Monday, March 19, 2012

Creating a Home ... Wherever You Go

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Our family has traveled ... a lot. And I love creating a home wherever we go:

* in a hotel
* in a tent
* in a guest room
* in a small corner of a church
 in Scotland (many summers)

And I do this whether we stay for one night or one month. I always need a little home.

In college, (ages ago) I was quite mesmerized by Edith Schaeffer's book on creativity and homemaking, Hidden Art. Edith traveled the world with her theologian husband and her four children.

Wherever they went, Edith always packed a pair of candlesticks and a tablecloth. She brought a little bit of home with her.

I wanted to be just like her when I grew up ... and I was. This is the way I have been traveling for many years. At first I did it to provide continuity for my kids, and now I do it for me. (Dave likes it, too.)

When packing to leave home, you will always find these items tucked in my bag:

* a candle or two
* several small cloth napkins 
   in different colors, to use
   as mini tablecloths
* my Bible and a few favorite books
* a few current magazines
* a favorite mug and my tea
* a pretty throw blanket

As soon as I arrive, I happily putter around creating a home.

1. I remove everything I do not like - the phone book, all the paper advertising you find in a hotel room, the water bottles that cost $5. I tuck them in one of the dresser drawers.

2. I open the curtains.

3. If the bedspread is ugly, I fold it down.

4. I lay out the colorful napkins as tablecloths. Maybe one on the bedside table and one on the desk. Out come my candles, books, magazines, mug and blanket. 

5. If my stay is for a couple of nights, I will purchase a small plant or some pretty cut flowers.

6. I have been known to do a tiny rearrange of the furniture. Why not angle the comfy chair so it faces the window? (Please note ~ I do not move furniture if I am a guest in someone's home.)

Hey, 15 minutes of happy puttering and voila ... it feels like home. 

It is fun and easy and oh so worth it. Have fun creating a home away from home.

ps. I like to pack this guy in my bag, too.

image credit: photos are from our little cabin on the ocean at Ecola Bible School, where Dave was teaching and I was creating a home. 



  1. Splendid idea! I've taken books, magazine and candles but never thought of a dear and familiar napkin. Perhaps next time, I'll take along a favorite photograph!!


  2. What a great idea. When we go camping with our church, some people take a tablecloth and a vase to flowers in. And it does make a hue difference to their tents. I must remember to do that next time!


  3. This is a wonderful idea! I've heard about it, but never tried it. I am thinking that I need to. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy Monday! :)

  4. What a great idea, Glenda! We love home so much. I will have to start bringing a bit of home with us when we travel. I am also intrigued by the book that you mentioned - Hidden Art. I may have to see if I can get it from our library.

  5. Puttering is a lost art!! I love to putter and tweak. Homemaking is a lost art also. Thanks for sharing another great tip Glenda. Blessings!

  6. It's a wonderful thing and I do it myself. I've not taken cloth napkins though but it's a good idea! Those little touches do make a difference! Have a good evening!

  7. I love that you take things to make the travel space your own. I too do the same thing. Farm Boy thinks I'm nuts. I'll have to tell him I ran across others that do the same.

    God bless and have a terrific week sweetie!!! :o)

  8. I always pack a candle, magazine and books but never thought of the other things ~ great idea!

  9. You forgot to mention that you always hum as you putter. It is very endearing. :)

  10. Ahhhh, a little Sleepy Time tea makes me feel at home no matter where my feet are planted. Good advice, Glenda. My kids take blankets. My husband his pillow, but you made me wonder about what I take with me to make a place a home...

  11. Glenda, I love this post! I remember reading "Hidden Art" - such a great book! Love your ideas here for creating a home wherever you go. :-)

  12. It hasn't occured to me to do this for short time periods but I feel much more inspired to do so!! You made it seem easy.I love Edith Schaeffer's Hidden Art of Homemaking. I need to get that down to re-read it.

  13. I have always done this, too, Glenda. What I take varies, depending on where I'm headed and for how long - but I definitely takes bits of home with me. It truly helps.

  14. What a nice idea. This needs to go in Missionary magazines.

  15. You have wonderful ideas, Glenda! I've done this informally when we've traveled but never so intentionally - I think I want to be like you when I grow up, oops, I might just be older than you, would it still work? :_ Thanks for this lovely post!

  16. I like how you do that. I don't travel much but when I do I bring several magazines. Never thought of candles and napkins!

    There was a time when the phone book and all tablets, papers and other stuff were put in drawers immediately....before our very hyperactive Ellen could get to them!

    Enjoy your day, my friend!

  17. you are too full of great ideas! i love this whole thing! i've brought travel candles before...but these are great ideas!

  18. You know, I have travelled all around the world and this has never occured to me. What a great idea.

  19. What wonderful ideas. It is nice to have bits of home when traveling. You've inspired me. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. A beautiful idea. Thank you for sharing such a sweet post. Hugs!

  21. I read her book a long time ago.
    Home away from home; I think I would like traveling with you :)

  22. What a great idea! I love the perspective this gives - not getting too caught up in the physical, but concentrating on simply bringing beauty into your current surroundings. That should be our goal spiritually as well. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Such an interesting post, Glenda. I've never thought to do that. Now, I do bring luvies and things like that for the children. Hope you are well.

  24. I guess I never thought of some of the habits I have as making a home...but I always have tea bags in my purse, like to take a scented candle to hotels, and wouldn't dream of traveling without The Book and others...but you do take it to an art form.
    I'm sure you won't argue with St. Peter if he tells you someday...but here you won't need that to be at home... ; > )

  25. I love this :) and I think it's just perfect to make yourself comfy. My aunt travels a lot and takes a small stuffed bear with her on her business travels, leaving it on her bed so there's something familiar and home-like waiting for her each night.
    I'd love to have you swing by and share this post on my blog hop. It's inspiring, making home wherever you are :)
    Paula at Welcoming Spirit

  26. Thank you for these ideas. We try to bring as much of our real home as possible when we travel, but I do like the idea of removing all the 'hotel' stuff and replacing it with our own stuff.

  27. I completely love this post! I've thought about this a lot, as my husband and I travel a lot doing ministry. I really want to do this more because I find myself in the middle of the summer really wanting to go "home," though I am having a great experience. I'll have to check that book out too.


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