CLJ Summer School: Fall in love with your home by creating rituals

July 12, 2021

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Welcome to week 2 of #cljsummerschool: How to fall in love with your home in 30 days. You all went to WORK last week. I loved seeing all your purging before and after photos and honestly felt inspired. You guys keep me going! This week we’re talking all about how you can love your home by developing simple, meaningful rituals.

The time we spent last week purging, organizing, and cleaning has hopefully given you some appreciation and new eyes for your home–even though it’s a new week–don’t stop! Let’s use that momentum to establish some moments in your home to keep you feeling centered and more “at home.” I believe anybody can love where they live if they really want to, and one way to really love where you live is to spend some time doing things that bring you comfort and joy in it. I’m naturally a bit of a homebody and I think that’s because I really try to make the mood in my home special by doing little things that make the every day moments feel special. This week, we’re talking about the power of at-home rituals.

What do you do to welcome in the evening, or morning? How do you differentiate your work from your home (especially if you work from home). Do you open all the window coverings, light a candle, turn on music? I actually changed my morning alarm to a gradual wakeup once and I wake up much happier now. On Saturday mornings, when I clean the house, I start by lighting a candle and that’s also the time when I put in my headphones and listen to my fav podcast. By the time I am done, I’m fulfilled, the house is tidied, and it smells great. Plus now we can enjoy the rest of the weekend together as a family. Rituals allow you to elevate normal time or activities into something that brings happiness and comfort.

Dinner time can sometimes be chaotic, but it’s important to us to make family dinner a priority. Instead of shouting for the girls to come down to eat, we got a dinner bell, and now it’s easy and dare I say, pleasant? Almost like a sacred tradition. Our dinner bell is now on its third home.

Another ritual that we love in our home is Friday night family movie night. We try to make it special every week–introducing the girls to the classic family movies we grew up with mixed in with new ones. Our basement family room was designed to be a cozy, lounge-y gathering space for this exact reason. Chris will whip up a board of snacks, and we had a basket of blankets perfect for snuggling under, readily available. Traditions might happen yearly, but rituals happen OFTEN (daily or weekly!) and can make the ordinary feel extra special.

Customize your home to support your rituals!

Here’s a few ideas of how your home can be set up to optimize your little routines into energizing rituals.

  • If you’re a book snob and love reading books in bed for 30 minutes before lights out, maybe your nightstand doubles as a little library, and has a drawer for your reading light, pens and highlighters (if you really like to get into it).
  • Some people like a slow start to their mornings. Maybe you go over to your coffee station, brew a cup, then head to your favorite cozy seat in the house, pull up a blanket, and sip on you coffee while you listen to a podcast.
  • Baths are such a relaxing way to wind down in the evening but it can be even more magical with the right lighting, surrounding scents, and a luxury body scrub. It’s the little things.
  • We’ve been trying to grow our record collection because there’s something so joyous about putting on a record after dinner and having a dance party to get out all of our tension and wiggles.
  • My girls love having sister sleepovers on the weekends and was one reason why we had two beds in Greta’s room! Weekends felt more special for them and exciting because of it.

Rituals are about care (self care and home care), and creating meaningful traditions out of the seemingly mundane. What are some of your home rituals that you currently have in place (or want to put it place?). My sister has spaghetti and watches one episode of the Sopranos every Sunday. A friend starts EVERY morning with a dance party with her kids. Every evening, after dinner, our girls have “sister time” together before bed. We named it. We set aside the time and it’s something we all look forward to.

Share yours in the comments so we can all get some more ideas of how to fill our homes with memories and rituals!


What do you think?

  1. Pamela says:

    While raising a family we had dinner together every night and each one had to say 3 things about that day that they appreciated. We kept all the Christmas card in a nearby bowl and selected the top one to pray for that person or family during grace. I woke the kids every morning by opening the curtains while singing the little song my first grade class sang each school day morning. Now retired, my husband and I always take a Sunday afternoon drive. We watch 1 episode of Frazier every night just before bed instead of the news. We sit and share cocktails and conversation every Friday night & usually light snacks instead of dinner that we call small plates. We have a cup of of coffee together each morning. We share prayer requests between us and our adult kids every week.

