I have been very quiet lately. I know. My path has thrown some heavy issues at me lately and I find I am more in a depressed mode. I try to deal with the issues as much as possible but it has been a struggle. When I am overwhelmed, my knee-jerk reaction is to close in on myself, which usually leads to physical sickness so I have been trying not to let that happen.
I grew up with at 3 altars in my home, albeit 2 were very Catholic, but altars nonetheless. My mother always had a general purpose one and one concentrated on the particular saint my ethnicity was celebrating. My father always had one for offerings. Altars mean home to me so I have felt resurrection now that I can keep one, or 3 in my case.
Since I have not committed myself officially to one path, I keep three: one honoring my Catholic background, one for general-purpose Pagan and a GD one. Both the Pagan and the GD can be quickly be put away when I have muggles in my house. My general purpose is more elaborate than my GD. I despise too much clutter so I keep everything simple. My mother's altars were quite elaborate but were formed over time and with intent. A thrown together altar doesn't feel right to me so i keep only those objects that are meaningful. I place offerings in different places in my home, depending on what I am honoring and how I am honoring. This was my father's tradition and I keep it alive. I feel strongly that the magick of reverence and love should reside anyplace in one's home.
One of my sisters keeps a portable altar. Since she has been a high priestess on more than one occasion, I understand the function. She keeps it in a traveling cosmetic case. Too cool. The most ingenious idea for an alter was a man kept his in a film canister. His little sword, was a sewing needle. He included tiny candles. That just blows my mind!