No Place Like Home

I recently returned from the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I spent several days with my colleagues from all over the world, hearing new ideas for serving our clients and running our businesses.  The NAPO conference is always fun, energizing, and inspiring.  In coming weeks, I’ll be reporting on new products, and other lessons I took away from the conference.

I flew back on the red-eye from Phoenix to JFK Airport.  I hadn’t slept much on the plane, so when I walked in the door of my apartment at 6 am on a Sunday morning, I crawled gratefully into my own bed and whispered, “There’s no place like home!”   Brushing my teeth a few hours later in my own bathroom, I echoed that sentiment.

What is it about our homes that inspire that feeling after just a few days of sleeping somewhere else?

We are creatures of habit.  Most of what we do, we do without thinking.  When we can put ourselves on automatic pilot, it frees up our brain to concentrate on more important things.

When we are at home, we know where to find the things we use every day, and we know where to put things away.  Daily routines like taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and going to bed don’t take a lot of concentration.

When we travel, it becomes exhausting to have to figure out all of those things anew each day.  We may get into a routine after a few days, but a hotel room (or a friend’s guest room) doesn’t have all of the storage options that we are used to at home.

Is your home someplace where you can relax and go into automatic pilot?  Or is it a continual struggle to find things?  Are your daily routines an uphill battle?

You won’t be able to transform your home overnight, but it’s worth investing some thought into the activities you do every single day, and to make sure that the items you need for those activities are in easy-to-access places.  Identify what you need to have at your fingertips, and move any less frequently-used items to less accessible space.


  1. Julie Bestry on June 12, 2014 at 2:09 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It takes so much more energy just to BE somewhere other than at home. Part of it is the hubbub of activity, and part, as you noted, is the lack of ability to maintain the same systems and routines. I suspect that most people would be happier travelers, world-wide, if they could return to their own bedrooms and bathrooms every night.

  2. Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    You are so right, Sharon! I was just thinking (while I was away at the same conference) about how LONG it takes me to get ready for the day, and ready for bed, in a hotel room. Also, you might be interested that I have a blog post by the same name, but with a completely different angle:

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