Winter is coming on and we are all going to be spending more time in our homes. It is a good time to not only get our space into shape to accommodate us and our holiday guests, but to really create a peaceful, lovely place for us to dwell, unwind, and recharge.
Read on for my top 8 ways to create a sanctuary in your home:
1. MAKE YOUR BED every day, the moment you get out of the bed. Keep your bedroom hotel-like by doing just this one thing.
2. Allow NATURAL LIGHT in. Natural light, especially in the morning, sets your internal clock in motion. For maintaining your body clock, you only need sunlight in the room where you linger during the mornings. Open your curtains, use roll up shades or half curtains…or use the much weaker but still workable substitute, full-spectrum light bulbs. Doing this will energize you and help you keep appropriate body rhythms, which can help you keep going throughout a stressful day and help you get to sleep at a decent hour at night. This is particularly important in the fall and winter, when more light is needed, especially for those who experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Getting lots of natural light will really help this condition.
3. DECLUTTER! A lot of people who feel stressed out in their homes without quite understanding why begin to feel more at ease once their environment is pared down. When you organize things, you discover what’s meaningful and necessary–that happens on visual and psychological levels. You only see things of great value, and there is no visual noise, and your mind eases because you know that you have done some good work to keep all your stuff and papers manageable and that you are only allowing space in your sanctuary for what is important.
4. Bring some NATURE inside. Winter is associated with barren landscapes and little color. Counteract that by bringing some soothing, spring-y and summery elements in. How to do this:
– Paint a wall green.
– Get some inexpensive plants and create a calming ritual of watering them.
– Accessorize with some smooth stones or wood branches or seashells.
– Bring home fresh flowers from the deli.
-Display a photo or painting of a nature scene. Have you seen how in Oprah’s magazine they always include some beautiful landscape for you to meditate on? That’s what I am talking about.
– And bamboo is popping up in all sorts of products these days, from window shades to bathmats. It’s durable and cheap to own!
5. RETHINK YOUR BLANKETS AND SHEETS. Move away from synthetics and opt for more natural fibers. Your minimum thread count, in my opinion, should be 400. Affordable sheets and duvet covers can be had at Bed, Bath & Beyond. And you can find extremely inexpensive yet luxurious bedding at Costco, ONLINE! No need to pay for a membership and drive a car to get there!
Also I must let you in on an item that changed my life in terms of a good night’s sleep. I have one of those visco-elastic memory foam toppers on my bed. It RID me of all back pain, pets like to cuddle in it, and I enjoyed a refreshing full night’s sleep the first night I used it! An inexpensive one can be had at brylanehome.com– search for Comfort Creations mattress topper.
6. Utilize SCENT in your home. Those oil diffuser sticks are the best bang for your buck, as they work, work, work and last for upwards of six months. If you do nothing else (well, MAKE YOUR BED!) the addition of these into your home with a beautiful aroma will do wonders for upgrading your space and for calming you within it.
Also, you can purchase many scented oils at places like Whole Foods or even the guys on the street in the city. Add a few drops of these oils on the underside of your pillow, and maybe even between the sheets. A good choice is lavender oil, as it is known for its soothing, restful properties. Sometimes when I wake up in the night to use the bathroom and can’t immediately fall back to sleep, I actually inhale lavender oil into each nostril and I ALWAYS go back to sleep not long after. Try it!
7. Use WALL LIGHTS, DIMMER SWITCHES or change some LIGHT BULBS to pink (pink is probably best in your bedroom) rather than turning on that full blast fluorescent overhead light. This gives you more control over your lighting mood, setting the best situation up for you to relax. You can also use candles.
8. MUSIC. Not to be corny, but to me music is one of the gifts of living. Music can be therapeutic, and calm you down or give you a mood boost if you need it. Everyone likes it, and everyone has some. Why not turn off the news programs that send negative information into your home now and then, and curate your own relaxed or happy mood with your own choice in audio?
OK! There are my Top Eight Ways to create a sanctuary-like feel in your home, which will help you to relax, get cozy and assist you to fend off the cold weather blustering outside. Pick at least one and start implementing it today!
– NICOLE ABRAMOVICI
Nicole Abramovici is an NYC-based Professional Organizer and the owner of Genius Organizing. She works with everyone from CEOs to homemakers, both in their homes and offices, getting rid of the clutter and organizing what’s left. Understanding that clutter causes not only disorganization, but a lack of motivation, she creates solutions that not only serve to de-clutter your home and office, but your mind as well, readying you to move forward with whatever you choose to spend your precious time on. To learn more about her services, or to set up an appointment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.