Do you ever feel like all your furniture just seems to be in the way and just doesn’t seem to fit? I know that this is definitely true for us! I think that over time, when things are added to our homes, we sometimes don’t also take the chance to remove what we no longer need and love. I’ve talked about it here and here, but today I wanted to look at how we can make our homes flow.
Flow is a funny term for how easily you and your family can move about your home without having to dodge obstacles that seem to stop you in your tracks. It could be that old chair that doesn’t quite fit anywhere (and you‘re hoping that one day it will magically, fit just right – just me?). Or furniture that was a surprise gift or from when you and your partner first moved in together.
Without this magical flow in your home, it can feel cluttered or just leave you feeling a bit tight in the chest or guilty that things just don’t sit right. It’s magical not in a cynical way, but in a way that makes you feel instantly relaxed when you walk through the door.
I found an awesome trick for finding out how your home currently flows in an awesome book called Principles of Home by Kevin McCloud (do you watch Grand Designs? Isn’t it great? – oops lost my train of thought). It suggests that you draw up a floor plan of your home, just like I shared how to the other week, print it out and take a different coloured pen for each person that lives in your home, and draw a line beginning at either their bedroom or from the outside doors they enter from to where ever they might walk on a regular occasion. Make a separate line for each time. (ie. From the bedroom to the kitchen is one line, from the living room to the office might be another, and the laundry to the linen cupboard might be another) I think you could also focus on doing a flow pattern for a shared room (like an office or the kitchen) too.
When you’ve done this for each person, you can see where the areas of your home that are most used and where the obstacles might be. Some might be really obvious, and others might give you a light bulb moment. This might be a really good exercise to do if you’re kids are starting to walk, or starting school and using the space differently to when they were younger. It could also lead to that potentially long put off discussion about what furniture could be donated or gifted to a friend who might be going into the stage you’re just leaving.
This may not be something that you do instantaneously, but something you take the time to think about. Sometimes you don’t notice where people are often running into each other or things until you stop to think about it. I know it just becomes habit here. It could be great to do for moving into a new home too – if you think about how you will use a space and want to, before you start moving everything in.
Simplifying and recognising what you love and what you need can be a really liberating feeling. Being able to move around your home with ease whilst also having all that you need can be a balancing act, but it’s one I’m looking to tackle head on! It could be that you realise that whilst something is in the way in one room, it’s just what you’ve been looking for to go in another! It can be hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, but it’s doing little changes like that, that make all the difference!
Have you ever done a room flow chart for your home? What do you think of this as an idea? I’d love to hear!