There is something about staying in a hotel that I love. Yes, the fact that I am not the one to wash the sheets, make the bed, or take out the trash is pretty awesome, but it is more than that. I LOVE the simplicity of it. There is no clutter in a hotel room, and everything that exists in the room is well thought out and purposeful. There is a chair to sit in to put my shoes on, there is a nightstand with a lamp and clock that are both bedside and easy to reach. There is a drawer in the nightstand to house books and my Bible. A pen and paper sitting ready for me when I need to jot something down. The closet is small enough to hold only the bare minimum, which forces one to think through what is put in there. There is an extra pillow and blanket in the closet, just in case. A laundry bag for dirty clothes, an iron and ironing board to grab if needed and a trash can for waste. All of these things are practical and useful and make our stay comfortable.
At home in our own room, I have most of the things mentioned above, minus the extra blanket, pillow, trash can, pen and paper. I would have to walk downstairs for an extra pillow and blanket, to the bathroom for the trash can, and to my daughters room for a pen and paper. That sounds like a bit too much walking for me, so I will add these items in my room when I get home! Notice the thinking through process…I am constantly thinking about the most practical spot in my home for things, depending on how and where I use them. I have to pause and think, “Is it worth having this item in more than one spot in the house?” I try to avoid having the same item in two different places, as much as possible, for the sake of simplicity. Before I add new items to any area, I stop and make sure it jives with the simplistic approach to life. So, do I really need a pen in my room? How often would I need or use one? The answer is quite often. I love sitting on my bed and reading my Bible. There are many times I want to underline what I am reading, but I have to get off my cozy bed to get a pen. Or, those times when I have my phone right by me and I need a pen to jot down a phone message. Yes, it is time to put a pen on my nightstand, in a pretty holder, within reach!
(Not our bedroom. Thought I would keep ours a private retreat:))
I have been very purposeful about keeping our bedroom clutter free and comfortable. It is important to me that our bedroom is a room that we both want to be in, that is intimate, relaxing, comfortable, practical, and that feels like a retreat from the rest of the world. There are a few things I have done to help create all those things. I did not spend a bunch of money, most things are just small touches here and there.
Here are a few ways I created a retreat like feeling in our room:
-A good place to start is get rid of clutter! I cannot relax when I am surrounded by stuff, and I do not want reminders of what I have not done staring at me while I am trying to retreat from life, trying to “spend time”:) with my husband, or trying to sleep.
-Get rid of those piles of clothes. Hang clothes up right away that are clean, have a place to put clothes that are dirty.
-Make sure everything you use regularly has a place. Have a basket for the tv remote, a shelf, basket or drawer for books.
-Clear off open areas (like the top of a dresser) and keep them clear except for things that are important to you and belong there. On my dresser, there are pictures of my kids that make me smile, a picture of Todd and I on our honeymoon, a few candles, and mirrored vases that reflect the candles which makes great ambience. (ohhh, this is getting a bit personal…moving on)
-Gender neutral, if there are two of you. I made sure the decor in our room is not too feminine, I am sure Todd appreciates this:) Remember, if you are married, this is a place for both of you, so be careful how much pink and flowers you use. Let your husband know by your decor that you care about how he feels in the room, too.
-Invest in quality bedding. We couldn’t afford the best sheets in the world, but I bought the best we could afford. Our comforter is fluffy and soft, and we have enough pillows to prop us up in bed to read or watch t.v.
-Pillows! Ahhh, pillows. I love pillows. I must confess this is an area where Todd has complained. I got a bit carried away with decorative throw pillows,(ok, really carried away) and every night he would have to move a boatload of pillows to get into bed. We are now down to moving just three, they add color and beauty to the bed and are not that big of a deal to move. If I am in the room before my hubby, I try to remember to move them out of the way for him and pull his covers down. I don’t know if he notices this, but I know it is a small touch hotels do that I love, so I do it for him.
-Music! This is something that is missing from our room. I would love, love an ipod speaker dock that comes with a clock! Maybe someday..:) Relaxing music would be great to add atmosphere and ambience.
So as much as I love hotels, coming back home is always something I am ready for. I love our home, and I am so very thankful that God has blessed us with a little retreat from the world that I get to take care of! (and yes, that includes being thankful to make the bed and wash the sheets!)