Mina Fies is all about making the shift. Over the last twenty years, the remodeling expert has watched hundreds of clients stay in their houses unchanged even though it desperately needs a makeover. “People are simply afraid of the remodeling process,” she says. So Fies has made it her purpose in life to not only show clients the possibilities with renovations but also explain why it’s important for the health of their mind, body, and spirit. “Our spaces have an emotional effect on us,” says the entrepreneur and public speaker. “We spend so much time thinking about the environment around us such as what restaurant we want to eat at or what school our kids go to. But when it comes to where we live and where we spend the majority of our time, we don’t think about it much.”
Fies is especially keen on changing up your home after a major life change such as becoming empty nesters, going through a divorce, or even the loss of a loved one such as a parent you may have been caring for in your home. “It’s really about making the home yours again,” she explains. This can mean different things for different people, but the premise, says Fies, is the same: you’re shifting the energy to focus on the new moment in your life rather than relishing in the old.
For empty nesters, Fies recommends repurposing a child’s room into a place where you can relax, take advantage of a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or simply convert it to the home office you never had. “People get so stuck on the idea that they have to keep things the same, especially with a child’s bedroom,” she says. “You first need to give yourself the permission to repurpose the room. Once you recreate the room, you’ll subconsciously shift the energy in a positive direction. The important thing is that it doesn’t have to be the space it once was. Just by repurposing that room by repainting it or changing a bed into a daybed for seating reclaims the space and makes it yours. This process makes the transition easier.”
New parents are in the same boat, says Fies. “When you’re a new parent, your home doesn’t feel like it’s yours anymore. There are toys everywhere [and] baby accessories. Kids can literally take over your entire living space.” Fies recommends thinking ahead by incorporating storage and ways to “clean up the mess” seamlessly to keep your living areas an adult space. “Your whole house doesn’t have to be about your kids. In fact, you need a space that’s totally yours, free of kids’ stuff,” she says. Fies suggests creating a toy storage system where it hides everything such as using furniture like ottomans or benches that open and serve as toy boxes. And as kids get older, consider a drop zone where they can hang their book bags, put away their shoes, and leave their jackets. “Containing your kids’ stuff relieves the stress off of you because you don’t have to see it each day,” says Fies.
But when it comes to a life change such as a death or divorce, sometimes repurposing a space isn’t enough. When this happens, Fies recommends her clients do a space clearing. “If a parent passes or a divorce occurs, or something has happened and you want to turn over a new leaf, a space clearing is a fantastic place to start,” she says. Space clearing is simply shifting the energy of a space by releasing the existing energy, which can be accomplished in a few different ways. “Sometimes we stand at the front door with the homeowner and they say a prayer or, depending on the client’s comfort level, we’ll burn sage or ring a bell to vibrate and clear the energy. It’s a practice or ritual of saying this moment in our lives happened, we were brought together for a reason, it didn’t work out, and I’m ready to release this relationship and bring whatever is good to me.”
Fies says clients are amazed at how simple changes in their homes can impact their energy and emotions so much after transitioning through a major life experience. “It doesn’t take much to create a space that energetically fits where you want to be in your life today and ten years from now,” she says.