Sometimes being happy with your house isn’t about making big changes; it’s about learning to appreciate the little things. Paring down, painting your front door a new colour, changing the linens — or just the way you look at things — can make your home a happier, healthier, calmer or more energizing place to live in. These guides are loaded with easy, inexpensive (even free) ways to take a new look at your house and enjoy it even more.
Make a connection. Moving, downsizing or combining households is a fact of life, and having a “forever home” just isn’t practical for many of us. But even if you’re not sure how long you’ll stay in one place, you can still have a forever connection with your house by incorporating smaller-scale dreams, embracing childhood memories and even welcoming pets into your home.
Appreciate. Letting go of the little things and considering the intangible parts of your home, like the feeling you get when you’re sitting on the porch on a warm night, can help you love your home more. Learning to appreciate the small joys your house offers can be more effective and longer lasting than the satisfaction that comes with buying a new rug or sofa.
Declutter and organize. Plan for the storage of things you know you’ll be accumulating, such as family photographs, your kids’ best artwork and financial records. Craving storage space? You may be surprised by the storage areas you can find in unexpected places around your house.
Get personal. Whether you live in a custom-built home, an older house or a rental, you can make it feel like you. Honouring your tastes — in colour, art, heirlooms and accessories — will help you stay true to yourself and make your home beautiful, too.
Forget perfection. Sometimes looking at photos of beautiful houses can make you feel anxious about perceived shortcomings in your own home. Feeling like your house could never live up to your dream standard? Start with something small. Whipping that junk drawer into shape or diving into a home project can be very inspiring.
Create a calm place. What makes a home peaceful? We know as soon as we see or feel it, but creating it in our own homes can be difficult. Most peaceful spaces share certain things in common: serene colour palettes, filtered light and plenty of easy-to-implement tidiness tricks. Try integrating some of these strategies into your own home for a simply calming space.
Feed your creativity. At the end of a long day, I’m more inclined to hole up on the couch with a glass of wine than to whip out my paintbrush and palette. When you feel the need to jump-start your artistic self, find a corner to call your own, eliminate distractions, make it easy to access your materials and add a dose of humour to keep your mind fresh and the ideas coming.
Pare down. Simplifying your life can give you more time, space and happiness. Now, this doesn’t mean giving up all of your favourite furniture — it’s about embracing what you really love and learning to let go of the rest.
Follow your heart. When it comes to being happier in your home, sometimes it’s the big decisions that matter most — like learning to follow your heart. But sometimes it’s the little things — like putting new soap in your bathroom, painting your front door or simply setting the table — that make the biggest difference.
Try an easy (and free) de-stresser. Leave work at the door when you come into your house. And before you pick up the remote, do something unplugged, such as tending to your houseplants.