Cultivating Femininity: Nesting
Good Morning and happy sweet sweet Tuesday my dear reader!
Thank you for tuning into the third week of the Cultivating Femininity Series. As I write this, I am sitting in the Delta terminal at the O’Hare International Airport. Traveling can be glamorous, exciting, and fun, but I still hold true to the fact that there is no better place than home.
This brings us to today's topic: cultivating femininity in our NEST.
Our nest, our home, whatever you want to call it, is the environment around you. Specifically, it is the environment that you are in charge of caring for.
How can we cultivate femininity by cultivating our “nest?”
Now there are two key elements to this: creativity and discipline.
By utilizing our creativity, focusing on beautifying the space around us, and learning to tend to and care for our homes allows us to cultivate femininity.
Let's take a deep dive into this idea.
Before we continue diving into the idea of nesting, I want to make one thing clear: I am not recommending or suggesting that cultivating femininity in your nest means spending a ton of money or resources to decorate, renovate, or overhaul your space.
I truly don't believe that beautifying your space and cultivating creativity requires a total Joanna Gaines makeover to your home. A home can be peaceful, warm, and beautiful without spending thousands of dollars or thousands of hours on Pinterest.
Nesting can be achieved without much money at all, but you must be willing to invest your heart, creativity, and energy into the process.
Furthermore, we can cultivate femininity through putting in our own taste, style, warmth, and care into the home. Just by trying to keep a space clean, organized, and cozy, you will notice an incredible amount of pleasure and satisfaction in your spirit.
Nesting is more than decorating: it is a COMBINATION of discipline and creativity.
To truly nest, express beauty, and cultivate femininity, you must not forget to care for the hygiene of your home, as you also tend to and care for the beauty, décor, and aesthetics of your home.
Let's break this down a bit.
Part 1 of Nesting: CREATIVITY
Personally, I see “creativity” as the more pleasurable side of nesting and homemaking.
I have always been drawn to decorating and nurturing the space around me. As a child, my mom would leave me to clean my room, only to return hours later to a freshly rearranged space and new knickknacks adorning my side tables. Now that I have my own home, I find myself constantly wanting to decorate, rearrange, and make the space ours.
As you think about nesting and beautifying your home, I encourage you to reflect on the type of energy and feeling you want others to experience in your home. A peaceful home isn’t necessarily an immaculately decorated home: there is more to a home than just strategically placed Scandinavian furniture.
You can create a certain energy, feelings, and emotions in people through how you choose to decorate your home and express your creativity. You can give people afeeling of peace, luxury, relaxation, energy, or anything else all through your style and home aesthetics.
I encourage you to have fun with your decor: express your creativity and voice your style.
If you are overwhelmed with the idea of decorating, or if it is simply out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to start small. Even though not every person has a knack for decor, everyone has the ability to light candles, drape some throw blankets, and hang curtains.
I would say that if you are struggling to decorate a space, let your walls be neutral, then add in accent pillows, rugs, curtains, and art focused on your favorite colors.
At the end of the day, as long as you enjoy and like your space, you will find pleasure, comfort, and peace in the decorating process.
However, as I am a huge proprietor of all things frugal, I leave you with this final word: don’t decorate your house all at once.
I know it can sometimes be tough to have an empty corner or wall, but wait for the right pieces to come along and slowly build up your decorating overtime. Not only may your tastes change, but you will also be able to save more money by waiting. It's important to be conscious of the family budget and avoid purchasing an entire aisle of TJ Maxx décor just because you can. You may be surprised at what pieces you collect throughout the years.
Part 2 of Nesting: DISCIPLINE
Discipline in nesting!? Cait what are you talking about??
Well, as with many parts of femininity and the lifelong journey of building virtue and character, we must not forget that discipline is an integral part to any task, creative or otherwise.
The disciplined side of nesting and cultivating femininity is often overlooked. We see the family’s reaction to a perfectly decorated Fixer Upper, celebrating the beautiful open concept spaces and restored barnwood, but what we don’t see is the mess that family has accumulated a year later.
Nesting is about warming up a space through décor, but also about tidyness, organization, and actual cleanliness.
Through cleaning, tidying, and organizing a space, we can allow our minds to settle, our guests to feel comfortable, and our hearts to continue to be shaped.
My own home was not fully developed until I was able to move past decorating alone, and into the realm of cleanliness, house hygiene, and organization. These elements bring your nest to the next level and allow you to experience the incredible shaping that cleaning does to a soul.
By cleaning and organizing your nest, you are expressing an appreciation and tender care for the blessings you’ve been given. I would also add that it helps you enjoy the methodical practice of working with your hands.
I think that on HGTV, for every show that outlines an incredible renovation, we should see another show about people learning to clean.
I know that Marie Kondo has been a hit on Netflix, but organizing is only one part of disciplined nesting. It is important to organize, but to also CLEAN the house as well. Keeping things tidy means clean surfaces, floors, refridgerators, bathrooms, and more.
Growing up, I would complain to my friends that my mom wanted us to keep our house like a museum. But really, I think it’s imncredible that she was able to do this even with me constantly leaving a messy trail behind every single day. The tidying, organization, and cleanliness allowed us to be able to find everything we needed, to host others whenever we wanted, and to be able to remain peaceful and calm at home.
This is my final recommendation: if you cannot clean for your own sake, clean for the good of your spouse, or your friends and family. I know that people often refuse to have guests visit, simply because the mess is intolerable in the home. Life does not have to be that way!
Take spring cleaning off of the shelf, dust it off, and relabel it: WEEKLY cleaning. Weekly cleaning allows you to experience and enjoy the methods of working with your hands, it allows you to keep track of the state of your house, and it allows you to be prepared and ready the moment a potential guest is in need of a loving visit or place to stay.
In total, nesting is an opportunity to express creativity, discipline, and grow your skills.