9 ways to refresh your home and create a happy space – without leaving the house and for free!

It has been a bumpy ride since SA opened its borders in late 2021. Increasing Covid-19 cases in South Australia has meant many of us are spending more time at home again as we adhere to regulations and try to curb infections in our community.

Though as we approach the battlefront, there are still many silver linings to be found. While we usually lack the time and energy to invest in our home, we suddenly have more hours in the day to do all the things we have been putting off.

Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, we’ve gathered nine things you can do to help stave off isolation blues, refresh, re-energise, and make your home a happy haven. Better still, it can all be done for free and without leaving the house, using items already around the home.

 

Make Your Bed

Sure, you may be in isolation with zero visitors expected, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for this simple yet important activity. According to Gretchen Reuben author of the Happiness Project, making your bed can positively impact your happiness and productivity. Surprisingly, many people often skip this first-thing-in-the-morning activity even at the best of times. But an unmade bed gives your room and your house a very cluttered look. You may also notice that you feel a lot less relaxed with an unmade bed. So, make your bed, plump up those fancy cushions and see how beautiful your room looks – notice how happy you feel.

 

Create a Gallery of Sentimental Photos

Looking at photos of your loved ones and the experiences you’ve had, gives you an instant shot of happiness. Displaying sentimental photos and other mementos with rich memories attached to them creates a cycle of enjoyment as you relive all those wonderful times, instantly putting a smile on your face. So, bring out those wonderful photographs and build yourself a nostalgic picture wall for an eye-catching display. If you’re renting, try grouping framed pictures on a bookshelf or fireplace ledge instead.

 

Cull the Clutter

If you have been putting off decluttering your home, it might be time to put it to the top of the list. A clean and tidy house looks great, but it also makes you feel happy. Clutter has a way of stimulating your brain with anxiety and guilt as you look around and feel like the work is never done. Clutter is also associated with high levels of stress. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or don’t bring you joy to increase your happiness at home.

 

Create a connection to nature

Research shows that the presence of flowers, plants, trees, and greenery can boost happiness levels. So why not bring nature into your home? Plants can purify the air you breathe and reduces stress too. If you already have a pretty garden, bring a posy of flowers inside to instantly promote positive emotions.

Propagating is an easy way of growing new plants from your existing plants so you can transform your home for free from your very own yard. Check out online advice for how-to’s. The burst of greenery brings instant freshness and energises the interior.

Working from home? Place some greenery from outdoors on your home office desk to help you focus and improve your mood. Or switch up your workspace to face your desk out of a window towards the greenery outside.

 

Create a designated meditation or exercise space

Scientific studies show that meditation may help ease anxiety or depression. It’s also a great way to clear your mind to help you focus. Exercise is also an important part to staying healthy and happy, releasing endorphins in the body that act as a natural mood elevator. You can discover hundreds of meditation exercises or new workouts to try from home on YouTube.

If you’re unable to offer a whole room to these activities, then decorate a corner free from distractions with layered rugs, yoga mats, artwork and music.

 

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Enjoy Aromatherapy and the Power of Scent

Certain fragrances can calm the mind and put you in a happy mood. Our sense of smell is linked to the emotional centre of the brain and can trigger happy memories associated with smell. Besides, certain fragrances just make you happy, help uplift your mood and feel calm and peaceful.

Most people don’t have stockpiles of essential oils on hand, so why not try some DIY aromatherapy using items from your kitchen or garden to create a relaxing environment? Experiment with different combinations and create beautiful aromas from fresh herbs, ginger, spices, sage, rosemary, lemon, or orange, to rose petals, lavender and other fresh fruits and plants. See online for advice and instructions.

If DIY isn’t your thing why don’t you try some of SA’s local markets? Gilles at the Grounds, The Stirling Market and Willunga Farmer’s Market are among the long list of many with affordable products, check online for your local!

 

Stay Connected with Friends, Family and Colleagues.

You may be in physical self-isolation but don’t let that stop you from staying social with loved ones and co-workers. Utilise the magic of technology to connect virtually. Schedule individual or group chats with colleagues to replicate the atmosphere of an office. Talking with others over the phone, video call or email elevates your mood. Think outside the box to create new experiences – host Friday night drinks over a zoom call or read a bedtime story to grandchildren over the phone.

Create a space in your home you are proud for others to see over a video call. Consider the background behind you and share your happy space with others! You may even end up inspiring them to do the same. How to do it? Ensure everything behind you is neat and tidy. Hang beautiful artwork on a wall behind your desk or place a plant behind and in view of the camera.

 

Re-arrange Accessories in Odd Numbers

An interesting decorating trick is to group accessories or any decorative items in odd numbers. It is so simple, but so effective. Layering groups of accessories in odd numbers, especially in threes or fives, is known to have a calming effect. The main reason behind this phenomenon is the inclusion of a central point where the eyes can rest more easily. So, gather your photo frames, travel souvenirs, vases and candles and play around with the balance and composition to create a stunning arrangement.

 

Decorate with Natures Treasures

Get creative with seashells you and the kids have gathered from previous beach trips and turn them into a crafty display. You could embellish an existing piece of furniture such as a mirror for some coastal appeal, or string them together to make a seashell wind chime that makes you nostalgic about times down the beach. Some local beaches to visit could include Henley Beach, Glenelg or if you are up for a drive head to Port Willunga Beach for the day.

No seashells, no worries – branches are another one of nature’s treasures that will add tonnes of appeal to your home for free. Decorate shelving or create a table centrepiece to promote the happiness that comes from raw and organic materials. The Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit hike or the Morialta Conservation Park might give you some good inspiration (and a chance to get out into nature!).

 

Looking to upgrade your home and lifestyle? Talk to one of our real estate experts about selling or buying today – contact us.

 

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