Home Decor

5 Habits To Help You Feel More At Home…At Home

Your mom was right: Making your bed makes a big difference.

Picture of a cozy living room with a fire place for article on how to enjoy your home more

Photo, Sian Richards.

There’s something about coming home to a clean house that instantly lowers my stress level — and I know I’m not alone. I’ve found that doing small things every day to maintain order in my home keeps me feeling organized and way less mentally cluttered. Here are the habits I try to practice daily or weekly to ensure my abode feels like a relaxing place to be.

1. Make your bed every morning. The smallest things make a huge difference. Your bedroom floor could look like a hurricane recently passed over it, but with a tucked-and-tidy bed, the space looks that much more put together. Take two minutes out of your morning to make sure you have a fresh bed to crawl into every evening. Who doesn’t love that? (Answer: no one.)

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2. Celebrate small luxuries. Even if your home isn’t exactly a Pinterest fantasy, make do with what you have. Light a candle, put on a simmer pot, or spring for a really nice hand soap or tea towel to make your space feel special.

3. The dishes: just do them. Do it now is my new, broadly applicable daily mantra. I adopted it after reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project — it’s one of her Twelve Personal Commandments. The theory is simple: Rather than putting off tedious tasks, get them done right away so they’re not hanging over your head. It works! Plus, the feeling of just getting chores over with is so much less painful than the anxiety I’d experience from procrastinating.

4. Toss as you go. I’m not a big fan of clutter, which is probably why Marie Kondo is my imaginary BFF. Get in the habit of letting things go. When I notice a duplicate utensil as I’m sifting through my kitchen drawers, I place it in a donation or garbage bag. The same goes for tea mugs, old bills, or just garden variety stuff that I accumulate but never use. Why sift through a huge mound of junk when you could just find things?

5. Dedicate one day a week to housework. Your home should be a place you enjoy, not where you exist in various states of clean-up. Try allocating one day for big stuff like vacuuming, washing and dusting. Plus, now that you’re tidying little by little, your big clean won’t seem as daunting.

Watch: How to organize a junk drawer

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