Create contentment at home and everyone will feel a difference.
Call it idyllic, old-fashioned, or even unattainable. For November focus on finding contentment and gratitude at home. It sounds like a home life that plays out like a 50s television show.
Cami Packer shares how to cultivate gratitude and contentment at home.
Find more inspiration from Cami on Instagram, @camillajpacker.
How to Cultivate Contentment at Home
I’ve always thought of November as the ultimate month of homemaking. Our hearts seem to turn homeward this time of year. November is a thoughtful pause before the holiday season starts, to simplify our homes, to enjoy the beauty of a cozy home, and to find contentment in the little things. With gratitude on our minds this month, there’s no better place to find gratitude than at home! Whether your home is large or small, old or new, full of people or not, gratitude is the key to fulfillment in homemaking.
Here are seven ways to cultivate that feeling of gratitude and contentment at home:
Embrace the Season
I want there to be a feeling of the season in my home. This time of year, I love to put things in my home that subtly say “it’s cozy season!” Some ideas would be a jar or vase of dried wheat sitting on a table, a crock full of tapered candles, a butternut squash sitting on the counter–waiting to be made into soup, a mason jar of popcorn kernels next to the stove–ready for a cozy movie night, and a basket of warm blankets. Adding little touches that we’re actually going to use during the season helps a house feel not just like a decorated showpiece to be looked at, but a home that’s alive and the setting for cherished memories.
Bring Back Hospitality
We don’t use the word hospitality too much anymore, but it means inviting and welcoming someone into your home and into your life. Don’t wait for your home to be perfect to invite someone in. The goal is not to show off your home, the goal is to connect with another person! It’s nice to have a little snack or a cup of cider to sip while you chat, but the most important part is building relationships. I think back to the times I’ve been invited to a home, and some of my most cherished conversations have happened around the kitchen table of a friend or loved one. I always come away feeling so grateful to have been invited into their home, and I feel grateful for my own home, that I can do the same for someone else.
Set the Scene for Connection
One of the roles I try to embrace as a homemaker is setting the scene to connect with each other. This can be as simple as setting the table with candles to encourage everyone to linger a bit after dinner, turning on the lamps at dusk to make the bedrooms feel cozy and safe for the bedtime routine, having a basket of books to read sitting by the fireplace, and having card games easily accessible for evenings in the family room. The best part of ”home” is the relationships we build.
Create, Rather Than Consume
I think one of the reasons our current generation feels less fulfilled and grateful at home than past generations is that we tend to consume more than we create. There’s an energy and a joy that comes from creating, and learning a new skill. Beauty–even simple beauty–really matters and gives us a boost of joy! Create something like a pot of soup on the stove that smells amazing, a beautiful loaf of bread, a new sewn pillow cover, a shelf of treasures you love neatly arranged, or even cookies on a cute cake plate. Create a corner for yourself with a chair by a sunny window–a place to recharge for a few minutes each day.
Look to the Past
Speaking of the previous generations, one of the best ways to feel instant gratitude is to think back to the past. I think we’re all very grateful to live in the time we do, with all the conveniences we have today, but we can learn a lot about the value of home from the past. Putting out old pictures of family members or grandparents can help us remember what it felt like to be in their home, and try to recreate those good feelings in our own homes. Put out an item that reminds you of a value that’s been passed down to you. I always have an apron hanging on a rack in my kitchen, and not only do I use it daily, it’s a reminder to me that the work we do in our homes–especially as women–is what makes the world go round. When I tie on my apron, it strengthens my resolve that I have an important job to do, that people I love are counting on me, and I will give my very best.
Appreciate What You Have
To me, appreciating what you have means taking care of what you have, without comparing it to what others have. We may not have the designer kitchen or that brand new sofa, but when we take care of what we have, we always end up feeling gratitude for it. Appreciation is what makes a home feel special. I love driving through town and seeing homes that are not big and flashy, but are obviously cared for and appreciated. When we take ownership by reminding ourselves that we get to choose how much we appreciate our homes, it gives us motivation to organize the baking cupboard to function well, to fold a nice and neat stack of towels, and to create the feeling we want to have in our homes.
Document the Joy!
Be looking for spaces and moments in your home that bring you joy, and document them. Write them in a journal, create a google doc for pictures and words, or share them on social media. When we document those joyful feelings, we get to experience them again every time we revisit what we recorded.
Remember that the work you do in your home really matters, and provides a feeling of peace, belonging, and love to those who live there. Every effort–large and small–is worth it when it comes to making a house a home. Gratitude will follow!
Cami Packer is a wife and mother of five. She loves thrifting, baking, and simple traditions with her family. She believes in the joy and influence of homemaking, and that ALL of us are homemakers regardless of age, gender, employment status, or family circumstance.