CREATE THE ULTIMATE RETREAT AND INVITE MORE JOY INTO LIFE WITH THESE 10 SMALL CHANGES TO MAKE YOUR HOME A HAPPY PLACE.
Your home should be your happy place. A space that comforts you where you can be yourself. A retreat where you find peace and create happy memories you can smile about for years to come. And sometimes all it takes is a few tiny changes to make your home your happiest place of all.
Why is it so important to build a home you love?
Because you need joy in your life. And building a home that delights you can impact your life in more ways than one.
A happy environment replaces stress and anxiety with peace and relaxation.
Your overall mood increases. You start to have a more positive outlook on life. Feelings of dread dwindle and you find happiness in everything (even putting that load of laundry in the dryer).
You start to feel more in control of your life.
And what’s best, creating a home you love is simple! Find inspiration with these 10 small changes that’ll make your home a happy place and cozy all year round.
1. Keep it (relatively) clean
Make it a priority to keep your home clean. Let’s be realistic about it though, this doesn’t mean everything has to be 100% clean all the time. (Because we’re not robots. We’ve got lives to live.) But what it can mean is spending 10 minutes tidying up something every day.
And because it’s pretty impossible to keep the entire house spotless, try this: Challenge yourself to keep one area of the house clean most of the time.
Does something bother you more than anything else? Couch covered in pet fur? Sink full of dishes? Unsightly bathroom countertop?
Choose that space and put your effort into keeping it fresh, clean and guest-ready.
Stash away your favorite cleaning supplies to make the process easier. My favorite? A lambswool duster (like this one). I’m not exaggerating when I say this duster has changed my life when it comes to cleaning. Dusting is now fun, I kid you not. And getting rid of dust will instantly freshen up your space.
2. Banish clutter
Clutter sets you up for overwhelm and anxiety. Plus, it’s a huge productivity suck. If you’re not trying to navigate around it, you’re looking at it wondering how in the world you have so much “stuff.”
Anything that’s trash or no longer essential? That’s clutter.
Some of it’s easier to ID, like 5-year old lipstick or expired meds. But other things are more difficult to let go of, whether you’re hanging onto it for sentimental reasons or are convinced you’ll need it again (even though you haven’t touched it in years).
Throw away trash and recycle whatever you can. Everything else can be given away, donated, or sold at a garage sale or online to make some extra cash.
If you’re struggling to get rid of things you’re attached to, read these rules from Good Housekeeping on ditching sentimental clutter.
3. Organize (at least a little)
What’s out of place? What needs a dedicated place? What can you buy or DIY that’ll help you organize your stuff better?
Anytime is a good time or organize. And don’t feel like you have to organize everything all at once. A good practice is to take baby steps because not only does organizing take way more time than you originally expected, but focusing on one section at a time will keep stress to a minimum.
Check out Abby Lawson’s article (video included) on how to organize every space in your house for a solid plan on how to tackle this task.
Here’s a tip: If your organizing is going to be a big to-do, clear out the clutter first to make the process easier and less stressful.
4. Show off happy memories
Remembering good times and loved ones is an instant mood booster, so go ahead and put your favorite memories on display.
Choose photographs that bring a smile to your heart and help you remember how blessed you are.
Another option is to decorate your space with objects that hold a story. Think a collection of champagne corks saved over the years, a caricature of you and your hubby or a family heirloom. Anything attached to an experience, event or person that brings you warm fuzzies!
5. Invite amazing smells
There are a few ways to go about making your house smell amazing.
Keep it clean. But beyond the basic routine of vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the bathroom and so on, give a little love to what you neglect more often than not. Dusty fans, never-been-washed curtains, month-old fridge food and grimy garbage disposals are a few common culprits of funky house smell.
Open the windows to circulate some fresh air. It’s 100% natural (and free!).
Use fragrance. From candles and room sprays to essential oil diffusers and stovetop potpourri, here’s where you can really go wild and have some fun. Because toxins sneak into just about everything, check out these 18 DIY ways to make your house smell incredible at Brit + Co if you like to keep things au naturel.
6. Dedicate a space in your home for fun and games
Life keeps us pretty busy, but I guarantee there will be a time when you’re looking for something fun to do that’s out of the norm.
Maybe a storm has you cooped up inside, or a group of friends is asking what else you got in the way of entertainment. Perhaps you’ve binged watched everything good on TV and are out of new ideas.
The solution? Dedicate one drawer or corner of your hall closet to games and backup entertainment. Stash away a deck of playing cards, Scrabble, a puzzle or a few of your favorite board games.
7. Add cozy touches
Level up the cozy factor in your home with throws and decorative pillows on your bed and sofa, plus a rug here or there. You’ll instantly add a little texture, a few pops of color and a whole lot of comfort.
And really, there’s nothing quite like wrapping yourself in a blanket burrito or snuggling up to a mountain of couch pillows.
If you want to be an actual burrito? Well then you absolutely need this taco blanket on Amazon.
8. Bring in natural light
Natural light instantly makes a space feel more open and cheery.
And guess what? Natural light comes with extra perks. It’s been known to ward off depression, improve sleep and boost productivity.
Make it a point to open the curtains and lift up the shades. Hang mirrors in places that’ll catch and release sunlight to dial up the brightness in your space. Paint your walls light colors that have a light reflectance value (LRV) higher up on the scale, which means it’ll reflect more of the room’s natural and artificial light.
9. Create an outdoor retreat
What better way to enjoy the sun and the breeze than with a cozy outdoor retreat that makes you feel happy, relaxed and rejuvenated?
Dress up your patio, porch or balcony with plants, outdoor decor, colorful seating and rugs. Strand lights across your patio overhang or from tree to tree. Hang up a wind chime.
Here’s a few more ideas:
- Brightly colored planters for your succulents, flowers or greenery (plus self watering globes if you like to send plants to plant heaven more often than not)
- French-style bistro table
- Mosaic side table
- Glass hummingbird feeder — this is the exact one I’m using right now and it’s darling, plus the birds love it!
- Jute rug
- Outdoor fire pit
10. Rearrange furniture
Rearranging furniture in your home is the best kind of moving party—no moving trucks, sore muscles or bribing friends with pizza required! All you need is a quick plan of action, plus a helper to shuffle around any heavy pieces.
You know how every day is kind of a routine? Well when you’ve been living in the same place for some time, even that space can start to feel a little humdrum after a while.
This is exactly why rearranging a few pieces of furniture (or even an entire room) can feel rejuvenating. It’s almost like buying new furniture—without the price tag. Your house gets a makeover and you enjoy a boost in your mood and creativity.
And not only can it make you feel happier and improve the flow of a room, but it’s the perfect chance to declutter, organize and clear out dust bunnies and cat toys in hiding.
More happy home tips
The last thing you want to do is become overwhelmed in the process of creating a home you can call your happy place. Here are a few extra tips to make creating your dream home a breeze:
- Spruce up where you hang out the most first. Think about where you spend most of your time. Is it your living room, kitchen or home office? Start there first.
- Take baby steps. Don’t feel like you have to change everything all at once. Imagine what would bring you the most joy. For example, does clutter stress you out the most? Tackle that before anything else and go from there.
- Don’t break the bank. You don’t have to spend wads of cash to make you home a happy place. Shop sales and clearances, check out local thrift stores and sign up for emails to get coupons from your favorite home improvement and decor stores.
- Have fun! Enjoy building a home you love, and take pride in the care and effort you put into it. Remember, it’s your retreat and a place to create happy memories, so make it your own and love the journey!