This article was originally posted here but it’s a nice piece so we’ve re-published for your enjoyment!
Home is where the heart is and we all need that special safe haven to return to at the end of a long day. However, sometimes it’s difficult to even find the time to be at home, let alone make it into the sort of refuge we actually look forward to escaping to. So what can you do to transform your house into a home? From flowers and fragrance to cooking and cleaning schedules, we reveal the simple tips and tricks guaranteed to turn any space into a place you’re proud to call home.
Tidy space, tidy mind
Mess and rest do not go hand in hand, and the time it takes to do a quick daily tidy-up will save you a whole lot of effort and stress in the long run. If being tidy does not come easily to you, why not look up how to create a helpful cleaning schedule that reminds you of what needs to be done immediately, and what can wait until the weekend. Your home is a space that needs to work for you, and a kitchen full of dirty dishes or bathroom scattered with wet towels is only going to make living there a whole lot more hassle than it’s worth. Allocate chores to different family members or housemates, and go paperless wherever possible. Moving your accounts online will not only make your admin a lot easier to organise, but it will stop your home from multi-functioning as an office – thereby allowing you to switch from ‘work mode’ to ‘home mode’.
If in doubt…
…chuck it out. Holding onto unnecessary clutter will only clutter your mind and prevent you from making the most of the space available to you. Get rid of any clothes you haven’t worn in over a year and stop being precious about all those holiday knick-knacks and unwanted gifts from relatives. Once you’ve worked out what can go, divide into three piles: rubbish, charity, sell. Marketplace websites such as eBay and Gumtree are great for giving you a return on your unwanted goods, providing you with a budget to splash out on something new for your home.
For many of us, the fondness we feel for our childhood home is strongly bound up in memories of our mum’s cooking and the favourite meals we enjoyed while growing up. Continuing this association between food and our home is important. Your home is a place that should house all your needs, and there’s nothing like a good hot meal to make us look forward to coming home in an evening. Preparing and eating your meals at home will also create a sense of permanence and will encourage you to fill your kitchen with all your favourite foods and recipe ingredients. Organise a cooking rota with family, friends, and even neighbours if you’re too busy to cook, or why not make a huge batch of a versatile dish like spaghetti bolognese on a weekend, which can then be reheated throughout the week? Google and the wealth of niche food and drink websites have made cooking easier than ever.
Sharing is caring
Just as spending more time at home is one way to better appreciate the space you live in, inviting others to spend time there with you is another way to make the most it. Sharing your house with people you love will fill your home with memories and help you attach these positive feelings to the building itself. Dinner parties, DVD nights, and a weekend cup of coffee are all great ways to spend time at home with your friends and family, so don’t feel obliged to always go out when you want to socialise.
Home sweet home
Establishing memories and positive associations with the house we live in is the easiest way to feel an attachment to it, no matter how big, small, poorly decorated or unfurnished the space is. Of all the senses, scent is closest linked with memory and our sense of smell has a surprisingly strong influence on our daily emotions. Cooking is one way to creating an appealing homely smell, but there’s plenty of other tried-and-tested scents sure to help you settle in and relax. Lavender is often used to help create a sense of calm, while cinnamon, tangerine, coconut and ylang ylang essential oils are all proven to ease stress and reduce anxiety.