After the seemingly endless vacations, late night pool parties, and shop-til-you-drop shopping, it's always a relief to come home and finally rest up. But as soon as you walk in the door, you're greeted with dirty dishes in the sink, clothes sprawled out all over the floor, and and endless pile of mail and bills. Instead of calming relaxation, you're sent into a complete panic!
By setting up your space with care and establishing a few simple routines, you can turn your home into a stress-free home.
Take these ten tips to heart to easily turn your home into a totally zen environment.
Get Rid Of Clutter
image: Amber Interiors
"When your home is [disorderly], it can inhibit your mood and make you feel anxious," Raven Ishak says in an article on The Every Girl. A clear mind starts with a clear environment. So one thing I like to do before bed is going around the house and picking up items that are out of place. Ishak adds, "This will relax your mind and prevent that morning anxiety boost when you first wake up."
Start by looking at the cluttered areas in your home and ask yourself if you really need all those end tables or pictures frames. Challenge yourself to get rid of at least 35 percent of those items and cut anything deemed nonessential. By adding more negative space to your home, you're creating a sense of peace to areas that were too busy before.
Don't Let Small Chores Pile Up
image: Jillian Harris
It's easy to put off small chores with work, friends and a never-ending to-do list. But when your hamper starts overflowing and you're struggling to carry it to the laundry room, getting it done will seem even more daunting. Knowing you have a system in place for keeping the house neat and tidy can be a great source of relaxation.
Ask yourself what the hallmarks of "clean" are to you — for some, it may be a perfectly scrubbed kitchen; for me it's clean floors and clutter-free counters. Stay on top of your chores so they don't grow into overwhelming tasks.
Create A Space To Recharge
image: Morning Lavender
One main reason you may feel like your environment is stressful is because you don't know where to slow down and recharge. But it's so important for us to have our own personal space where we can spend time away from others and quiet our thoughts.
Pick an area in your home — whether you have a whole spare room to yourself, a quiet window seat or the sinfully comfortable recliner in your den — anywhere that enables you to relax and quiet your thoughts. When you start feeling stressed out from every day life, go to your spot and do whatever helps you relax, like reading a book. Even if it's just to read a book for 20 minutes, use this space to unwind and recharge for whatever the day holds.
Incorporate Lots Of Natural Lighting
image: Style Me Pretty
Ever notice how different your mood is when you leave your blinds and curtains open during sunny days as opposed to closed? Writer for Huffington Post, Amy Marturana says, "Studies have shown that thepresence of natural light indoors has overwhelmingly positive effects on health (and stress specifically)." Plus, more sunlight ensures a good supply of Vitamin D which can help you to feel more calm, happier and can even help you get a good night's sleep.
Start making a conscious effort to push aside the curtains, roll up the blinds and let the sunlight shine through.
Make Your Bed Everyday
image: Style By Emily Henderson
"The state of your bed reflects the state of your head," says Zen Buddhist priest and author Karen Maezen Miller. Coming home to a messy, cluttered bed can really put a damper on an already stressful day. But the simple task of making my bed every day gives me a clear vision for the day ahead.
If it's not already a habit, resolve to begin smoothing your sheets each morning. You don't have to go all out; just putting the sheets and pillows back in place. Taking a moment to smooth those covers can make your whole day run more smoothly, right down to sliding into the crisply made sheets.
Stick With A Serene Color Palette
image: My Domaine
Use restraint with wild patterns and bold colors. This is not to say that homes with soft pastels and limited patterns are the only ones that feel calming. But, generally speaking, the more colors and patterns there are in a room, the less restful it will feel.
Start becoming more aware of how different colors impact you and try to find a balance. If you like mixing patterns, keep their color scheme similar; if you like using lots of color, keep the patterns to a minimum.
Add Some Greenery
image: Design Loves Detail
Walk into a home filled with houseplants, and you're bound to instantly feel more relaxed. Numerous studies have shown that houseplants add fresh oxygen to the air and remove toxins. But beyond plants' air-purifying effects, the act of tending to living plants or arranging cut flowers is a wonderful way to let go of some stress.
Even if you aren't blessed with a green thumb, you can still add some greenery with low-maintenance plants. For example, fiddle leaf figs are super trendy and are great for putting in a sunny room. You can even place a plant or two in the bathroom, like a Boston fern, which loves humid environments. Don't let your black thumb stop you!
Set Boundaries With Technology
image: Monika Hibbs
Constant pings and alerts have a tendency to keep us on edge. Instead of scrolling through social media or binge-watching your favorite show as soon as you get home, give your eyes and mind some rest. By designating different areas for play, work and rest, you're creating "an automatic cue to your subconscious informing you that it is time for a specific activity," says Veranda editor, Lindsey Campbell. "This will help to construct a space that supports balance and harmony."
I spend all day on a computer at my full-time job, then I come home and get right onto my laptop. So lately I've been making a conscious effort to set boundaries for when and where electronics are used. One of my rules has always been not to bring my laptop into bed (though sometimes I break that rule). And on Sundays, I only allow myself three hours on my laptop. Start with small steps and build from there.
Keep Your Fridge & Pantry Stocked With Real Food
image: Monika Hibbs
When our schedules are packed, it's so efficient to stop and grab something quick (not to mention unhealthy) for dinner instead of making a home-cooked meal. But depriving our bodies of nutrients on top of stress can take a toll on our immune system. Plus, keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients and snacks is often cheaper than takeout.
Organize your pantry so your healthier snack options are in the front and put junk food in the back. This way, you'll be less likely to reach for the unhealthy options if they are out of sight. Another quick tip: Don't eat from containers! It's easy to keep eating when we don't portion out our snacks. And I think we all know the stress we feel from thinking that we ate too much.
Fill Each Room With Things You Love
image: Vivian Johnson Photography
You probably have memories associated with your couch or the picture hanging over your desk. So as you go around decluttering your home, you'll want to get rid of anything that you associate with negative feelings or experiences. If your couch is one you and your ex bought together, it may be time for a new one. Veranda editor Lindsey Campbell says, "by removing this 'bad mojo' you will be one step closer to creating a serene space."
At the same time, your home doesn't necessarily have to be trendy or perfectly styled; it's more about finding a balance of comfort, good design, and blending the two together. The great thing is you get to fill your home with things that speak to you, open your eyes, and stimulate your mind. Invest in pieces you love and that represent who you are.