August 15th, 2010
By Kitty Holman
Your home should be a relaxing place– a sanctuary away from the stress of work and the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Yet often we let our homes become stressful places, filled with clutter, reminders of things we have to do, and simply not the relaxing retreats they’re meant to be. If you feel like your home isn’t nursing you back to health each night, then consider some of these tips to help make it more therapeutic and comfortable for you.
Cleaning and Clutter
If your home is overrun with clutter consider these tips to clean it up.
- Clean out your closets. Having things fall out of your closets every time you open them can be stressful, so clear out the clutter when you can.
- Get rid of clutter. If you have things around your home that you’re not using, get rid of them. You’ll be happier and someone else can put them to good use.
- Donate unused items. You can even give yourself a financial boost by getting a tax deduction from cleaning out your closet when you donate your old things.
- Downsize your life. Do you really need everything you have? Is caring for your home overwhelming you? Maybe it’s time to consider downsizing and living with less.
- Get organized. Being able to find what you need when you need it will remove a lot of the stress from your life.
- Create a landing strip. Create a space in your home where you can plop down all your things when you come in the door and pick them up when you leave.
- Create a cleaning schedule. No one wants to spend an entire afternoon cleaning. Instead, create a schedule where you clean one or two rooms a day.
- Keep supplies organized by room. To keep cleaning supplies at hand, keep them organized and stored in the room where you’ll need them.
- Rotate your collections. There’s nothing wrong with having a collection, but rotate what you have on display to avoid a cluttered look.
- Put it away. When you’re done with something, put it away. It’s a simple but effective way to keep your home orderly.
Help create a more relaxing atmosphere at home by trying out these ideas.
- Light some candles. The soft, flickering light of candles can help you to kick back and relax.
- Block out noise. If you live on a noisy street, do what you can to block out annoying noises or replace them with more soothing ones.
- Leave your shoes at the door. You’ll feel more relaxed with them off and you won’t track anything into your home.
- Get a fountain. The steady trickle of water can make relaxing a cinch.
- Try aromatherapy. Let your favorite smells remind you of a day at the beach or your favorite treat.
- Kick out work. Don’t bring work home into your relaxation space. If you have to work at home, do it in an office.
- Play your favorite songs. Music can help you to relax, so put on your favorite albums to unwind.
Sometimes a breath of fresh air is all you need to relax. Spruce up your outdoor space with these tips.
- Plant flowers. Having flowers in your backyard is sure to put a smile on your face.
- Stick to native plants. Native plants will require less water and thrive more easily in your backyard.
- Don’t overdo it. Keeping plants in your backyard can be immensely therapeutic, but don’t overdo it. Having too many plants to care for can just be stressful.
- Add a water feature. If you have room for it, adding a small fountain can block out noise and make your backyard relaxing.
- Get patio furniture. You’ll need something comfortable to sit on in your backyard, so invest in a nice patio chair or a set.
- Consider a fire pit or chiminea. Warm up your outdoor space with a fire pit or chiminea, if local laws allow.
- Draw in birds. If the chirping sound of birds is something you enjoy, bring wildlife into your yard with a bird feeder or plants birds love.
- Plant fragrant plants. Enjoy aromatherapy outdoors with fragrant plants like flowers and herbs.
- Design for privacy. Keep your nosy neighbors out by putting up plants and cloths that keep your outside space private.
- Get a porch swing. Rhythmic swinging outdoors can help lull all of the stress right out of your body.
These general tips will have you enjoying a happier, more relaxing home.
- Buy higher quality. It might cost more up front, but it will last longer and look better in your home.
- Invest in draperies. Draperies can block out light and give you privacy when you need it.
- Soften the light. If you don’t want harsh light in your rooms, consider sheer drapes to soften it up and trade out your light bulbs.
- Choose happy colors. If the color blue makes you feel, well, blue, don’t paint your living room with it. Instead, choose colors that make you feel happy and at ease.