  2. Kirsten Valentine says:

    I love this! My children are all grown but whenever they return home they want the old rituals. I can see that someday they’ll be passing these along to their own families making these rituals generational!
    One of my favorite family rituals was Sunday evening by the out door fireplace. We always gathered for fire popped popcorn and fire grilled sausages. It always felt like a time to regroup and reunite as a family .

  3. katie says:

    A glass of wine (or 2) by the pool, with the cafe lights glowing, with my partner each night, to reconnect and talk about the day.

  4. Danielle H says:

    I love this! One of my rituals is to wash and fold laundry one or two evenings a week while catching up on favorite tv shows with a delicious beverage in hand – the shows are always ones that my husband doesn’t care to watch. It’s the perfect, relaxing “me time” while also being productive.

  5. Gigi says:

    We always have dinner in the dining room, with lit candles and cloth napkins, even if it’s takeout food on a Tuesday. My husband said that one day our children will smell a match lighting a wick and say, “Awwww, that reminds me of supper at home.” I also try to have a fresh arrangement in a pretty vase, often just a stick of something green snipped from the yard or porch—a single hosta leaf in a tall square vase, or geranium and mint leaves in a small cup. It lets my family know I’m trying to create a special space for us to be together because they’re special to me. Cheers!

  6. Taylor says:

    My kids love sweet pancakes so we save that for Saturday mornings. They look forward to it and always know it’s coming! My husband and I do one small home project every Monday night (tonight it’s clearing out some of our filing cabinet). I love playing music while doing the dishes because we don’t have a dishwasher, helps the time pass!

  7. Danna says:

    I jumped on your dinner bell idea! My husband is getting hard of hearing and I have to yell several times down into the family room to get him to come to supper. He either would get upset because he heard me and was coming, or I would get frustrated because he wasn’t hearing me. Now I ring the bell and he hears that right away! It also works great for if he’s outside and couldn’t hear me calling him. :)

    • Lisa says:

      Dinner is always together as a family at the table. Friday is homemade pizza and movie night. Tuesdays are dinner at my in-laws night.

  8. Stephanie R says:

    We have breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, eggs, bacon or something like that) on Wednesday nights. It’s a quick dinner that everyone can pitch in on and when I’m meal planning it gives me a free night in that I don’t have to think about meals. With summer here, pool and homemade burgers are becoming a Saturday thing that I’m loving! Friday night is “family date night” when we have takeout or homemade pizza and a movie which is something my sisters and I did growing up that I loved!

  9. Bryanna says:

    I love this and can’t wait to add something new. Thinking it might be the Friday movie night idea for starters. Here are a few of my rituals today for folks reading the comments like me!
    Morning French press coffee
    On Wednesdays I spend extra time with all my plants, trimming, watering, and taking care of them. All steps include stylish utilitarian tools etc that make it even more fun for me

  10. Emily says:

    I’ve started, just this summer, putting a load of laundry in at bedtime. I have it on delay start, so it runs in the middle of the night. When I wake up in the morning, the load is clean and ready for me to hang it on the line instead of just transferring it to the dryer. It’s such an easy chore to do first thing in the morning that gets me outside in the beautiful morning light.

    After dinner, I take it down and my family puts it away. It’s lovely to have fresh clean laundry every evening.

  11. Kristin says:

    I love family rituals so much. One of our favorites is homemade pizza and movie/show every Saturday night. It used to be Friday, but we had to switch and boy, is it hard to change. It really has been ingrained in our lives.

  12. Susan says:

    My ritual with my kids was reading out loud to my 3 boys. It lasted long after they were old enough to read themselves. Sometimes my oldest would lean in the door frame to the room his 2 brothers shared and listen while I read. They like the ritual, the sound of my voice the inflection I chose when reading silly poems by Shel Silverstein or Harry Potter. And we would discuss plot points when they were older. Now the boys are too old for that, but my partner and I read books out loud to each other in the evenings, mostly in the winter when it gets dark early and it’s storming outside. It’s one of my fav. things in the whole world

  13. Charlotte says:

    Our daughters share a room and we pray with them and say goodnight early and set a timer for lights out. That’s their sister time together to play! And the earlier we say goodnight the more time they have together. Quite the bedtime motivator!

  14. Cheryl Olson says:

    Great post!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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