is. The whole point of minimalism is not to save money as much as videos on this concept show empty rooms. It is, however, to empower us to become more mindful on what we spend money on and to do so on what we truly want, whether it is on purposeful experiences or items. Still, minimalists manage to save a lot of money by cutting back on unnecessary purchases.

If you are going for a minimalistic look, setting out an intention on how you want your home to look and feel like gives you clarity on the items you are going to keep. There is not any definite number of stuff to own and there is not one way of designing a minimal space, you can adopt this lifestyle to suit your needs and taste. Go with the flow with what feels right to you.

Photo: Jason Leung on Unsplash

Simplifying your living space starts with decluttering items. Here are things you can declutter.

  • Dispose empty tins and jars around your home

Torn, broken, faded, worn out and expired items fall here. Go to room after room collecting these items.

Photo: Jarek Ceborski on Unsplash
  • Get rid of extra, multiple items

It is easy to hoard needful possessions. As much as they are neccessary to have, we only use them in small numbers. Utensils, stationery, clothes, storage tins, makeup products, shopping bags, newspapers, wall hangings, grooming equipment, calendars, are some of the things we hoard. You could have a set or two of items, hang one calendar, store one reusable shopping bag.

  • Purge items you have never used in the last six months

Purge items you have never used in the last six months. These could include things you love but since you have not been using them, it is highly unlikely that you would. You could donate or sell them.

  • Discard possessions that no longer appeal to you

The reason behind minimalism is to own things that speak to you. These are items that we choose to keep out of sight, in drawers and what-not but they still occupy a space.

  • Items you recently bought some of

Replace items you already own when you make new purchases. As much as you may love some of your old belongings, replacing them with new, better items keeps your living area well-ordered.

Photo: Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Remember, minimalism is a practice. Regularly go through your possessions to keep decluttering and sprucing up your home. You could go on a 30-day minimalism challenge or one of 100-things to declutter, a weekly declutter routine or spending ten minutes every day to declutter one area, and so on to have your ideal home. And, equally important, is to making this as part of your lifestyle by continually decluttering and rethinking before acquiring anything for your home.

How does minimalism speak to you?