Over the past year, our homes have become even more central to our lives than ever before. Whether it is now serving as your workspace, school, gym, social setting, or any other variety of purposes, many of us are spending a LOT more time at home than before. It can be easy to fall into a rut when you are staring at the same four walls for hours on end. Plus, it can be much more difficult to keep your space clean and organized when your home is serving in so many capacities these days, leading to even less calmness and peace. However, there are a few simple things you can do to brighten your home in these dark, winter months while also improving your mental well-being. Read on for a few tips to help calm the chaos and bring more happiness into your home.
Bring the outside in. Even if you are living in a part of the country with little green outside these days, bringing home a new plant or flowers can be a nice treat to liven up your living space. If you’re lucky enough to have the option, trim a few blooms from your garden and display them in a place you will see often. Otherwise, grab a simple bouquet from your grocery store or local flower shop to bring a smile to your face. Many places now sell small bunches so you can create your own unique arrangements. This could also be a fun virtual activity with friends – video chat to share ideas and your final bouquets for extra inspiration! In the doldrums of winter, seeing pops of green and other bright colors can be an easy way to add joy to your home.
Make your own art. Adding new art to your walls is a great way to bring our own personality to your home and make it feel like your own, but this does not have to be an expensive project. Either on your own or with members of your family, create a personalized piece of art for your home. This can be painting a canvas together, or printing a family photo to put in an existing frame. The process of creating the art will be a fun experience, and you’ll have a bright new addition for your home at the end.
Clean sweep and fresh air. You may not want to hear this, but spending time cleaning can make a big difference with how we feel about our homes. Especially in winter, dirt and dust seem to build up more quickly, which can make us feel less excited about our space. Take some time this weekend or whenever you can grab a few minutes, open the windows (yes, even in winter), and give your home a good scrub. Airing out your home, tackling the grime, and reinvigorating one room at a time can help you feel better and happier in your home (and cleaning is a great stress reliever, too!).
Declutter. If you have random piles of stuff accumulating dust throughout your home, you are not alone. Whether it’s toys, clothing, junk mail, or coffee mugs, these items tend to pile up without your realizing it, but this clutter can make it hard to relax when it is staring at you. Instead of trying to tackle it all at once, take small steps to declutter your home. It is less overwhelming when you set aside a few items each day to throw away or donate. Set up a box or bag somewhere out of the way, and try to find one item each day to put it in it (or in the trash/recycling). Once full, take the box to a donation facility, and breathe a deep sigh in your more open space. Here are a few more tips to get started.
Rearrange. Sometimes, all you need is a new perspective. Pick a room in your home and reimagine what it might look like if you moved some things around. This does not mean buying new items, simply adjusting what you already have to feel like a refreshed space. Perhaps you flip which wall the TV is against, or move your bed to see out a window to your backyard. Maybe you move some art from one room to another to see it in a different way. Making these small changes does not require much time, but it can make a big difference in how you see and feel in your space.
Set up stations. One of the biggest challenges with being home so much more is establishing boundaries. Your bedroom may be your office, or your kitchen may be school. How can you enjoy your home when the lines between work, home, school, and more are so blurry? Try setting up stations within your home to designate what each area is intended for. Perhaps you can use a corner of the dining room for work, then when you are done each day, you leave that area and “leave work behind.” The rest of your home will feel more relaxing and calm when your computer or other work equipment is not following you from room to room.
Winter can be a tough time, but making your home more relaxing, calm and bright can help improve your mood and well-being, especially when you spend so much time there!