HOW TO CREATE A CALM HOME: 20 TIPS FOR MORE PEACE AND LESS STRESS
If you have a busy life and perhaps a busy family, life can feel anything but calm! In this post I’m sharing some tips on how to create a calm home and 20 ideas you can try out for yourself to bring more peace and less stress to your home. Make your home a peaceful, relaxing and inviting space for you and your family.
CREATING A CALM HOME WHEN YOU HAVE A BUSY FAMILY
Our home works hard for our family. My kids set up base-camp in the living room, they trample through with footballs and school bags, the dog bounces along behind. They have TVs, computers and toys. We use our home to relax, work and play in, for entertaining and for unwinding.
It’s easy to have a calm home when you don’t have kids around! Let’s face it, as much as we love them, kids bring extra noise, movement, mess and stuff into the home.
If it was just me living at home then it would feel, look and sound very different but with all of us living under one roof, my home can be a busy place.
However, there are some little ideas that I’ve put in place over the years to help me create a calm home, despite the craziness of family life. I’d like to share them with you here in case you could do with a little more peace and a lot less stress in your own home!
WHY CALM CAN BE IMPORTANT
After I’ve been working all day, I like to look forward to coming home and switching off from the day. I don’t want to be greeted by the mess of the morning, screens blaring, or lots of stuff everywhere.
Instead, I like to quieten my busy brain, enjoy chilling out with my husband, kids or just by myself. The outside world drains my energy and I like to be able to re-charge my batteries when I’m at home. A calm, peaceful, relaxing home helps me do that so that I’m ready for action when I need to go out again!
I’m an introvert and a Highly Sensitive Person which is why calm is so important to me. I’m easily affected by too much noise, too much movement, too much of most things… perhaps this is one of the reasons why I became hooked on decluttering and the benefits of living with less stuff, distraction and clutter.
To some extent we’re all affected in different ways by our environment but I know for myself that I feel refreshed, happier and less wired when I’m in a peaceful, calmer space.
The same goes for my kids. They don’t always want to be rampaging around the house. Sometimes they need calm too. Time for quiet games such as building Lego or drawing and colouring. Sometimes, they just want to relax on the sofa with me and read a book.
If you feel the same, I hope the following tips on how to create a calm home will help you, whether you live on your own or with kids, pets and more!
HOW TO CREATE A CALM HOME
If you think you’d benefit from a little more peace and a lot less stress at home, here are some ideas on how to create a calm home. Pick and choose which work for you…
1. Declutter your home
I write a lot about simplifying your home and getting rid of any excess clutter that you don’t want, love or need. So, of course, decluttering your home is going to feature highly in this list!
If you have too much stuff, you’ll spend your time and energy clearing it up, tidying, moving and cleaning it. This is time and energy you could be spending doing other things.
On top of that, studies have shown that clutter can cause distraction, lack of focus and a rise in stress levels.
Reducing your clutter will therefore help reduce stress and create a calmer, more peaceful environment.
2. Give everything a home
Give everything a proper home or storage place and ensure everyone knows where that is! Encourage everyone to put things away in their proper home when they’ve finished using or playing with it.
This applies to toys that your kids have finished playing with, pots and pans when you’ve finished cooking, coats, shoes and bags when you come in through the front door. Perhaps you can think of other examples?
Putting things away in their rightful place (which everyone knows about) will help keep your home clutter-free and stop you having to follow everyone around picking up after them!
3. Get the kids to play outside
This is a bit tongue in cheek, but an easy way to have a quieter, more peaceful home is to get your kids to play outside in the fresh air!
If you don’t have a garden or safe outside space at home, go to the park or local playground as often as you can and encourage your kids to use up their plentiful energy running around here, rather than your home!
4. Keep up your housework and routines
Keep on top of laundry, the dishes, hoovering and so on so there isn’t a build-up of dirty clothes or unwashed dishes. Set yourself up with some routines to make sure your home runs smoothly with minimal effort.
Try this post on how to spend less time cleaning and some minimalist cleaning routines.
Building on the point above about keeping up with housework and doing a little bit often, don’t forget to ask for help.
Delegate chores to everyone in the house so everyone does their bit and there’s less pressure on you. After all, you’re not the only one who makes the mess so why should you be the only one to clear it up!
Read this post on kids and chores and how to encourage your kids to help around the home.
6. Have less stuff
For a calmer home, that has more space and flow, having less stuff is the way to go. Read this post on 20 reasons to own less stuff.
7. Sort by colour
This is a great little trick for sorting books, clothes and anything else that comes in different colours. Sort them by colour and your bookshelf, wardrobe (or anything else that you’ve colour-coded) will instantly look and feel less chaotic and more calm!
8. Choose colours and patterns carefully
Bright, bold colours and big patterns tend to busy the eye and the brain. Opt for calmer, more muted and neutral tones and try texture instead of pattern when you want to add variation and contrast.
Read more about the theory of colour and how different colours evoke different emotions and behaviours.
9. Go for strategic lighting
Glaring bright ceiling lights won’t help you relax when you’re trying to cozy up in bed to read your book before sleep-time. Likewise, dim lights when you’re trying to cook dinner or check your emails probably won’t help you much either! Think about what you do in each room, how you use the space and what lighting you need. Bring in as much natural daylight as possible. Perhaps change your lighting to reflect the different seasonal light levels, for example, if it gets darker earlier in the Winter months.
10. Embrace blank space
Blank space is good! Whether it’s on a wall, the floor, a shelf, a table top, your calendar, don’t be tempted to fill a space just because it’s bare.
If there’s nothing you want to do with that space, leave it alone! If you want to fill it, then be sure to fill it with something that deserves to be there!
