Tag Archives: White House

Lighten The Load

Friends of mine are getting ready to sell their house and I have watched, week after week, as they get rid of “stuff” in preparation for the move. Mmm, I thought. So, I came home and looked around, looked at what I would have to pack up if I was to move house.

I have only moved once since getting married and having three children, and when I think about the amount of rubbish I carefully wrapped and packed and then paid (dearly) for a removal company to haul for me, well, it takes my breath away. To avoid making a decision about an item I just brought it with me and, only recently, we found three still unopened boxes of goods in our garage that have been there for eleven years. Boy, they were really important weren’t they!

But it’s not all about changing location. There is a beauty and a clarity to ridding your home, your environment, of items that serve no purpose and drain you of energy by clogging up your cupboards, your wardrobes and, most importantly, your mind. So throw it out.

I have bought all the “storage solutions” on the market, from vacuum bags to pretty wicker baskets and I may as well have thrown my money down the drain. As soon as I store the damned things I instantly forget about them, so, if I do need whatever it is again I end up buying another one!  So throw it out.

Another friend, who is a counsellor and a very good one, reckons we spend the first half of our lives accumulating “stuff”, believing this equates to success and happiness. Then, if we are lucky, we gain a certain wisdom/insight, and spend the second half of our lives trying to get rid of that very same “stuff”, having realised that goods, property, possessions, call it what you will, are usually impediments to true happiness and contentment.  So throw it out.

So I have started slowly. It’s a hoot. I have found things I didn’t even know I had, never mind lost. I threw them out.(donated them). I opened bags of clothes and bags given to me “just in case I could use them”, so I threw them out ( donated them).

Forget your Victoran clutter. You can have my share of it. This is so liberating. Clear spaces equal a clear mind. I even have a place for my car keys now!!

The White House – But not as you know it!

Chatting to a friend recently, she confided her coping mechanism for times of stress or unhappiness. She withdraws to her “White House,” a place of peace, calm and serenity, all shades of white and cream, and also all in her mind!  Now, this sounded wonderful, harmless and totally unthreatening, except for one thing…….this is MY house!!

I was staggered. It really was almost identical to a place I go to in my head when things just get too much on planet earth. That another had built herself a sanctuary in a mirror image of my own started me thinking. I asked other women about how they cope and find this is a common theme; a place of their own, pale, neutral colours, and above all peace and tranquillity.

In my “White House” the fabrics are soft, soothing, warm and comforting. The bedding is crisp, brilliant white and the fire is always glowing.  There is no president in my “White House”, just a first lady.

The colours (or lack of) have to be important. Okay, we are all bombarded with advice on selling our homes and to have a neutral, inoffensive pallet, but I think this is more significant. I believe our “White Houses” represent an emotionally neutral environment, allowing us time and space to decide how we feel about the different stressors in our hectic lives. All very harmless and a valuable breathing space. Yes……… and no.

What happens when our sanctuary becomes more than that? What happens when it becomes our alternative reality, and instead of allowing us some quiet time, mentally, it, in fact, allows us to emotionally to detach from our lives, our husbands/partners and children?  Where is the line the line in the sand?

I’m not trying to repossess any of your lovely, alternative homes here, merely that they come with a warning. Don’t overstay your welcome!