October 17, 2017

Decorating Your Home by Engaging the Senses


candle light collageAs small children, the five senses are drilled into us during our preschool years – sight, smell, sound, taste and touch, yet as we reach adulthood, we often forget their importance.

Within our loving, fun, chaotic home, I am passionate about engaging the senses. Why did our teachers have us memorize the five ways; because stimulated senses enable us to experience life. Our senses soothe us, comfort us, welcome us, alert us, nourish us, encourage us…and so much more.ย  When we stimulate the senses of those around us, it communicates love.

I really want you to think about that. Spending just a few minutes a day to stimulate the senses can communicate love to those around us in a new and fresh way.

If you’ve spent any time here at my tiny corner in the blogosphere, you know that I attempt to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of every day life. When it comes to decorating my home, and making it a haven, I’m continually on alert to things I can do better. Sometimes I get caught up in all the amazing decor that I don’t have, but then I remember that making it a haven, also includes the things that don’t require money, such as establishing a better routine, decluttering, or actually putting the laundry away after its done being folded. While I struggle with those, others things I do well, one of which is capturing the simple moment and embracing them. Often, those tie in with engaging the senses. Last year, I wrote a post about “Creating ambiance during meal time” and it struck a cord with many of you. I encourage you to read it. It has revolutionized many “Mac and Cheese” meal times.

glass shelf candles

Every day, I light candles. Yes, you read that right. I can’t begin to tell you the number of people who have a drawer full of candles and never light them. Why? Are you waiting for company or special day? Remember when I talked about waiting for “another day?” Today is that day!

Grab those out of your drawer , light them, and turn off a light. Are you up for the challenge of instant ambiance?

As I pluck away at the keyboard, the sun is slowly cresting over the trees. I’m groggy, but sitting here with my steaming cup of coffee, and my Country Spice Fall Fragrance Candle. It’s cozy. How is that possible when I am not a morning person? I’ve set a tone to engage a few of my senses, and with that comes a wonderful start to my morn.


Practically speaking, many people assume that burning candles every day would be costly. Have you looked around Walmart lately in the candle area?

You can pick quality candles up for dollars, and they burn for hours and hours. I’m going to show you one of my “bedlam area.” It’s the bottom shelf of my hutch. Yes, I have one entire storage area just for my stockpile of candles and fragrance items. I mainly purchase candles with my coupons, but believe it or not, I’ve picked up candles at yard sales as well. My house is typically filled with smelly teenage boys, and there’s nothing worse than walking in our main entrance and that scent lingering in the air. It’s my Type A daughter’s pet peeve, and she has strategically placed her Glade air fresheners right by the door to squirt, then we light our “Welcome Home” candle that we burn as well. (Yes, it masks the problem, but it gives those big boys time to take care of it after practice. :))

As I continue to share ideas for 31 Days to More with Less, communicating love through engaging the senses is an easy, intentional and frugal way of Being More, by doing Less.

I am privileged to partner with Glade on this post. Considering that the photos of my hutch were filled with my personal purchases from before they contacted me, I love being able to share frugal ideas for brands I love. In the first photo, I took my $0.50 wooden yard sale find, which I love, added some fall hay, my Glade fall candle and voila…instant seasonal decor. They also know my readers love deals, so when they offered to supply a coupon widget where you can print unlimited coupons for their Fall Fragrance Collection of Country Spice, Cashmere Woods and Harvest Medley, I was all over it. There are so many great Glade coupons for candles that I stockpile them when they go BOGO free. Walmart has some fabulous deals on the Fall Collection, then pair it with these coupons, and you are set for the holidays. I am purchasing quite a few to spruce up gift baskets. The Harvest Medley fragrance is only available at Walmart this season.ย  The coupon widget is located on my right side bar. If you are reading this via email or reader, click on over here to print. You won’t be sorry when you smell them. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. I love the ambience that candles lend any situation. Try hosting a Christmas party, preferably on Dec. 22nd, the shortest day of the year. Invite lots of people, have every family bring one or more candles (preferably already in a holder, but have some available, too) and light each one as they arrive, arraying them around the main party area. Once you’ve amassed a crowd, turn out the electric lights for a visual cue as to how many people you have to “light” your way through life. Plus, it looks cool.

