Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Just hearing that word makes many folks cringe. Usually thanks to a critical parent, or a crabby fourth grade teacher, to most the word "perfect" typically denotes one, set standard, usually traditional, rigid and unattainable to most. It provokes some kind of negative consequence for not following it to the letter.

But let me introduce the Inspired Housewife definition of perfect -- it's highly individual and very cosy. When applied to the home, and to an individual's ability to keep their home, picture please what your home would look ike if you could stop time. Do anything you pleased with all the energy in the world, at your own pace. Your own ideal.

Is each room free of clutter? Or shiny and clean? Little personal touches, mementos displayed? Rooms painted? Things organized and put away in labeled boxes? On hold projects complete and displayed with pride? It's YOUR vision.

Right this minute, look around. Go slowly from room to room in your home and look with new eyes. Are things clean, but not reflective of you? Or is there clutter, toys and clean laundry everywhere, but behind it, decorator-showhouse quality furnishings that you can't even see anymore?

Does your home energize you or bog you down every time you walk through the door? Does the ever present lack of perfection weigh heavily, stress you out?

Identify your vision of personal home perfection and devise a plan to get started, ask yourself these questions to get started on YOUR perfect home:

1.) Try and think back to a home that you've visited that evoked positive emotions. Did you admire the color scheme, the smell? Did it make you feel relaxed, cozy? Or energized and motivated?

2.) What about your home reflects you, and each member of your family? I guarantee the more personal items in tasteful display you have out, the cozier you will feel. A HOME, rather than a house or apartment.

3.) Find the chaos and crush it. Your eyeballs and tense shoulders will thank you. For me, right now, it's the overflowing basket of toys in the family room. It is a visual reminder of excess and disorganization and needs to be cleaned out.

4.) Any plants or fresh flowers displayed? For maximum coziness, there should be something living in every room in your house, within reason. Humans do not count! Plants soften stark corners, purify the air and leaf green is always easy on the eye.

Start here, give it a think, as will I.

And in the meantime, work away on those facades -- we're looking for clutter-free, pristine lawns, porches and doorways. Seasonal flowers planted in pots by the front door. (Note to self: the boxwood gets it this weekend.)