Four ways to turn your house into a home
A house isn’t a home unless you feel cosy and comfortable. Whether you’re moving into a new home or making changes to the home you’ve lived in for years, these tips will help you create a cosy, comfortable place you can call home.
Declutter, purge, rinse, repeat
The fastest way to make your house feel more like a home is to declutter and purge. That includes your wardrobe. If you’ve been feeling low-level anxiety on a regular basis, but don’t know where it’s coming from, it could be caused by clutter. Science says clutter causes stress and affects cortisol levels, creativity, ability to focus, and the way we experience pain.
“Chronic clutter can create prolonged stress, throwing us into a state of low-grade, perpetual fight-or-flight – the system designed to help us survive,” says Ann-Marie Gembelin from mother.ly. Being in a constant state of fight-or-flight throws our physical and psychological health off-balance.
Repeat the decluttering process regularly
When taking up the task of purging items you don’t need, make sure to go through the process multiple times. Not on the same day, but rather, over a period of time.
For example, once you purge the garage, wait a month and go through your stuff again. You’ll see through a fresh pair of eyes and as you let go of more items around the house, you’ll be more likely to let go of items you didn’t want to give up in the past.
Get something you’ve wanted for a long time
What have you always wanted to get for your home, but haven’t made the effort to obtain? A big-screen TV mounted to the wall? A smart refrigerator? A new wood stove? An electric recliner with cup holders? A fancy coffee maker? Whatever you’ve been wanting to get for your house, now is the time.
You don’t need to go all out with expensive gadgets and appliances, but if you have the money and you’ve been holding back, go get it. Your house will become more enjoyable when you splurge a little.
Look for ideas on HGTV
Whether you look online or watch TV, you will find endless ideas for inspiration from HGTV. One of the most counterintuitive suggestions you’ll find from HGTV is to create a “lived-in” look.
Forget about covering the couch with plastic and stashing everything in drawers and behind closed doors. A house doesn’t feel like home unless it feels like somebody lives in the home.
If you’re worried about clutter, you don’t need to litter every surface area with books, potted plants and DVDs. Just keep the items you use most out where they’re accessible. Showcase your hobbies. If you knit, keep a stash of yarn by your recliner. If you’re an artist, keep your art supplies on a table in the living room. Organisation skills will prevent it from becoming clutter.
Install good overhead lighting and open the blinds/curtains often
You’d be surprised to see how much lighting can change the way a home feels. Open your curtains or blinds as often as possible to allow natural sunlight into the house. Install overhead lighting that emits natural light (not fluorescent or LED bulbs) to make your rooms light up.
If you’re strongly affected by a lack of sunlight, experts recommend using a lightbox to blast a few minutes of bright light each morning. Lightboxes that emit the same frequency as the sun have been shown to elevate mood and re-energise people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
To take it one step further, turn off the lights at sunset and try sleeping and waking according to the sun.
Time Magazine’s Guide to Happiness points out that “messing up the normal light and dark cycles by sleeping during the day and being awake at night, under artificial light, can disrupt the body’s metabolism. That can have domino effects on nearly everything: how we break down energy from food, how strong our immune systems are and the vast array of brain chemicals and other substances that contribute to mood, weight, energy, and more.”
You can’t get natural sunlight through the window, since UVB doesn’t penetrate glass, but you can limit your exposure to artificial light and boost your mood accordingly.
Make your home your personal space
Turning your house into a home will make you enjoy the time you spend in your home winding down after work and will make your meals more enjoyable. If you make your home cosy enough, you might even start to enjoy doing housework. Well, maybe.
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