14 upgrades and routines to be happier in your hom

Find out what you can do around the house to give yourself a much-needed mood boost to feel happy in your home – and even increase the value of your home.

The pandemic has impacted our lives in countless ways, and many of our routines were flipped upside down as we struggled to wrap our heads around a new normal. From working and exercising, to online shopping and countless home-cooked meals – it may feel as if you’re surrounded by the same four walls day-in and day-out.

It’s no secret that our surroundings affect our mood, but they might have a bigger impact on our well-being than you think. In fact, according to a recent study, 70% of homeowners said that the design of their home has affected their well-being during the pandemic. So, if you’ve been feeling down and can’t quite put a finger on why, your home may be to blame.

Find out what you can do around the house to give yourself a much-needed mood boost…

1. Design a home gym to make a happy home

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve your overall well-being. Many people had to get creative with their at-home workouts, substituting household items for gym equipment in living rooms and bedrooms.

It may have been difficult at first to adapt your routine, but if you’ve come to love the convenience of your home set-up, it may be time to make some upgrades. Start by clearing space and creating a dedicated exercise area in your spare room. Next, add shock-absorbent rubber flooring for weighted exercises, gym equipment that’ll help you reach your fitness goals, and a mirror so you can keep an eye on your form. You can even include a fan to keep cool and a TV to follow along with a personal trainer or video workouts.

2. Create a habit of routine cleaning

It’s hard to get in the right headspace when your home is dirty. A clean home is not only better for our overall health and well-being by reducing indoor allergens, but it also has a positive impact on our mood. Get in the habit of cleaning your home a couple of times a week. Routine cleaning includes vacuuming, dusting regularly, wiping down countertops and surfaces, and cleaning your bathrooms and kitchen.

3. Declutter your home and boost productivity

As a homeowner, it’s common to accumulate stuff over the years and not realise it until your home is in disarray. Your mess just becomes everyday junk that you no longer notice. But the piles of paper, boxes of toys, and mounds of clothes can negatively impact your overall mental state. Eliminate this source of stress in your life. Follow these general guidelines as you declutter your way towards a happier home:

· Break your project up room-by-room, and don’t move on until the room is finished. This way, you don’t end up lost in an endless pile of stuff.

· Begin categorising. One for belongings you’d like to keep, one as a “maybe” pile, and another one for items you’ll donate. In a few days, come back to the maybe pile and make final cuts. If you don’t use it, don’t want it, or don’t need it, get rid of it.

· Check the expiration date and throw out any expired items. Be especially thorough when looking at items in the kitchen, pantry, bathroom, and medicine cabinet.

· Sort through your closet and donate or toss clothes or shoes you no longer need.

· Don’t allow papers to pile up. Our countertops can be quickly overrun with bills, flyers, and mail. Sort through these papers immediately, toss whatever isn’t important, and find a suitable storage option for the others.

4. Improve your home organisation

There are countless benefits to becoming (and staying) organised. Organisation doesn’t just mean your belongings are in the right place, it can also be beneficial to your well-being.

Living in an organised home makes everyday tasks that much easier, even if it’s something simple like locating your house keys or finding your phone charger.

5. Designate a space for mind and body practices

There’s nothing better than the immediate sense of calm that washes over you when you’ve stepped into a yoga studio or meditation centre. If you’re looking for a way to bring more peace and tranquillity into your home, think about designating a space for yoga or meditation.

6. Boost kerb appeal to welcome you home with open arms

It’s common knowledge that a beautiful garden and a freshly painted exterior can increase the value of your home. But a home with kerb appeal also has the ability to make you feel happier and is an essential ingredient for a happy home. A beautiful lawn with freshly trimmed plants, a stone walkway, and an inviting front porch is sure to make you smile as you pull into the driveway.

7. Schedule an annual plumbing inspection

Maintaining a happy home and improving your overall well-being also includes regular maintenance and inspection of your home’s plumbing system. Before any issues spiral out of hand, and to help you save time, money, and heartache, schedule an appointment for a yearly plumbing check-up. A professional will be able to detect small or developing leaks, find the root cause of a clogged drain, and much more.

8. Incorporate smart home technology

Thanks to smart home technology, healthy living is easier than ever. COVID-19 has brought to light just how easily germs can spread, which has amplified the demand for clean surfaces and filtered air. From air quality sensors and comfort-focused sleep technology, to water purifiers and UV disinfectant lights, your options are endless and will help you keep a healthy and happy at home.

9. Reduce monthly bills with LED light bulbs

A happy home can also mean an efficient home. Since you’re probably spending more time at home than ever before, you might have noticed an increase in the time spent with the lights on, and therefore an increase in your energy bills. Consider switching to energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

10. Refresh your space with a coat of paint

The colours you choose to surround yourself with have a drastic impact on your mood. White walls can promote positivity and cleanliness, blue instils productivity and tranquillity, and green relieves stress and has a calming effect. So, if you’re looking for a change in the mood of a room, consider painting your walls.

11. Increase your vitamin D exposure with a sunroom

It’s no secret that sunshine has a profound effect on our mood and mental health. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the many benefits of vitamin D and sunshine all year round, consider adding a sunroom to your home.

12. Instil peace of mind with an alarm system

Everyone wants to feel safe. While installing a home security system isn’t cheap, your peace of mind is priceless. Improving home security should be your first step towards feeling safer and happier at home.

13. Create a reading nook to escape to

For many of us, nothing beats getting lost in a good book. It provides a temporary escape from reality and life’s everyday stresses. It can also improve your sleep, reduce anxiety, enhance social skills, and boost intelligence. If you love to cosy up with a book, consider creating a reading nook in a quiet space in your home. Find a private corner surrounded by bookshelves or a space you can only access by ladder, your options are endless.

Personalise the space with plants, candles, and wall hangings. Adding pillows and blankets to your new space brings warmth and comfort. If your book nook is away from windows, be sure to add outlets and lighting so you can enjoy the space at any time of day.

14. Replace your windows for better insulation

The temperature of your surrounding environment plays a very important role in how comfortable and relaxed you feel, and cold spaces can lead you to feel unmotivated. If your windows are drafty, consider replacing them to stay happier at home. After all, a warm home is a happy home. And a better-insulated home can save you up to 15% annually on energy bills.

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