Somewhere back in the WWII era, people, particularly women, started spending more and more time away from home. Flash forward seven or eight decades, and you’ll find that folks are leaving their homes less often. In fact, many people are now working full-time from home. Do you have that “home sweet home” feeling when you’re within the walls of your own house or coming down the driveway after having been away? Or, do you often feel tense, gloomy or unsettled when you’re at home? It’s okay if you answered, “Yes,” to the previous question; millions of people share a similar woe. Hopefully, the six ideas to boost happiness at home that you’re about to read in this post will help.
Every household is unique; people may have at-home experiences in common but no two homes are exactly the same. On a deeper, psychological level, we might even say that a particular household isn’t even exactly the same for various individuals who reside in it. In other words, every person experiences his or her home life in a way that is personalized. One member of the family might feel happy at home while another — not so much. If you’re part of the latter group, you might want to give some of these ideas a try.
Boost happiness by making your bed and tidying your room each day
Many people think that they don’t care about messes when, in reality, a disheveled room has a subliminal effect on their mood and state of mind. This is especially true for bedrooms. It only takes a few minutes to make a bed. You might think it’s an insignificant task in connection with your happiness at home.
Perhaps you’re in the “Why make my bed when I’m just going to get in it again at the end of the day?” club. Several people have written books on the benefits of bed-making and other keystone habits in the home. (Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a “keystone habit” was either, before doing research for this post.) In case you don’t feel like clicking through that link just yet, a keystone habit is a core habit that, when executed on a regular basis, often leads to other habits. Such habits can be good or bad — choose carefully. Interestingly, people who routinely make their beds each day are often more productive than those who don’t.
One author who has entitled one of her books, “Mama Zen,” has written about finding peace on the crooked pathway of pregnancy, birth and beyond. She (Karen Miller) says, “The state of your bed is the state of your head.” Miller and other home-happiness-gurus believe that people who routinely leave their beds unmade often start their days feeling defeated, without even realizing it. If you want to boost happiness, would it really be that hard to start making your bed each day? Just give it a try for a month or two.
Bed-making time is an opportunity for morning prayer
For many years, I’ve added an extra little tradition to my bed-making routine. Other married folks might want to do the same. I use the few minutes it takes to make my bed as a time to pray for my husband and for our marriage. I thank God for our life, our children, and for our nice, warm bed! While you’re at it, tidy the rest of your bedroom before heading out for the day. That way, when you return home or (if you work at home) return to your bedroom, it looks nice and feels welcoming.
Use decor that warms your heart to boost happiness
Some people have a true knack for interior home design. To boost happiness at home, always try to surround yourself with sentimental items. When you incorporate personal things into your home decor, it makes you feel happy. Cherished memories boost our feelings of happiness. You might not actually pause to look at a specific item and recall the memories it evokes. However, having it nearby and catching glimpses of it as you walk through a room creates a sense of happiness in your heart. If you tend to store away sentimental items in a bin or box somewhere, consider working some of your treasured trinkets into your home decor.
If it needs done, do it — you’ll boost happiness this way
Happiness can take a nosedive at home when there are a bunch of undone tasks staring you in the face every time you walk through a room. Crumbs on the counter here, dirty laundry overflow, there. Clutter under a bed or in a closet. Fingerprints on every window. There’s no need for perfection in a home. You’ll never feel at ease or truly happy, though, if everything around you makes you feel stressed. One pile of dirty dishes in a sink might not be a big deal. When you add it to lots of other unfinished tasks or projects that beg your attention, being at home can start to feel icky. You can boost happiness at home by taking care of the things that need done. Even if it’s something you hate doing, just do it, anyway. You’ll feel better.
Do nice things for the people who live with you
It’s easy to fall into a bad habit of co-existing with the people we live with, rather than interacting and trying to connect with them in a meaningful way. The whole “ships passing in the night” thing takes a toll on happiness at home. Have you ever noticed how happy you feel when you do something nice for someone? You can boost happiness at home by serving your family members or housemates (I.e. single people living with friends) with joy. Does someone in your house love to take a luxury bath now and then? Surprise him or her with a basket of bath time goodies left by his or her pillow!
Maybe you can beat someone to a chore that he or she usually takes care of for the family, like taking out the garbage or feeding the pets. Doing good deeds without expecting anything in return brings joy to the heart and happiness to the home.
Write down things you’re thankful for each day
I have always taught my children that “a thankful heart is a joyful heart.” Life can be tough. Good times come and go, and sometimes are nowhere to be found. The trials and burdens we face may weigh us down and adversely affect our emotional (and physical and mental) health. I adamantly believe that there are always things to be thankful for in life. Always. No matter what. You can boost happiness at home by trying to be more mindful of the blessings in your life. Gratitude and happiness are closely connected. Being thankful is the “fire-starter” and happiness is the lovely evening campfire.
Get yourself a nice journal and make it a journal of gratitude. Each day, take a few minutes to write a list of things (or people) you’re thankful for in life. It might be something as simple as “the beautiful sky outside today,” or “the fun time we had watching movies last night.” In years to come, you can re-read your thankful journals, which will no doubt be another way to boost happiness!
Get something for your home that makes you feel happy
When are you most happy at home? Does your family love board games? Do you like to cook? Is there a hobby that makes you feel happy? Think of things that bring a sense of happiness to your home life, then splurge on a family gift. Buy a new game or some quality spices for your pantry. Maybe get a gallon of paint to update your family room. It doesn’t really matter what you splurge on, as long as it’s something to help you boost happiness at home!
And, no — material things are not “what happiness is all about.” But, there’s nothing wrong with saving up and splurging on something that makes you smile. When you choose a gift that inspires family fun, it’s really the togetherness that’s making you happy, not the thing you purchased. The next time you’re feeling ho-hum and want to boost happiness at home, give these ideas a try:
- Make your bed every day and clean your room.
- Surround yourself with things that evoke happy memories.
- Take care of undone tasks.
- Do nice things for others.
- Keep a written list of thankfulness.
- Pitch in family funds to buy an at-home gift that makes everyone happy.
Remember that having a bad day doesn’t mean life is bad. It’s true, sometimes it feels like there are more bad days than good. If you just keep showing up and finding ways to boost happiness, the joy you feel from being at home can help you get through the rough times. Sometimes, rearranging priorities can help, too. Your home is your special space in the world. Try your best to make it a happy place.