Your home is your safe haven, a place you go to relax, escape, and enjoy the company of loved ones. But homes aren’t always so peaceful and precious, in fact sometimes they can cause more stress in our lives. So we’ve uncovered a few little hacks that’ll help boost your happiness at home and involve the whole family while you’re at it.
Studies show that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that make up our days – without totally overhauling our lives in the process. These tricks are a surefire way to up the joy, ditch the negative vibes, and turn your home into the happy place it should be.
Down with clutter
Did you think we’d do a story on household happiness that didn’t include decluttering? As much as this mundane activity seems to drop the happiness factor down a few notches, ditching unwanted clutter and unnecessary stuff will reward you tenfold once it’s done. Whether you do it in short bursts or devote the whole weekend, the act of removing things that don’t spark joy (thanks Marie Kondo) and choosing to keep things that bring a smile to your face will leave your home feeling wonderful and light.
Clutter in the home causes stress, be it a tattered side table or too many ‘things’ on the bookshelf, and it has no place in your happy home. So donate that old gift you’ve kept out of obligation and those clothes you haven’t worn in years; it’ll make a world of difference to everyone’s mood – and will lighten the cleaning load for the future!
It’s the little things that count
How often do you leap out of bed to start the day without making the bed? Don’t worry, we do it too. But according to bestselling author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, the simple task of making the bed each morning can have a huge positive impact on your daily attitude and mood.
Another trick to boosting the happiness factor in your home is by doing nice things for others – without expecting anything in return. Think of it as a good deed, regardless of how little the deed is or whether you get praise for doing it. Maybe you clean up those two plates in the sink, take out the garbage, make the bed for your wife or pop some fresh flowers on the dining table; the energy will naturally rub off on everyone else in the house.
Give every space a purpose
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have no doubt heard all the research that says bedrooms should only be for sleeping. On top of that, studies show people who get more sleep have a stronger sense of wellbeing than those with less sleep. You too can ramp up your sleep quality by decluttering the bedroom, removing screens and technology, swapping your phone for an old-school alarm clock, and getting a lush mattress – or at least sheets that leave you feeling pampered.
But why stop at the bedroom? Have a designated dining space to share meals with your family (without the TV in the background), a clean kitchen space that inspires creative cooking, and a living space that’s primed for relaxation. If you have a spare room or corner of the house, consider turning it into a ‘happy place’ – free from clutter or distractions, with soft furniture and natural light that’s perfect for anyone in the family to use, whether they’re reading, writing in a journal, listening to a podcast, or just need a quiet place to sit.
Create mindful moments
Doing a bunch of things at once doesn’t exactly evoke a calming, happy mood – so why do we do it? To boost the happiness of your home, why not get the whole household on board with more mindful moments. By that, we mean doing just one thing at a time, but doing it well and with your full attention. Not only does it help calm the nervous system and bolster your mood, it makes you more productive and efficient than if you were juggling five things poorly.
So make mealtimes just for eating with the family, wash the dishes contently, enjoying the view from the kitchen window or the warmth of the water, spend time outside on the grass looking at the clouds or playing with the dog. Savour these moments of peacefulness – and watch your happiness grow exponentially.
If you want to take it a step further, start a gratitude journal, either personally or with the rest of your household. Each day, write one thing you’re grateful for – your favourite song on the radio, birds frolicking in the yard, a great coffee or beautiful weather. It’ll help your mood lift and remind you of the precious little things we don’t often notice.
Bring the outdoors in
Nothing lights up a room more than a piece of the great outdoors. And it’s not just a popular opinion; research shows there’s stacks of positive effects that come with filling your house with nature. The benefits include heightened mood, better physical health, fresher air, and stress reduction. Pop down to your local Bunnings or nursery and pick up some hardy indoor plants that make you smile – and then scatter them all around the house.
The same goes for natural light and fresh air, too. Try and let as much natural light in each day, yanking those curtains and blinds open first thing in the morning, as well as opening windows regularly to air out the house and bridge the gap between inside and out. The impact on your happiness levels will stun you.
The list of mood-enhancing tricks for the home is endless, and if we listed everything we’d be here all day! But by making just a few small changes around the house and getting the family on board, you’ll find ways to spark joy for the whole household. Before you know it, your house will be a happy little haven that you can’t wait to come home to.