Build Your Home Sanctuary

Use these tips to create a relaxing, restful home from getting organized to minimalist home décor.

| May/June 2016


Studies show that houseplants improve concentration and promote healing.

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We all want our homes to be restful retreats where we can get away from the rush of the world, center ourselves and find serenity. Whether we’re working in a fast-paced environment, volunteering in our communities, raising kids or supporting family members, most of us have daily stresses, and we need to find ways to relax and recharge so we can be our most effective.

But achieving deep relaxation can be difficult if you don’t have a haven from day-to-day chaos. If you walk into a home that presents its own lengthy to-do list the minute you walk in the door, it’s hard to let the worries of the world melt away. Fortunately, we are all masters of our domain, and we have the power to change our surroundings and our habits to make sure we do have a restful retreat, a well-feathered nest where we can curl up, feel safe and allow ourselves to recharge.

Everyone’s idea of a serene environment is a little different, but we hope you’ll use the tips and ideas throughout this article as a starting point for considering—and manifesting—what makes a truly replenishing home for you.

Cleaning & Decluttering

SET A CLEANING ROUTINE: Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a tidy home every day, rather than one with a sink full of dishes, clothes strewn about and mail stacked on the table? It’s not glamorous, but setting a cleaning routine is the best way to keep chores from feeling overwhelming. Daily tidying habits also keep us from being forced to spend a whole day cleaning every weekend. Set a time limit for daily tasks—20 to 30 minutes is usually sufficient—and list the chores that need to be done daily, weekly and monthly. Assign daily tasks throughout the week and divvy out the weekly and monthly ones, too. Then set aside 20 or 30 minutes for daily chores and enjoy getting in the habit of living in a perpetually clean home. You can find many sample weekly cleaning schedules online; the only important thing is that your schedule works for you.

GET RID OF WHAT YOU DON'T LOVE: Clutter makes a home feel chaotic and makes cleaning more difficult. We all have our own preferences in terms of minimalism versus décor/displayed items, but one thing is true for everyone: It’s not worth it to keep things we don’t love. Something as simple as drinking your morning coffee is much more enjoyable when you can grab a handmade mug you adore rather than whatever cup you ended up with from a gas station three years ago. Donate things you don’t really like and keep only the possessions that make you smile.

ELIMINATE CLUTTER STATIONS: Daily life seems to produce a few places especially prone to gathering clutter. Maybe it’s your dining room table, your front entry or the desk in your bedroom. First, take a week to do nothing but observe. What ends up tossed in these clutter zones and why? Is it because you don’t have a place where these things belong (after all, hanging a jacket on a coat rack is just as easy as tossing it on the table)? Is it because you need to implement a get-home routine or checklist (before the TV turns on, shoes must be put away, backpacks hung in rooms and any school forms or paperwork handled)? First figure out what’s stacking up, then figure out how to create an easy way to make sure it gets put away.

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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