It can be easy to overlook the sacredness of our homes. Is our house, apartment or condo just a giant box to hold all our things, or is it alive and helping us on our own paths? Homes are the nest that gives us a safe, comforting place to return to; a space we can call our own. Our homes carry a spirit and energy all their own, and it is a reflection of our own spirit, and the other spirits that live within its walls. Caring for our home's health should come as a close second when being mindful of our own well-being. A sick house can quite literally create a sick owner.
In this week's Winter Survival Guide, week eight is about waking up your home after it's winter sleep, checking in with any aches and pains, and thanking it for giving you a safe place to be through the winter months.
SAVOURING YOUR NEST
THREE STEPS TO WAKING UP YOUR HOME
1. CHECK YOUR HOME'S BONES
The cold months can be unsettling to your home. Though your home protects you from any harsh extremes that can be found outside, sometimes there is wear and tear while it conducts this duty. Be sure to check in with how your home is doing and clean the following:
1. Wash the windows and make sure there is no water leaking or mould on the inside framing. Check seals, weather stripping and caulking for signs of wear.
2. Pull your food out of your fridge and cupboards and wipe everything down. Throw out any expired food that is lingering.
3. Move your couches and chairs and sweep or vacuum beneath them. Be sure to remove the cushions on your furniture and vacuum or wipe down any crumbs or junk that have gotten trapped.
4. Vent your grates and clean any cobwebs. Check that your furnace and AC are functioning properly while you're focusing on the airflow of your home. Change filters.
5. Clean your toilets, taking care to look inside the back of the toilets to make sure no grime is building up. Clean your sinks, using vinegar and baking soda to remove any clogs. Check your plumbing, basement, septic field, sump pump or other waste removal methods. Have your drinking water tested if you use well water.
6. Walk around the outside of your home to inspect the surfaces for any damage or wear.
7. Check and clean any fireplaces, hiring a chimney sweeper once the burning season is complete.
8. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace if necessary.
2. REARRANGE YOUR SPACE
Once per season, renew the energy in your home by moving around the furniture's placement. Try a new layout for each room, exposing places that haven't been seen or used in awhile. The energy of our home's shift with the seasons, just how the sunlight changes while floating through our windows. Grid your home, and find out its lucky spots and some energetic areas that need a little TLC according to feng shui. Think of this like act as a way to wake up your space, invigorating it with the fresh vibration of spring.
3. SAGE YOUR SPACE
There is a lot of truth to the power of spring cleaning. Once you've taken some time to give your home a real deep clean, washing it as you would clean your own body after a grungy weekend away from home (without the luxury of a shower) you can thank your home and give it a new dedication for spring's arrival. Once your home's health is checked and it is free of dust, cobwebs and the salt from our winter boots, gather some cleansing herbs, like white sage and cedar, and burn them in an abalone shell or a firesafe dish. Give your home a replenishing smoke bath by wafting the smoke from the burning herbs throughout your home. Be sure to get in all the closets, nooks and crannies, basement and upstairs, letting the smoke ride on the healthy chi in your home. Imagine your home waking up, giving a big coo and hearty stretch. Dedicate your home to protecting you and your family, and thank it for keeping you safe.