11. Zone your home
This may be difficult with little ones who you need to be able to see at all times, but as your children grow up, maybe this is something you could consider. Encourage your kids to play in their bedrooms, or the playroom, or just in one room at a time, rather than spreading themselves and their toys throughout every room in the house!
If you work from home or use the computer a lot, set yourself up with a home office (either a separate room or corner of another room) so this is where you go to use the computer.
Use each room for the purpose you intend it and set that room up so that you can use it in that way. Make sure you’ve got the necessary equipment, storage and space for whatever you’re using that room or area for.
It will stop you endlessly moving toys etc back into the place they should be, make it quicker to tidy up afterwards and easier for everyone to find what they need and use the space as it’s intended.
Psychologically this can be helpful too. For example, if you work from home, it can be helpful to distinguish between work and leisure by physically moving from the space you work in to where you spend your down-time.
12. Have one room in the house that’s always calm
This could be the living room if your kids are older and can play unattended in their bedrooms, or if you have a separate playroom. For now, it might just be your bedroom and the kids know not to use this room as part of their hide and seek games.
You’ll have to find what works for you, your family and your home but if you can keep a space that’s always calm, you know you can retreat there when you need time to recharge! I keep my bedroom calm, clutter-free and out-of-bounds for games to the kids. Read this post on creating your bedroom as a sanctuary! This could even help you sleep better at night!
13. Encourage flow
This is a good little tip if your home is on the smaller side. If you can, perhaps think about using the same flooring or wall colour throughout. You can always add pops of colour to create a little difference between rooms, but generally, sticking with one type and colour of wall and floor covering will help create unity and flow as you move and look from room to room.
14. Limit screen-time
This may not be for everyone, but I found it made a big difference to my family. I do let the kids watch TV and play on the Xbox, so I’m certainly not suggesting turning it all off, forever! In fact, screen time can be relaxing if you choose something that’s appropriate!
But, for example, I find when my older kids play too much Xbox they get angry, frustrated and definitely anything but calm. Turn off the screens, limit screen time if you wish and encourage your kids to find other things to do.
Think about reducing your own screen time by not checking your phone in the evenings, putting it out of sight and out of mind or turning off the sounds, buzzes and pings!
Screen time has its place but when it invades and threatens to wreck your calm home, maybe it’s time to go find something else to do for a while!
I find nature very calming so I like to use one or two plants to bring the outside in. I love the colour, shapes and textures of the leaves. Go for artificial if you can’t keep real ones alive!
How does your home smell? If it’s safe, think about whether you could use some scented candles or similar to bring some lovely relaxing scent to your home. Like colour which we mentioned above, fragrance has been shown to affect mood and behaviour too!
17. Plan for busy times
There are times when your home will have to work extra hard for you and keeping a calm environment might be difficult. Think of play dates, school holidays, parties and Christmas!
Think about ways you could make things easier for yourself. Could you use recyclable plates and cutlery instead of struggling to keep up with the dirty dishes? Do you need to empty out a cupboard so you can secretly store Christmas presents in there? Do you need to move a chair or table to make space for the Christmas tree so you’re not constantly knocking baubles off it? Little things can soon niggle!
18. Be organised
Put clean laundry away as soon as it’s ready. Keep your drawers tidy with dividers and little boxes. Keep a shopping list on the front of your fridge and make a note when you’re running low on something. Label all your spare keys so you know what unlocks what. Being disorganised wastes time and raises our stress levels. Try these 25 ways to be more organised.
19. Use music
Put on some soothing background music and feel the stress subside!
20. Get cozy
I’m a minimalist so not one for adding extra clutter like millions of cushions or throws. However, I do like to sink into my sofa with a squishy cushion, snuggly blanket and a book. It makes for a calm, safe space that I can relax in. Do you do the same!?
JUST TO RE-CAP
As a little summary of the points we’ve covered, here are 20 ways for more peace and less stress and how to create a calm home:
- Declutter your home (Clear your clutter)
- Give everything a home (Put everything away)
- Get the kids to play outside (To let off steam)
- Keep up housework and routines (Little and often)
- Delegate (Ask for help)
- Have less stuff (The benefits of owning less)
- Sort by colour (Colour-coding books, clothes etc)
- Choose colours and patterns carefully (Colours evoke emotions)
- Go for strategic lighting (Maximise natural light)
- Embrace blank space (Don’t be tempted to fill it!)
- Zone your home (Distinguish rooms by use)
- Have one room that’s always calm (Your bedroom as a sanctuary)
- Encourage flow (To create space)
- Limit screen time (For yourself and the kids)
- Plants (Add greenery)
- Smell (Like colour, it evokes emotions and moods)
- Plan for busy times (When your home is working extra hard)
- Be organised (For less stress and wasted time)
- Use music (Choose soothing background music)
- Get cosy (Choose simple, comfy accessories)
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Some of the suggestions on this list might not work for you because of the physical space you have available, or your kids just aren’t at the right age and stage. Take and use what you can. Even if you can implement a few of the points, hopefully you’ll be on your way to a calmer home and family life!
Let me know in the comments how you feel about your home? Is it a calm, peaceful space and if so, what you have done to make it feel like that?
RESOURCES FOR DECLUTTERING
In this post we looked at some of the benefits of decluttering your home. If you’d like to start clearing your own clutter to create a calmer home, here are some helpful resources to get you started:
- 20 ways to declutter your home – tips and projects to try today.
- 6 tips to help you declutter
- 20 daily habits for a clutter-free home
- Declutter Starter Kit – a free guide and workbook to help you understand the what, why and how of decluttering. Projects, tips and guidance to clear the clutter in your home and life.
- 20 ways to declutter your mind – calmness doesn’t just apply to our outer environments! Calmness is also a state of mind.