The Psychology Of Space: How Tackling Your Honey-Do List Can Lead To Inner Peace (infographic)

In a perfect world, our homes are a sanctuary away from the demands of daily life and a haven from the outside world. In our homes, we build families and memories, keep our cherished belongings, and decorate as per our personal interests. At the end of the day, our home is a refuge from the outside world - a place we should look forward to coming back to at the end of a long day.

But what happens when our home isn’t exactly the picture of comfort we expect it to be? Maybe an outdated kitchen makes meal preparation a hassle or drafty windows make a living room chilly and uncomfortable. After a while, faced with the things we don’t like about our house can set in motion a vicious cycle of stress, discomfort, and both physical and mental fatigue. Heightened cortisol levels in our body increase stress, too much stress can keep our body and mind from being able to relax and feed into a never-ending fight or flight sensation. For individuals living with chronic stress, it can be difficult to identify the home as a contributing factor - and yet the proof may be right in front of us.

“Our mental spaces stand in direct proportion to our perception of physical space,” says architect and author Donald Rattner. For some, meticulous organization may be a natural habit; for others, “organized clutter” may feel more normal. No matter how in tune we are to the material spaces that surround us, the prevailing notion that these spaces should be functional is part of human nature. Just as we may have difficulty confronting our emotions, the same can be applied to confronting the issues in our living space.
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When enough is enough and we muster the courage to tackle the dysfunction that surrounds us, we take on more than a physical project. We also accept an emotional responsibility to ourselves. But change can be uncomfortable and when the destruction of remodeling takes hold we may be faced with more than just physical debris. Faced with unfinished work and a lack of energy or expertise to reach completion may leave us feeling even worse than when we started.

Curb this sense of urgency and expectation for instant solutions by building a plan. Analyze not only your physical space but your mental space as well to help identify your true priorities to help build a timeline of what you’d like to see finished first. Putting our thoughts down on paper in a preliminary brainstorming session can help us keep valuable perspective especially when are eager or anxious to get started. Seeing our goals on papers will help us prioritize, separate the wants from the needs, and maybe even eliminate some projects altogether. Be honest with yourself when it comes to allocating time, your experience level, and how much help you’ll have - it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do it all on your own.
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Don’t be afraid to call in backup and remember that professionals and can offer more than just manual labor. They can give guidance, realistic overviews of time frames, and suggest the most efficient order of operations for when we aren’t sure where to begin. When consulting with experts, be as specific and clear with what your goals are as possible. Consider reaching out to multiple professionals for a variety of opinions, compare quotes, and go with the team you’re most comfortable with.

Change isn’t always easy and it certainly doesn’t come overnight. This infographic gives insights into the psychology of space, how our environments affect us emotionally and mentally, and how to rethink dysfunctional spaces.

What happens when Marie Kondo comes for your honey-do list? This infographic outlines the effects of holes in the walls and the wrong paint color on your overall stress levels - and how you can get started tackling those projects that keep building up.

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