We’ve all heard the old but popular phrases: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” and “happy wife, happy life,” but what happens when mom is in charge of making the home a comfortable space? Cliches are cute, but they aren’t always constructive.
As women and moms, we have the privilege and power to set the thermostat and influence the mood in our homes. The degree of joy, peace, and happiness in our home is a direct measure of our physical, spiritual, and mental well-being.
Our homes reflect the level of stress and overwhelm we feel so I have a few recommendations to help you become more intentional about creating a happy home where your friends and family can enjoy gathering.
I recognize adding one more thing to your to-do list seems to encourage the overwhelm. Rest assured. No one wants to dread going home to a second to-do list. These tips will give you something to look forward to, regardless of how tiresome your day may have been.
Creating a happy home is a daily journey that will help you prepare yourself, your children, and your home for a great day. Get ready, though. I can’t promise your house won’t become the most popular house in the neighborhood once you implement these tips.
Here are thirteen ways we can create a happy home:
Sound therapy is growing in popularity for a reason. It reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Nothing changes the atmosphere of a home like the sound of music.
We use music to inspire productivity and romance, so why not use it to enhance the joy we feel in our home throughout the day?
According to Inc.com, studies conducted by Daniel Levitin, in partnership with Sonos and Apple Music, found that people who listened to music aloud were eleven percent happier than those who didn’t.
Twenty-four percent even reported feeling less irritable when they listened to music aloud in their homes.
2. Pay Attention to Color Psychology
Did you know that specific colors have been associated with increased blood pressure? Very Well Mind reports that color is a powerful communication tool, and it can influence your mood.
Demonstrate as much intentionality when you choose your decor as when you choose your business’ branding colors.
Think about what emotion you want to feel in your home. Do you want warmth and comfort when you step into your home? Or do you want to enjoy a calm, fresh space?
The colors you select will impact your ability to create a happy home.
3. Look at Your Lighting
Lighting holds the power to boost your mood, just like color. It can change those cool whites to warm tones a lot faster than you’ve ever taken the time to think about before. And that is why we’re taking the time now.
Accent lighting can highlight your favorite pieces and focus your guest’s attention on conversation starters that flow naturally into other areas of interest.
Candles can inspire comfort, natural light can ward off depression, and dimmers can improve your sleep. Consider lighting the next time you think about what emotion you want your rooms to evoke.
4. Cultivate greenery
Whether you live in Las Vegas or New York City, you can cultivate greenery in the most unlikely places. In fact, it’s something you should prioritize. Studies show that indoor plants boost your mood and improve your concentration.
Plants are great ways to beautify your space and have even been proven to decrease loneliness. However, you can still enjoy nature even if you don’t feel like you have a green thumb.
Next time you pick up a book, take it outside and read it while you breathe in nature’s remedy for fatigue, sadness, and negativity.
5. Choose Minimalism
Stuff can be a sign that we enjoy life. It can speak to the various activities which keep us busy. It can also remind us of the beautiful interactions we shared with others when they presented us with the objects that now fill our homes.
However, a home that serves as a collector of stuff isn’t always enjoyable. Clutter has a way of making us feel as if everything is falling apart in our home, and that creates unnecessary anxiety.
Interestingly, decluttering will make you feel less stressed, more peaceful, give you a sense of control, and help you create a happy home.
If clutter has been killing your ability to create a happy home, I want to encourage you to try minimalism. Although we could talk about strategies to help you minimize clutter for days, I don’t want you to get caught up in that.
Instead, I recommend finding one thing to donate to a second-hand shop every time you enter your closet or cabinet. If you choose to value your memories, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to enjoy minimalism than you initially thought.
6. Frame Your Photos
Speaking of valuing your memories, why don’t you frame a few photos? Don’t worry. I’m not trying to convince you to start a scrapbook, especially following on the heels of minimalism.
Think about how much you smile and laugh at former memories when you see them pop up on Facebook. Wouldn’t it be nice to evoke those emotions in your home?
Photos were made for more than impressing others on Pinterest.