- Buy yourself flowers. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to get flowers, just pick up a small bunch at the grocery store to make your space happier and prettier.
- Bring in the outdoors. Bring plants, rocks and outdoorsy fibers inside to create a calming, nature-filled space indoors.
- Rearrange your furniture. Sometimes all a room needs to feel brand new is to move around the furniture. Change up your space for something new.
- Try feng shui. This ancient Chinese art will tell you how best to arrange your home for flow and energy.
- Change the decor. As much as you might love your home, sometimes a change is good.
- Make it personal. Make sure your home is personal, with books, decor and objects that really represent who you are.
- Give it a coat of paint. You’d be amazed what a difference a coat of paint can make in changing the whole feeling of a room.
- Use the style you like. Just because other people don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right for you. Do what you like and don’t worry about what other people think.
- Display items that have meaning to you. Things that make you feel nostalgic or mark important people and events in your life are great additions to your home decor.
- Make it look lived in. If your home is too perfect it can feel less restful. Let it look lived in and comfortable instead.
- Create a mediation space. Help calm your mind and body by creating a space in your home ideal for meditation.
- Design a home retreat. Create a space in your home that’s a special retreat for you. It can be as simple as a comfy chair by a window, so long as it feels nice to you.
- Keep air flowing. Keeping your rooms sufficiently cool, warm and free from stuffiness is essential to getting relaxed. Invest in some good fans to keep air moving.
- Make your own artwork. Making artwork can be therapeutic in itself and will give you something in your home to feel proud of.
- Make it functional. Your home shouldn’t just look good, it should be easy to live in as well. Make sure you’ve covered both bases in yours.
Make your bedroom into a super relaxing place with these ideas.
- Turn off the TV. Instead, simply relax or read a book.
- Get a new duvet. New bedding can change the entire feel of your room and make you eager to head to bed.
- Put on clean sheets. Clean, nice smelling sheets can make your bed a wonderful retreat.
- Use a gentle alarm. Waking up to the jarring sound of beeping isn’t the ideal way to get up in the morning. Instead, get an alarm clock that wakes you up gently and more naturally.
- Keep it dark. You’ll get your best sleep in a cool, dark space, so make sure your bedroom fits the bill.
- Try white noise. If you just can’t seem to drift off to sleep, consider white noise or the sound of waves.
- Choose a soothing color. You might love bright red but it might not make the best bedroom color. Stick with cooler, more relaxing colors where you sleep.
- Kick out stressful activities like work and bills. Don’t allow stressful things to follow you to bed. Instead, finish them before you head to sleep.
- Turn the clock away. The glare of your alarm clock can make your sleep less restful. Turn it away for better sleep.
- Buy a great mattress. You are going to spend more time in your bed than anywhere in your house so make sure it’s comfortable by investing in a good, comfortable mattress.
- Don’t skimp on bedding. Your bedding should feel like a treat to get into every night, so skip the scratchy sheets and go for higher quality.
- Keep your phone at bay. All the beeps and vibrations made by your phone can wake you up at night. If you can, keep it at a distance from where you sleep.
- Add a rug. In the depths of winter it can be hard to want to put your feet on a cold floor. Invest in a nice rug to make it more pleasant.
- Get slippers. Slippers will keep your feet comfy as you relax around the house.
- Dim the lights. Installing a dimmer in your room can help prepare your body for sleep.
Whether you love to cook or hate it, these tips will make your kitchen a more pleasant place to be.
- Keep frequently used items in reach. That way you won’t have to break out a chair or search for them while you’re cooking.
- Plan meals. Not having to rush to figure out what you’re going to make for dinner can take a load off of your mind.
- Listen to music while you work. Make being in the kitchen fun by turning on some tunes.
- Take care of dishes right away. It might seem counterintuitive, but leaving the dishes for later can actually stress you out more. Do them, then relax with nothing to worry about.
