We’ve seen an incredible change in the landscape of our country these last few weeks in so many communities. There has been protesting, educating, learning, reading, calling, organizing (the other kind) and more. And we are HERE for it.
And while we continue to learn and grow both personally and professionally, we also know that in times of change or disruption, we each need a space that provides us a sense of calm.
And so, dear community, we have a few tips to help you maintain some peace inside your homes as you continue to fight the chaos of life.
These are the easy, no-brainer changes that we think can have a real impact on your space.
Designate A Home For Your Must-Haves
We’re talking about anything that you might normally rush around the house looking for in the morning. This list often includes items such as:
Create a space for these items. This could be as simple as putting a hook on your wall or a basket on your table. And then just be sure to place your items in this spot EVERY TIME.
The goal is to save yourself the stress and energy of not being able to find things by knowing exactly where they are at all times. Remember, this is a habit that will be built over time. Consistency is key!
Make Your Bed
It’s a tired suggestion (pun intended!) but one that we really stand by. It takes two minutes to make your bed (we counted!), and it will actually change the way you look at your room. It’s harder to add clutter to a space that is tidy — so if you often throw clothes on your bed and the floor, you might see a change in your behavior when your bed looks put together every day.
And at the end of the night, you’ll be happier to just slide under the covers without any fuss.
Bring In Some Life
Adding greenery to your home might sound underwhelming, but it’s scientifically proven to reduce stress and positively impact your mood. If you’re associating plants with a lot of extra work, we’ve got you! There are tons of plants that are super low-key to care for and that can even tolerate a little neglect, including:
- Snake Plant
- Ponytail Palm
- ZZ Plant
- Spider Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
If living creatures are too much for you or outside of your budget, snag some cut flowers or greenery for your space. Look no further than your own yard… or consider asking a neighbor (or your local hyper-gifting Buy Nothing community) for a few yard clippings every now and then.
Add Natural Light
We are completely guilty of forgetting about this one… but when we remember, it’s kind of like magic.
When we’re working from home or prepping dinner/kids/homework, it can be easy to feel like our space is a bubble and to disconnect from everything outside of the to-do list inside of that bubble.
But opening the blinds, windows and even the doors can let a whole lot of light in… both literally and figuratively. And again, it’s one of those easy-to-do things that has a big impact on your mental health. It can remind us that there’s life and community outside our own doors. Just a simple breeze and a little sunlight can have such a positive impact on your mood.
Do your work close to a window — or spend your reading time there!
These are the more time-intensive tips, but ones that will have a big and long lasting impact on the calm of your home.
Designate A Home For EVERYTHING In Your Entryway
This is like the first tip, but much bigger. The entryway of your home is the place where most of us are apt to drop everything that we bring in the door. And the more people who live in your home, the more stuff you will inevitably have to deal with.
Take a look at that space right now — are there shoes, bags, coats, toys, mail, keys or paperwork lining any of the surfaces?
Set aside an afternoon to work on creating a system here. Consider wall hooks or a coat rack for jackets and bags. Establish a basket or bin for mail. Get a shoe rack or repurpose a large basket for shoe storage.
Don’t let anything live in this space that doesn’t have a specific home or purpose… and know that there’s no “one-size fits all” method here. It can look however and encompass whatever your family needs!
Pare Your Items Down
Clutter, both visual and hidden, is one of the biggest stressors to a home.
We recommend that you pick one space at a time — start with your most troublesome area — and begin to edit your items, even if you don’t have time to organize it! The less you have of things you don’t really need, the less there is to tidy and put away.
Free up physical and visual space… and take note of how that impacts you!
Get The Items You Need
We don’t want this tip to be misleading or cost-prohibitive. This doesn’t mean that we’re encouraging you to do a full bedroom makeover or to invest in an expensive piece of furniture. What we’re asking is that you think about any necessities that you are missing — items that would make your home life easier/safer/more comfortable.
For example, perhaps you don’t have enough closet storage, but you also don’t have space or a budget for a dresser. Would an inexpensive closet rod expander make a difference? Could you implement plastic, underbed storage boxes to create room for your clothes?
All too often, we just become used to living with broken items or flawed systems in our homes. And it never feels good to work around something.
Take it one space and one item at a time. Question whether each item is something that you need or want — and always take care of the needs first.
And take care of yourself, too! We work better and smarter when we meet our own needs, so we encourage you to take breaks when you need them.
And as always, we’re here if you need any help!
Cover image by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash
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