What adjectives come to mind when you think of your home?
Hopefully, you come up with terms like “cozy” and “content,” not “chaotic” and “messy.” Is “happy” a descriptor you’d use?
Your castle should be a place of joy. If it isn’t, the good news is that you have the power to change things. Here are eight simple switches you can make for a happier home.
1. Change Your Filters
When was the last time you changed the air filters in your home? If you aren’t on a regular schedule, please make one.
The Environmental Protection Agency advises doing so every three months at a minimum. However, you might have to do so more frequently if you have smokers or pets in the home. It also depends on the type of filter you choose — inexpensive fiberglass models need to be changed more often than thicker weaves.
Another device you might consider is adding an air purifier to your home, especially if you’re sensitive to environmental toxins. These remove impurities like particulate matter and pet fur before it gets into your HVAC system. You could potentially extend the life of your home’s heating and cooling devices by adding one of these gadgets to your living areas.
They can also help you breathe more comfortably if you have allergies, reducing your need for medication.
Changing your filters makes your home smell fresher, which instantly boosts your mood. You might also consider adding an aromatherapy diffuser or two with light, citrusy scents. Such fragrances increase energy levels, making you feel more vibrant and happy.
2. Let There Be Light
Are you living in a pad that resembles a funeral parlor? You might be if you have heavy blinds or blackout curtains covering every window. While it’s okay to block out the sun on movie day, you should strive to let as much natural light as possible into your home if you want to feel happier.
One way to do so is by removing your curtains altogether and installing one-way window film. Such treatments can protect your floors and furnishings from the sun’s damaging UV rays. You’ll enjoy the maximum amount of light, but outside passersby won’t be able to see inside.
Another option for brightening up your home is installing a skylight. If your joists are at least two feet apart, you might be able to DIY. However, you should always call a contractor if unsure — you don’t want roof leaks.
Finally, why not switch out your lightbulbs? Today’s LED models not only save you money on energy bills — but also let you experiment with fun shades. Why not bathe your baby’s bedroom in blue light to match his Cookie Monster decor theme? You’ll smile every time you flip on the switch.
3. Stock Your Fridge
Did you know the foods you eat can improve your mood? Snacks high in the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium can help you stave off depression as effectively as medication in some cases. All you need to do is replace one serving of salty, greasy chips with healthy nuts and seeds like almonds and pepitas.
Omega-3 fatty acids likewise help you bust the blues. You can find these substances in chia and flax seeds, but their biggest food-based source comes from the sea. Why not enjoy fish Friday like the Catholics and have cod on meatless Monday to get your two servings per week?
4. Spruce Up
Clutter can make you feel anxious. Excess visual stimuli overwhelm your mental awareness, reminding you that your work is never done.
Make your home less stress-inducing by tidying it. Even if you have small children, a set of hanging baskets gives you a quick, convenient place to store those Legos they leave scattered on the floor. Investing in the right storage solutions can also increase your home’s resale value — many buyers look for features like garage shelving.
5. Child and Pet-Proof
You never want your home to become the scene of a tragedy. Get down to a child’s eye level and baby and pet-proof your castle.
Look for items like cabinet locks to keep household chemicals out of tiny hands. Rescue that button that fell under the couch last time you sewed — it can pose a choking risk. Clean up any spills right away and inspect your yard for hazardous plants if your puppy spends unattended time outdoors.
6. Roll Out the Welcome Mat
What’s your first impression when you roll up in your driveway? Does your entryway dazzle you and your guests?
If not, consider painting your front and garage doors — and any shutters — a striking hue to give your home a more inviting look. Coat your driveway before the weather gets too cold to fill in any potholes or ruts.
7. Cultivate Outdoor Living
The pandemic drove the desire for improved outdoor living spaces — who wants to feel cooped up indoors? Extend the life of your patio or deck by adding screens. You’ll keep bugs at bay, and you can make plexiglass inserts to create a greenhouse-like effect in winter that lets you use this space.
Another idea is adding patio heaters, ceiling fans and misting systems. The former extends your outdoor living space use as the nights grow cooler, while the former makes the space pleasant on the hottest days.
The holidays are almost upon us. Why not make your home happier by decorating?
You don’t have to drop a bundle. Your local dollar store offers an assortment of fake flowers and seasonal decorations for just a buck. You can also DIY some crafts with your kids for a personalized touch.
Make These 8 Simple Switches for a Happier Home
Your home should make you smile at the end of a hectic day. Make these eight simple switches for a happier home today.