H is for Home, Not House: A-Z of Simple Living

This January, we’re taking an in-depth look at the why and how of simplicity with the A-Z of Simple Living. If you want to make 2015 the year you create a simpler, slower life, why not join us?


When I started this blog it really should have been called Slow Your House, because that’s all I focused on. Four walls, a roof and the stuff in between.

I wasn’t in a good place in myself and wasn’t mentally prepared to take on the emotional clutter I was lugging around. So instead I focused solely on what was in my control – our surrounding environment.

I worked on creating an environment that was:

  • organised
  • decluttered
  • simplified
  • decorated mindfully
  • light and airy
  • eco-conscious

Looking back, I was working on our house. Not our home.

“Home Is Where the Heart Is”

If that old adage is true, I wasn’t working on my home at all, because I wasn’t working on my heart. My heart certainly wasn’t in the stacks of papers I decluttered, or the boxes of clothes I donated. My heart was, and still is:

  • family
  • relationships
  • memories
  • health
  • creativity
  • spirituality
  • travel
  • adventure

Home is safety. Home is warmth. Home is comfort. Home is support. Yes, home is also the four walls and roof of the building we live in. Home is the kitchen, the garden and the belongings we’ve collected over the years.

But as long as those important things – family, relationships, health, spirituality – make up the majority of your home, then you carry that security and warmth and support with you wherever you go.

Home can’t burn down. Home can’t get left behind. Home is completely portable. Home is in you.

The stuff that we assign so much importance to – the house, the garden, the clothes, the television sets and pools and cars – it’s not your home. And realising that simple truth is a huge part of the simple living journey.

It’s also a huge part of finding happiness.

Just a reminder that A Simple Year registration closes in just over 24 hours. If you’d like to register and make 2015 the year you create a simpler, slower life check out the details and register here at simpleyear.co.



16 Responses to H is for Home, Not House: A-Z of Simple Living

  1. Right now my house is super ugly and in need of serious renovation, so I have to keep all my value in the unseen stuff. Otherwise I cry.

    I’ll always feel at home where my family is. I wouldn’t complain if that home was lovely to look at though ;)

    • Especially when creating a beautiful house means creating a sanctuary or a haven away from all the craziness. Your blog name sums it up perfectly, Tracey! x

  2. Hi Brooke, firstly it was lovely meeting you at the problogger event. For me home is probably my “home country”, France. Here I have a house (oh, well a tiny one bedroom unit in fact). I guess once I will have my own family (ie: kids) and my own house, the feeling might change, and my house might become my home. Keep up the good work, and stay in touch!

    • Likewise Cyndie. It was so much fun! And I can only guess that being away from your home country would make the idea of ‘home’ a totally one.

      Hoping we can catch up soon. x

  3. I do find comfort (and discomfort) in my surroundings. Clutter drives me batty. I seem to have some sensory issues, and the wrong lights or too much of the wrong noise interfere with my functioning. I think I need things to feel good (in a tactile sense). I am happier when I am in physical surroundings that I find pleasant. However, the key word is “happier.” If I am not happy to begin with, the surroundings don’t matter–and happy always comes from feeling that things are right in my home. In fact, when things aren’t right there, all the physical things I’ve worked hard to accomplish feel almost as if they are mocking me. Those efforts are hollow and meaningless if those things in your bulleted list aren’t working right.

    • I love that you said “happier” Rita! That’s exactly it. Of course it’s lovely to be surrounded by comfort and a limited number of things that we like, we feel safe and secure. But for me it’s not the be all and end all. As usual, a fabulous comment! x

  4. I think of Dorothy from the wizard of oz “There’s no place like home” Home is a place for me where I am with my family and I feel my most comfortable. Home is where my heart is at and where I feel at peace (admist the chaos of it all)

    • BINGO lady! There’s a lot to be said for feeling comfortable and at ease – it takes us away from the chaos. And feeling at peace, well, that’s the ultimate! xx

  5. Hi Brooke! It’s Rosie from the Problogger conference – I just wanted to stop by and say your blog is great – so practical! As for clutter – I am a reformed hoarder, it took a while, but a few weeks of putting things in “bin” and “donate” piles has finally worked and now we’re living a lot more simply. Now I love walking in the front door to my sanctuary! Stay well :)

    • Hey Rosie! Thanks for saying hi. I was so sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye last weekend. I had such a lovely time chatting with you. And it sounds like you’ve got your home just how you like it.

      Stay in touch, and let me know how you go when/if you decide to launch your blog. xx

  6. I am afraid I have bought into the idea that to have a home you must own it. It is a hard paradigm for me to change. I just don’t feel settled if I know I am not going to be somewhere “permanently” (even though I know there is no such thing).

    I love the idea that home is within me, but I have not figured out how to make that my reality.

Leave a reply