We are always looking for ways to reduce stress and bring calm into our home. Katy Beskow shares her simple tips for peaceful living
1. Declutter your home
Are the drawers struggling to close? Whether it’s in the kitchen, bedroom or lounge, it’s time to remove some of the ‘visual noise’ that creates stress and stops you from finding what you’re looking for when you really need it.
Start small, with just a drawer, cupboard or wardrobe, and remove what you no longer want, or need.
It’s a good rule of thumb to remove something from your home before purchasing anything new. Donate or sell unwanted items from your decluttering purge.
Give everything a place in your home, whether it’s the TV remote, hairbrush, or coffee machine. Aim to keep worktops as clear as possible, and organise items in baskets, trays, or in cupboard space.
If your kitchen cupboards or freezer are bulging, write an inventory and meal plan to use up what you already have, which will reduce food waste, save you money, and help you to reorganise without throwing away any food.
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3. Neutral colours
Neutral colours immediately transform a room into a calming space, so opt for earthy tones such as beige, light green, clay pink, or greys.
If you’ve got no plans to redecorate this year, refresh a room with neutral-toned soft furnishings, such as cushions and soft wool-free throws.
Your home can feel calmer and more spacious when the rooms flow together with a consistent neutral colour palette throughout, so it’s worth choosing versatile colours that can be carried through into other rooms and living areas.
4. Air your worries
There’s nothing like the freshness of a well-ventilated house, so crack open the windows, even just for a few minutes during the winter.
Although there’s nothing cosy or calm about a cold house, it’s good to refresh your space naturally, eliminate household odours, and have a flow of fresh air to invigorate your energy levels.
Spray a few drops of peppermint essential oil on window ledges for a stimulating fragrance.
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5. Get green
Bring nature into your home with a few house plants around living spaces.
Not only will this connect you with the great outdoors and create visual calmness, but they work to produce oxygen and cleaner air indoors.
With some nurture from you, sunlight, and when kept out of the draught, house plants will surprise you with their abilities to grow season after season.
If you’re not green-fingered, consider low maintenance plants such as peace lilies, spider plants, and cacti.
6. Get into routine
Every evening before you go to bed, spend just 5 minutes tidying living spaces, so you can start tomorrow with a fresh slate.
There’s nothing better than walking into a tidy and clean living space first thing in the morning – it’s a stress-free way to start the day.
In your nighttime tidying routine, include packing away any children’s toys, doing the washing up, clearing papers, and putting away anything that will not serve your morning.
Those 5 minutes can make all the difference to your morning – your future self will thank you!
7. Let in the light
Ceiling downlights provide bright but harsh light – useful for work and play on dark days, but less calming in the evening.
Consider layered lighting, including lamps and even candles, to produce softer light as needed, for a more soothing effect.
Make the most of natural daylight by fully opening curtains/blinds; observing natural daylight patterns helps you feel more in-tune with your body clock, for a calmer day through to the evening.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that a pleasant, calm aroma can turn a house into a home, giving you that “I’m home” feeling as soon as you walk through the door.
Choose from soy-based, vegan scented candles, natural reed diffusers (ensure cruelty-free), or essential oils warmed in tealight/electric diffusers.
Whether to uplift, relax, or create a seasonal scent, mix and match fragrances for a calming atmosphere to suit your mood.
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Although it’s lovely to have special photos and art hanging on the walls, it can quickly become visual clutter that can interrupt the sense of calm in your home.
If you feel the walls are becoming overfilled, remove everything temporarily, and take in the decluttered space for at least one week.
This will allow you to understand what (if anything) you wish to return to hanging on the wall. You can store other photos in albums or digitally, and donate any unwanted artwork.
10. Work and play
With more people working from home (sometimes multiple people in one house) it is important to separate workspace from relaxation space.
We don’t all have the luxury of a home office we can close the door on at the end of a working day, and many people have a makeshift desk on a kitchen or dressing table.
Disconnect from your job by sticking to working hours, placing your laptop/equipment in a drawer, turning off the work phone, and clearing work-related ‘mess’ before you relax for the evening.
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