Vacation Home Mindset

Do you ever wish your home felt like it was a vacation home? No clutter laying around. Simple furniture and decor. Clean, fresh, easy to sit back and relax in.

That does sound nice doesn’t it!


Weekend Vacation Home

Recently a friend told me how nice her daughter’s weekend home was. It’s in a rural area about two hours or so from the city. She kept telling me how relaxed she felt during a recent visit. It really hit home for my friend about how nice it felt to sit around in a simply decorated, non cluttered space.

Since this was a weekend home, her daughter basically started from scratch to furnish it. New and used furniture along with minimal decorating created the new environment. She didn’t have years of accumulated  stuff to clutter the house up.

(Thank you to my friend and her daughter for the use of this photo. It’s a picture of the daughter’s weekend vacation home.)


As my friend and I talked, we kept wondering how can we get our own homes to always have that simple relaxed feeling. It’s not easy but it’s also not impossible.

Here are a few reasons why the weekend vacation home is easier to keep in that state of simplicity.

  • The farmhouse was started from scratch. It wasn’t one household of stuff being moved to another.
  • It’s a vacation home. It hasn’t had time to accumulate a lot of stuff from years of saving.
  • Because it isn’t the main home it probably doesn’t have the accumulated paperwork from years of home ownership, work papers, school papers, or deceased family papers.
  • It also doesn’t have the many physical items we save from our past. Furniture, clothes, dishes & cooking supplies, decorative items (things we bought, were gifts, or inherited), and many other items.


Rental Vacation Homes and Hotels

Have you ever noticed how everything in a hotel room or rental vacation home is kept simple and easy to clean?  There are good reasons for this. First, when the cleaning help comes in for a daily clean up they want to be as efficient with cleaning as possible. When they come in after someone checks out they have more work to do but they still want to do it as quickly and efficient as possible. After all, time is money for the rental company or hotel.

When we rent a place or stay in a hotel we usually only take what we need for the trip. That helps keep the room(s) from being cluttered up with items we don’t need, at least for that trip.

Which is why we don’t pack everything we own when we go on a vacation.

We don’t pack all our:

  • Bookcases full of books. (We may take one or two.)
  • CD’s, DVD’s, Video games and console, or board games. (Maybe a few but that is all.)
  • Clothes, jewelry, shoes, coats. (Only what we need for the trip.)
  • Financial and important papers. (Only the ones we need in case of a medical emergency or for identification, or verification related to our trip.)
  • Sheets, towels, or other linens. The rental place or hotel should have plenty of supply.

The idea of a vacation is to get away from the normal daily grind of responsibilities.

Whether it’s a rental by the beach or up in the mountains, or even a hotel room in a city, the relaxed feeling comes from a simple uncluttered environment.


How to Get Our Own Homes Feeling Relaxed

We live in our homes. We have responsibilities to take care of.

So the big question comes in:  How can we get a relaxed feeling in our current, everyday homes?

When I come home from a vacation I start looking around the house and image how nice it would look and feel if only I could get that uncluttered relaxed environment. But then the excuses kick in.

I’ve sure you’ve probably used some of these excuses to delay any decluttering.

  • How can I let go of all the furniture, knickknacks, books, jewelry, clothes, etc. that I spent years collecting and spending good money on? What difference does it make if I use them or not. They are part of my past. (Guilty feelings anyone?)
  • I’ve built up my kitchen supplies over the years. It doesn’t matter that I don’t cook the same as I use to. What if I decide I want to make that special dish/dessert and need the specific pan? I’d have to go buy it again. (Fear of having to spend money again?)
  • Photos are a visual documentation of my past. My family history. It doesn’t matter that they are packed away and I haven’t looked at them in years. (How is that helping you remember the past?)
  • I inherited that piece of furniture, wall hanging, china set, etc. It doesn’t matter if I like it or not. It’s part of my family legacy. I don’t want to dishonor my ancestors by getting rid of it. (More guilty feelings?)
  • I don’t know what papers I may need in the future so I’ll have to keep them all. Besides, it would be a nightmare to go through all of them. (Unreasonable fears?)

We can come up with all kinds of excuses to keep items that clutter up our homes. But those excuses will keep us from creating a home environment we can relax in or even feel like we are living in a vacation home.


Middle Ground

Maybe there’s a space in the middle where we can have the things we need on a regular basis while at the same time make our homes look and feel like we are in a vacation environment. Doesn’t that sound great?

It’s really not that far fetched to create an environment like that. But it will require more than a complete decluttering of our home. It will also require a change of mindset.

So the big questions are:

  • How do we change our mindset?
  • What can we let go of and what do we need to keep?
  • Where and how do we start?


Changing Our Mindset With Decluttering Games

I’ve used plenty of decluttering games over the years to help me get in the right mindset to make decisions.

  • Moving: pretending you’re moving to a new home. What would you take and what wouldn’t you.
  • Downsizing: similar to the moving game except you have to get rid of a lot more because of a much smaller home.
  • Pretending you’re moving cross country. What is worth paying a lot of money to move and what isn’t worth it.

Thinking about how we can find that middle ground has me thinking of a new decluttering game.


Focus On One Room

We may not be able to get our whole house to look and feel like a vacation home, but we can focus on at least one room. The family room is always a good place to start. It’s the room where the whole family can relax and feel like on vacation.

To start changing our mindset, which will lead to actions, we need to ask ourselves some questions.

  1. How can we redo this room to make it feel and look like a weekend vacation home?
    • What doesn’t fit that image?
    • What can we let go of?
    • Can we put some things in another room so this room is more relaxing?


  2. Is this room easy to clean up quickly? What in this room needs a lot of maintenance?
    • Does the floor have lots of furniture or decorative items on it that makes it time consuming to vacuum or sweep?
    • Are there lots of items on flat surfaces (shelves, tables, counter tops) that makes it time consuming to dust?
    • Is the room organized so items you use in there have a place where they are stored when not in use?

The goal is to determine how this one room can stay clean with very little effort on your part. Kind of like a weekend vacation home. You want to spend your time relaxing, not spend a large portion of the week keeping it clean.

Have you created a room or rooms in your home so they look and feel like a vacation home? If so, please share what you have done in the comment section. Thanks.

To a lighter load along the way.

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