How to Make Your Home Less Stressful

As I've mentioned here before, I'm an introvert. That means I like to spend a lot of time by myself, and I really love being at home. Home is my happy place—it's where I feel creative, relaxed, inspired, and where I recharge.

But I am also someone who gets stressed and anxious if my house is a mess, or if I don't go out of my way to organize it in a smart way. It should be no shock to any of you that I'm also a clean freak (Josh can absolutely attest to this!) and I have to have a clean home in order to calm my mind.

If you're like me, you could probably benefit from making your home a little less stressful so you, too, can relax and recharge:

  1. Keep it clean!

    As I mentioned before, I'm a clean freak. I like a tidy home—it's where I feel most peaceful, after all. If my house is a mess, my mind is a mess, too. Can anyone else relate, or am I crazy?!

    To help keep my home clean, I typically spend a few hours each Saturday morning taking care of everything I need to do. From laundry to scrubbing the floors and sinks, to dusting (and more!), I love setting aside this time each week to clean and de-clutter. In fact—this might sound lame, but whatever—I actually look forward to this time where I get to get my life in order.

    Pro Tip: Schedule your cleaning time on Saturday morning, vs. Sunday night. Having it over with the second the weekend begins is such a welcome breath of fresh air, meaning you can actually enjoy your weekend in a clean house. And, come Sunday night, you won't have to be stressing to finish everything, can pour yourself a glass of vino, and catch up on Game of Thrones.

    Last thought on keeping a clean home: put things back where they go. I hear people all the time say "the mess just builds up throughout the week". PSA: it doesn't have to! I come of the school of thought that it takes just as much time to put something back where it goes as it does to throw it on the floor or couch.
  2. Build smarter solutions.

    Part of putting things back where they go means having an actual place for everything, that makes sense. Example: when Josh and I come home at the end of the day, we used to throw our work bags on the floor in our entryway. It stressed me out walking by it all the time, seeing a pile of bags that were haphazardly thrown in the middle of the floor. So, we invested in some $12 hooks from Home Depot, bribed my dad to come over for dinner (read: hang up the hooks) and got rid of the clutter—and the stress.
  3. Get into a routine!

    Routines are everything. Whenever I'm in a funk, I try to change up my routine. For example, I used to come home stressed and exhausted by a long day, and then immediately sit down on the couch on my phone for 30 minutes catching up on social media. Let me tell you, this does NOT help calm your mind down—it just makes it way worse. (Particularly with the news these days—don't even get me started on that.)

    I started to see how much this routine was stressing me out even more, and wasn't helping me unwind, spend quality time with Josh, or do things I really wanted to be doing. So, now I try to hang up my work bag, put my phone down in our charging station in our entryway, walk into the bedroom and immediately get into comfy clothes. This change in outfit really does change your mental state, too—I immediately feel ready for the night, and having those few minutes free of technology helps calm my mind.

    P.S. I haven't read it yet (it's on my list!) but I've heard Miracle Morning is an essential book if you're looking to switch up your morning routine and bring a bit more clarity and relaxation into your life.
  4. Get rid of distractions.

    Josh won't let me put a TV in our bedroom: something I constantly fight him on (I want to wake up and watch the news in bed, or late-night talk shows at night!), but this is a point of contention where he's probably really right

    If you're feeling stressed at home, take a look around you. There are noisy distractions everywhere, whether it's your TV being on all the time, your phone pinging in the background, or clutter everywhere. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm an adult, and I get to choose which distractions are helping me, and which are actually hurting me.

    A few tips here: get a charging station, and dock your technology there. Having your devices out of sight really does put them out of mind, too. Also, try to keep the TV off. You're much more likely to mindlessly surf channels (and get distracted) once you turn it on.
  5. Get a diffuser!

    You guys know my love for essential oils and diffusers already, but they are a serious game-changer. I love the blends from EO Products (like calm and relax) that now signal my brain that it's seriously time to chill out. After I change into comfortable clothes to start my night, I immediately put some water in the two diffusers we have in our house and diffuse either calm or relax. I love the mood it sets, and I've noticed a big change in my stress levels.
  6. Read more.

    I can pretty much guarantee you have never felt stressed while reading—and I can also guarantee you've definitely felt stressed/anxious/annoyed on social media. Put your phone down, and grab a book! I've started leaving a stack of books that I want to tackle next to my bed, so at night when I plug in my electronics, I've got a welcome distraction right next to me. Once I read even one page, I'm hooked, and the rest of my day melts away.

What are your tips for making your home less stressful? Do you use any of these suggestions yourself? I'd love to know!