Your home is the place where you feel safe, comfortable and happy – or it should be. Some homes have an immediately welcoming and relaxing environment, and it doesn’t normally have anything to do with living in an expensive home with luxury decor. If you don’t feel your mood lift and your spirits rise when you walk in your front door, what could you improve or change? Maybe you feel dissatisfied because you’d like to remodel the kitchen but haven’t saved up the cash yet. If you know what’s causing your negative feelings and how to fix them, then even if you can’t manage to take care of it just yet, you have an advantage because you know what needs doing. It’s different if you can’t put your finger on what’s making you love your home less than you should, so have a look at some of the reasons your home might lack the ambiance you desire.
Clutter, mess, and dirt
Even if you aren’t too worried about having a spotless house that looks like a show home, being surrounded by clutter, mess and dirt can still be frustrating and depressing. If you don’t seem able to keep on top of things and it’s getting you down, you need to look at where the problem areas are and tackle them. Maybe it’s that the kids leave their clothes or toys laying about, no-one wipes their feet when they come in, or the cats are leaving muddy pawprints everywhere. There’s no magical solution to these problems, but you can take steps to improve things.
As soon as your kids are old enough to tidy up after themselves, make sure they do, and that they aren’t using you as a housemaid. They may moan and complain to start with, but don’t back down. Apart from the fact that they shouldn’t be treating you as their servant, looking after themselves is an essential life skill that they will need in adulthood. Get them to check their pockets for tissues and debris, and turn their socks the right way around when they put them in the laundry, so you don’t have to do it when you load the washing machine. Make sure there are consequences to them not doing their bit, and once they get used to having responsibilities they should settle into a routine.
Cats are a bit trickier because it’s not easy to get them to wipe their feet. If you want animals in your life, you have to accept that they come with a degree of dirt, fur, and mess. If it’s a real problem, put down a long runner mat by their cat flap to soak up the worst of the wet and mud, and try using throws over the furniture that you can just pop in the wash and take off if you have visitors.
Maybe your home life is chaotic and stressful, so instead of feeling happy and relaxed at home, you dread the amount of work there is to do and the hassle of running the household. One way to tackle this is to get serious about your organization. Create a schedule for regular chores, make sure the other members of the household are pulling their weight, and look at ways you can do things more efficiently. If you are constantly playing catch-up with cleaning and tidying around the house, you can start to resent your home because it’s stopping you from pursuing your pastimes or even just the opportunity to relax and have a rest. If you’re able to outsource any of your household chores, this can be a good way of easing the pressure and feeling more content with your surroundings. It doesn’t have to be a full maid service, just getting a hand with the laundry or having a spring clean every so often will make a big difference to your workload, and make you more likely to feel comfortable in your home.
Sometimes your house doesn’t feel welcoming because it doesn’t have the best atmosphere. All the impacts on your senses can affect the way you feel about your environment. The lighting, temperature, humidity, smells, and sounds can all have an impact. Think about each of these issues and whether any of them are having a negative effect on you. Ask the other members of the family for their opinions, and whether they’ve noticed anything that doesn’t feel quite right.
Having your home at the optimum temperature can have one of the biggest influences. Too cold and it doesn’t feel cozy and homely; too hot and you can’t walk to the bedroom without breaking a sweat. Heating systems with a thermostat that allows you to control each area of the house and set a specific temperature are the best ways to get the right level of warmth.
Lighting that is too harsh or too dim can also have a significant effect on your impression of your surroundings. Using the right bulbs, and light fixtures can make a big difference to the ambiance. If you’re planning to try out some changes to your lighting and heating, learn more about the best way to achieve this without putting up your energy bills at the same time.
A dry atmosphere or one that is damp is uncomfortable to live with and could be harmful to your health, so getting the humidity levels right so that there is the correct level of moisture in the air will make your home feel far more comfortable. You might find that your pets are leaving a bit too much of their special scent behind them, which although when you’re used to it is not that noticeable, can still give you a sense of a less than pleasant tint to the air. It could be time to bath the dog, look at a better kitty litter, or get the kids to clean the hamster cage out more often.
Whatever is behind your feelings about your home, identifying the cause will enable you to take action and sort the problem out, and make your home the special sanctuary you deserve.