- Use a crock pot. Crock pots are a great way to have dinner ready and waiting for you when you get home.
- Cook outdoors. Don’t heat up your kitchen in the summer months. Instead, enjoy a delicious grilled meal outdoors.
- Get rid of foods that make you feel guilty. If you’re trying to be healthy and your kitchen is filled with junk food it can become a place you dread. Get rid of those guilt inducing foods and replace them with healthy alternatives.
- Grow fresh herbs. You’ll get to not only use them in your cooking but enjoy the sight and sound of them in your kitchen as well.
- Put a squishy mat in front of the sink. This will make it much more comfortable to stand and do dishes.
- Get clutter off of the counters. You don’t need to look at all your kitchen appliances every day. Clear out clutter to make your kitchen more zen.
Turn your bathroom into your personal spa using these tips.
- Invest in bath salts and bubbles. These can turn a plain bath experience into something much more relaxing.
- Use a towel warmer. Getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself in a warm towel is an incredibly soothing experience.
- Place candles around the bath. If you plan on indulging in a long bath, place candles around the tub to set the mood.
- Get a shower radio. You can make your bathroom a friendlier place with a shower radio tuned to your favorite station.
- Buy a new shower head. A shower head that’s big and lets you really enjoy taking a shower can be an indulgence well worth the cost.
- Throw out old bath stuff. There’s no sense in cluttering up your bathroom with old stuff you don’t use or that’s gone bad. Throw it out and give your bathroom a clean sweep.
- Find fluffy towels. Big, comfy bath towels will take the pain out of getting up early for work.
- Steam it up. You can turn your bathroom into a sauna by closing the door and turning the tap on hot.
- Find products that pamper. There are loads of bathroom products out there that can help you primp and feel pampered right in your own home.
- Make your tub a spa. Invest in some tub accessories and create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom with music and light to get the full on spa experience.
Ensure your living space is as therapeutic as it can be with these tips.
- Use slipcovers. Slipcovers can not only spruce up old furniture but they can also make you less worries about spills and stains.
- Put up pictures you love. Hanging up pictures you love will make you happy every time you walk into a room.
- Stack your favorite books. Keep you favorite books and magazines on your coffee table to make it a friendlier space.
- Choose a mood. What kind of mood do you want in your home? People find different things relaxing so figure out what you want your home to feel like.
- Keep things casual. If your home is too formal you can feel uncomfortable truly relaxing.
- Invest in a comfy chair. There’s nothing like a comfy chair or recliner to kick back in at the end of the day.
- Lighten up. Brighter colors and lighter woods can help create an airier, more spa-like feel in your home.
- Simplify. You likely don’t need everything you have in your home and you don’t need it all out at once. Pare down and simplify to make things look nice.
- Add some pillows and throws. Make your home cozier by placing pillows and throws on the furniture.
- Play with light. Light can do a lot to change the feeling of a room. Remove harsh lighting, get new curtains and try different types of lamps to get the kind of mood you want.
- Turn down the volume. Blaring TVs and radios can make any room seem disorienting, so turn it down and relax to a lower volume instead.
If you’ve got to work at home, keep it relaxed with these ideas.
- Choose an inspiring wallpaper. Find a desktop wallpaper that is relaxing or inspires you to work.
- Accent your view. If your home office has a window, make sure to showcase it.
- Add a little green. A few plants can really make your office space seem a lot more relaxing.
- Hang up motivational pictures. This doesn’t have to mean stocking up on Successories pictures. It can be anything from photos of your family to those of a peaceful beach.
- Invest in good lighting. Poor lighting can mean putting a lot of strain on your eyes and giving you headaches.
- Clean up before you call it a day. Keeping your office ordered will make it seem like a more pleasant place to be.
- Go ergonomic. Make sure your office chair and desk are ergonomic so they support your neck and back.
- Keep the office separate. Work shouldn’t intrude on your home life, so keep your office separate even if you don’t have room to dedicate solely to work.
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