Ocean waves, a gentle rain, fresh mountain air or a peaceful lakeside retreat. Simply thinking about these images can reduce stress.
A home that is free of clutter feels fresh and airy, inviting you to unwind and relax. The quote below is a great goal to keep in mind when you are trying to lighten up your spaces.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Resist the urge to place décor and accessories on every surface. Look around and see what can be removed. Rooms that incorporate open spaces give your eyes a place to rest.
Here are more ways to achieve balance and bring a sense of calm into your home.
Declutter your home, room by room. Less clutter = more calm. Keep countertops clear and notice places that become dumping grounds for backpacks, briefcases, paperwork, keys and shoes. Reduce the number of drop zone areas like the entryway and kitchen counters and keep things accessible and organized by storing them on hooks or in baskets, trays, closets or drawers.
Lose a Sense of Time
Remove clocks from bathrooms, decks, porches and other relaxed spaces to help lose a sense of time. Even something as simple as taking off your watch when you get home at the end of the day releases stress.
Use Calming Colors
Decorate your home using tranquil colors to help reduce stress. Monochromatic color schemes and muted shades work well. Try these calming paint colors suggested by Better Homes & Gardens.
Add Peaceful Decor
Use candles, books, plants and flowers to soften the hard edges of tables and bookshelves. Turn the lights down or use dimmer switches to give your room a comfortable glow.
Define Quiet Zones
Create a quiet nook in your home for reading, crafts or jigsaw puzzles. Embrace the sound of silence and turn off the TV, radio and cell phone. Open the windows to let in fresh air and listen to birds, cicadas and the gentle sounds of the wind and rain.
Music Soothes the Soul
Play soothing background music – especially instrumental songs.
Use aromatherapy to diffuse calming scents such as lavender and lemon. Take a bubble bath with eucalyptus, honey or chamomile scented soaps or make your own bath salts or soaks with these DIY recipes.
Download “Calm,” a mobile app to help you relax, meditate or sleep. Voted "Best App of the Year" by Apple Computers.
What is it that makes you feel calm? Maybe it’s a picture, a shell from a beach vacation or cuddling up in a chair with your favorite throw. Incorporate calm images or mementos into your decor. I like to pick fresh flowers and put them around the house. It brings nature in and reminds me to slow down and breathe.
Take a look at the main living spaces in your home and find areas where you can replace clutter with calm.