After a long, stressful day at work, coming home should feel relaxing and rejuvenating, right?
Although you’re probably nodding your head “yes,” you might also be thinking, “Well, I have to put dinner on the table, go through my stack of bills and do this, that and another chore, too…”
For many of us, entering through our front door brings a whole new set of stressors to the day. While we can’t ignore these responsibilities, it’s important to make your home a place where you can take a deep breath and recharge your batteries. So how can you make your living space more calming for you and your family? And how can you do it without piling on even more stress?
“A good strategy for reducing household stress is to maintain a home that is clean, organized, simple and beautiful,” says Brooke Campbell, who is the Manager of the Employee Fitness Center and Center for Employee Resilience at Regions Hospital. “Setting timely goals that you can meet regularly is key.”
Here are Brooke’s staged-approach tips for what to do:
Hourly: In your home, try to notice one thing you feel grateful about. For example, take a moment to appreciate a family photo, a view from a window or the fact that your pantry has food in it.
Daily: Make the bed and do the dishes. Both tasks can help you feel fresh, organized and accomplished. You’ll be set to move forward in a positive direction.
Weekly: Organize one space. This can be a drawer, cabinet or shelf. Doing a small task can break up a larger project. And that makes the bigger job more manageable. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a cleaner space.
Monthly: Rearrange furniture or décor in one of your rooms. This refreshes and rejuvenates your home. And you’ll feel the same way!
Yearly: Go through closets and storage areas to remove what’s no longer needed or used. Donate or give away items you no longer use to someone who may appreciate them more. A good rule of thumb? If you haven’t used something in over a year, it’s likely you no longer need it.
“If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between the condition of your home and the condition of your mental, emotional and physical well-being,” Brooke says. “Because of this, I would encourage you to think about how you can make simple yet effective changes in how you care for your home to decrease stress in your life.”
Remember, this plan may not work for everyone. For the best results, take time to consider what your own personal goals are. Identify how your home currently makes you feel, and how you want to feel. And think about how each room is currently being used, and how you’d like to change that. Then come up with a plan that works best for you and those you live with.