They were made to be enjoyed by you and your family as you relish those memories in your heart. Next time you return from a vacation, spend time voting on a favorite family photo to frame for everyone to enjoy.
7. Purchase Games For Spontaneous Gatherings
Large family and friend gatherings can stir up enough stress without worrying about what you should do when there’s a lull in conversation or a delay in your guests’ arrival.
Your home should be enjoyable, and games can help aid this.
Whether you have children or not, purchase a few of your favorite board games and card games to have on hand.
Once you do, watch how interactions naturally begin to flow, leaving you the freedom to escape to the kitchen in preparation for the final course.
8. Invest in Your Rest
We tend to sacrifice sleep and rest on the altar of busyness in our culture today, and we all wish there were more hours in the day. However, your ability to remain present and enjoy your home requires you to prioritize rest despite all of your to-dos.
Whether you need a new mattress or a better pillow, nothing will deliver returns like the investment you make in your rest. A recent study found that improvements in sleep quality contributed significantly to an improvement in health and well-being.
Research suggests that the quality of sleep we get may even be more important than the quantity.
Once you awake from a good night’s rest on a mattress that facilitates better sleep, remember to make your bed. According to researchers, people who make their beds in the morning are also happier than those who do not.
9. Create a Self-Care Kit
You never know when stress will strike. That’s why it’s essential to plan for it. Binge-watching your favorite Netflix shows after a long, draining day is an easy out, but it may not be one of the best ways to unwind and enjoy yourself.
Creating a self-care kit can help you create a happy home by reminding you how you can enjoy your home when you’re stressed.
In a sense, it will help you transform your home into an oasis. You’ll begin to feel you can escape rather than run when life gets hard.
Self-care kits can help you get off the couch and remind you how lovely your home can be. Try a bubble bath in the candlelight, a face mask while you recline in your garden, or a cup of tea and a coloring book at your dining room table.
10. Stop Waiting and Start Entertaining
We all have a honey-do list of weekend projects and future renovations we’d love to complete before our next get-together. However, homes weren’t meant to be perfect. After all, they’re inhabited by real-life people who are anything but.
Thankfully, friendships aren’t perfect, either. Some of the best friendships are forged in the opportunity to enjoy life together among the good, beautiful, not-so-perfect, and downright ugly conditions we regularly navigate.
If you’re waiting to complete the next project before you invite others over, I want to suggest that you prioritize your people over the endless list of projects before you. Perfect conditions and spotless homes don’t help us create a happy home. People do.
Nothing helps family and friends gather more quickly than a savory smell wafting from the kitchen. It encourages the sleepiest of kids to wake up without a nudge. And the busiest friends to press pause.
Cooking requires you to slow down. It will give your teenager something to focus on while they open up about the issues in their hearts. It will also help you make long-lasting memories you can enjoy for a lifetime.
Practically speaking, cooking can also take the pressure off of you for the week when you choose to meal prep in advance. No one said you couldn’t have the fun, feel-good memories and the efficiency of meal prepping all at once.
If you want to create a happy home, prepare to cook.
12. Rearrange Your Furniture
It’s always a luxury to purchase a new sectional or splurge on beautiful dining room chairs. But it doesn’t always take money to refresh your space.
Rearrange your furniture and watch how it makes your home feel new.
Whether you move a piece to a new room or turn it to face a new window, rearranging furniture can transform the area and give you a fresh perspective on how much you enjoy your home.
13. Stop Comparing Your Home to Others
Your home is unique to your personality, experiences, and loved ones. It’s not meant to be compared to anyone else’s house.
After all, swapping homes would get old after a while. We’ve all seen those old “Wife Swap” shows and how thankful they were to get back to their families and that which was familiar to them. When it was over.
We’ve all been to beautiful hotels. Yet, it’s always the same. No matter how much we enjoy the luxurious bath towels and the fun artwork on the walls, there’s no place like home.
Choose to love your space and express gratitude for it as you honor the work ethic, decisions, and beauty that have helped you build it.
Continue finding ways to create a happy home by checking out my book The Year of Living Happy…Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World.