Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Be Happier In Your Home


I came across this blog entry via headedsomewhere.com and thought it was sharing worthy. Although in my opinion, doing all 10 tasks is somewhat tedious and hard to keep up with— several things did manage to stand out to me. The list is provided below & my take on it is in pink. You can find the original publication here: apartmenttherapy.com.

1. Make your bed. The book The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness. I make my bed every morning & it's been a habitual thing, but it always makes me feel more organized and ready for the day's tasks. 

2. Bring every room back to "ready."  I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul’s clever book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys. It’s a known fact that clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.) To do listed.

3. Display sentimental items around your home.  One reason that experiences and memories of those experiences make us happier than material things is due to the entire cycle of enjoyment that experiences provide: planning the experience, looking forward to the experience, enjoying the experience, and then remembering the experience. Make your home a gallery of positive memories. This is a snapshot taken from my girlfriend's place; she has photos of us around her apartment alongside her designer soles and great reads.  


4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal.  Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. If you have kids, you can ask them, “What was the best part of today?” Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude. (An added bonus: Later, when your memory is defunct, you will already have all of your meaningful adventures recorded!) If you have trouble getting started with journaling, consider buying a book to guide you. Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, is a great one. I'm not big on the one line idea, but I do keep a book of quotes to jot down words that inspire me. 

5. If you can't get out of it, get into it.  This tip comes from The Happiness Project. I love the message: The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume, do a couple fist-pumps while shouting “Can I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!” and pretend you love it. Irrelevant.

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day.  In The Art of Happiness, the Dali Lama says “”Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” Wow. What a wise man. I tend to wake up with a strong visceral reaction that says, “Attention human beings: Be afraid of me before coffee. Be very afraid!” Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like “be productive” or “enjoy today’s delicious moments” or it could be something more specific like “say thank you to my loved ones today.” But it should not be another “to do” item on your list. I typically run a mental to do list in my head before I go to sleep and push myself out of bed in the morning with the prize of coffee. #notamorningperson

7. Do small favors.  Mow the lawn for your husband, but don’t expect him to pat you on the back. Make the bed for your wife, but don’t try to get bonus points for it. Take the trash out for your roommate, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost. It’s a well-known fact: When you do good, you feel good. Small gestures come a long way, you can really make a person's day with a simple compliment.


8. Call at least one friend or family member a day.  You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed, or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don’t feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better. Confession: My girlfriends & I FaceTime or oovoo each other and just sit there. True story.  

9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home.  Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain. Plan a summer barbeque, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. SUNDAYFUNDAY!


10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself.  Whatever your spiritual beliefs or non-beliefs may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet? I light candles regularly to create a relaxing environment to unwind from a hectic day.

I hope you guys found this information useful and picked up one or two inspirational tips from the list. Best wishes!


  1. I LOVE these tips!! Thank you for sharing them! <3

  2. Great tips. I especially like #5 and #6

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