    As someone whose sinuses go into total shut down mode from even the perfumes in the laundry detergent aisle at a store, I always stipulate un-scented candles. Many people don’t tolerate perfumes very well, but are too polite to say so. I’ve learned to speak up (politely, of course), lest I spend the next hours or days completely congested. The “utitlity” votive candles they sell in the household tool section of our grocery store do the trick. And in our neck of the woods, there are also devotional candles in the same place which are usually unscented and sometimes quite pretty.


    Jens Reply:

    @Kristina, Such a fun party idea. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were hosting 70 people for a big get together when the power went out. We were forced into that kind of ambiance for many hours, and people still talk about it to this day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So true about scented candles. Fortunately, our family doesn’t have sinus issues so I LOVE scented, but that is a great reminder for those that do.


  2. I stopped in the middle of reading your blog to light some candles… I did so great with the week of Making your Home a Have, from Courtney on Women Living Well, but I have gotten away from it in the busy schedules. Hopefully it will calm my nerves and I will handle the kids better when they get up from nap time!


  3. One of my recent thrift scores was a bag filled with unlit candles — there were a dozen in all: mostly 3×3 pillar candles, all off-white.

    On a subsequent trip, I bought 2 candle holders with ‘leaf’ themes.

    I think the total for the candles + holders came to $5.


  4. I’m with Kristina. I like the ambience, hate the scent of scented candles. That goes for air fresheners, perfumes, etc. They always trigger migraines. I’d rather smell an honest smell like teenage boys than flowery smelling stinky teenage boys. Just my opinion.

    I love that you embrace small moments. Small moments make up life.


  5. I was wondering what I was doing wrong. It only let me print one coupon. ๐Ÿ™


    Donna Reply:

    @Donna, Never mind, it just takes a while for mine to reload. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Super huge Amen to this post!!! All during the month of October, I have been challenging my readers to pursue a peaceful home by lighting a candle in the heart of their home. Each time they see the flicker of the candle they are to let it be a reminder to pray for peace in their home. I can’t tell you how many have told me it literally has changed their homes – PTL!

    Candles really do set a peaceful tone ! And it’s not just for when guests come but just as you said – for every single day! It’s to bless our own family!!!

    Love it!! You are inspiring!
    (and by the way – when we chatted at the conference, I mentioned I don’t have any homeschool friends – well that’s changing – I’m starting a homeschool group in my church and I already have a few moms ready to join in! I’m nervous but excited! Thanks for mentioning that you lead a group (which I am sure is much more amazing than what I have planned)…but it got me thinking – I should try this! Thx!)

    Keep walking with the King!


  7. A few years ago I decided to start using my candles. At first it was hard to light the huge pretty fall candle and watch it slowly disappear. Now my husband and the kids light the candles in the evening and the kid’s friends say, “It’s really fall when you guys have candles on the table.” Even burning unscented candles freshen the air.


  8. I love candles, but read that they give off harmful gases when they burn. I found a local store that makes 100% beeswax candles which burn with no harmful toxins, and smell wonderful with the subtle honey scent of the beeswax. Healthy for us and the environment, and no problems with people who don’t like the heavy perfumes of most scented candles!


  9. ThankU! Not just for all the coups&ideas&photos,but for the work&focus in stringing together this series. And yes, lighting candles, baking bread (for someone else,I just want the scent to linger) and tweaking our senses–wow, spins it all positive. -s-


  10. I love the feeling a candle or three bring to a room. We especially love scented candles around here (have a Hershey’s chocolate one burning right now- yum!), but we have to keep unscented on hand in case my dad comes by. We have to make sure we don’t light any scented candles within a few hours of Dad coming, or they might trigger one of his chronic migraines. Too bad for Mom, she loves candles!


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