Twelve months into the pandemic I was still happy to stay mostly at home, cooking, reading, online shopping and hopping between Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV and amazon Prime to fill out the corners of my day. It was quite cozy. Maybe it’s the sudden onset of mustard that is signaling an outbreak of spring fever, but cozy has become a bit boring. I miss travel and I miss hotels.
In order to mimic a hotel experience at home, we have to become our own concierge, our own room service and our own maid, but hopefully with a few tricks, you can perform these tasks efficiently and have plenty of time to enjoy the environment you’ve created.
One of my online purchases was linen sheets. I’m not spending money on hotel rooms so I justified the expense as a necessary luxury. Putting a nice pen and pad of good paper on the night stand is another hotel-worthy touch and it’s well known that jotting down your dreams first thing when you wake up is usually the only way you’ll remember them.
A carafe or pitcher of water with a glass on the night table is another hotel room essential in my opinion. Even a fresh plastic bottle of fancy H2O like Smartwater or Fiji water can make you feel pampered.
If you don’t have radiant heat in your bathroom floors, consider a heated towel rack. It can take the chill off the room as well as dry and warm your towels. So yummy.
A single bon bon or flower on the pillow can make a loved one feel trés special. Make sure the pillow is fresh (it is recommended pillows be replaced every year, which I think is crazy, but at least wash them once in a while and fluff in the dryer with a clean tennis shoe to beat the down into a five star froth). Even if you don’t iron your sheets, try ironing your pillow cases for a crisp look. Spray a little lavender or tuck a lavender sachet into the pillow case; the scent is a sleep aid.
Relatively cheap and easy items to upgrade a home bathroom Relais & Chateaux style include a fresh toothbrush, special hand soap, a fragrant candle (or lots of candles) and decadent Egyptian cotton bath towels. For me the bigger the better. Warm a cushy over-sized hotel robe on your heated towel rack. Ooo la la!
My inner concierge, I’ll call him Pierre, sends me out to savor a car wash and take in the colors and exotic fruits of the Whole Foods produce section. I treat myself to a Turmeric & Ginger Kevita drink and feel like I’m having a spa day.
What does all this have to do with organization? Remembering your dreams can help you work out waking life problems. Making up a crisp, fresh bed starts your day with a “win,” putting you in a good position to accomplish more the rest of the day. Proper hydration makes the brain function at its best. And it’s well known that we function better in every way when we have adequate, deep sleep.
Turning your errands into little day trips not only makes them more thoughtful and enjoyable, but you might look at them with a fresh perspective and find ways to make them more efficient or more expansive.
To satisfy the frustrated traveler, one fun idea I had recently concerns my postcard collection. I had saved postcards of sites and scenery from all the travel I was lucky enough to do pre-Covid 19. I had a lot of post cards of art from museums too.
I decided that instead of hoarding these cards I would send them to friends and family, inviting them to take a little virtual trip or to look at some art with me. I invited my nephews to Peru, a friend to Chiapas, my mother to Sweden and another friend to New York City, specifically the Guggenheim to see a Picasso retrospective. I’m going to send out a few every week to different people until they are all gone. It’s been a lot of fun and, as I tell my clients, it’s a great feeling to pass something on to someone who might appreciate it than to leave it sitting in a box, “Unwept, unhonored and unsung.”
Why not cut up a magazine collection to create collages to send with an accompanying letter or mail photos and post cards with short notes out? Host virtual (by snail mail) fashion shows, day trips and walks down memory lane with some of your favorite people. Create a theme and a list of recipients, get the glue, scissors, pen and stamps ready and have a great time decluttering and spreading some cheer while reminiscing about the days you were able to travel with relative ease and slip between sheets that somebody else laundered.