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10 Ways To Make Your Home A Stress-Free Sanctuary

You would be surprised at how one small change in your home can lift your mood and get you more motivated to take on other projects.
06/15/2016 10:37am ET | Updated June 16, 2017
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Do you ever find that your home stresses you out?

A long time ago, I went through a phase where I constantly worked late and got anxiety when it was time to go home. At first, I couldn't figure out why since I seemed to enjoy work less than I enjoyed my home life.

After some therapy and self-reflection I realized that my home was stressing me out more than my deadline-intense job was!

Here's the deal: I was living with my husband, son and dog in a one bedroom apartment far east on the upper east side of Manhattan. Aside from the fact that my commute was 45 minutes at its quickest, the four of us were cramped into this tiny space where two people couldn't even be in the kitchen at the same time because it was the size of a closet.

The place got very little sunlight and the super cut the heat 50 percent of the time during the winter. Many residents used to sit on the stoop outside to warm up because somehow it was warmer outside then in the building. I managed to create Snuggies for Jor & I long before Snuggies were mainstream!

In any case, Jor & I have come along way and learned many lessons. One of those lessons is to be as comfortable in your home as you can. Let it serve as a safe cocoon for you to regroup so you can emerge as your best self whenever you leave your home.

Now, with that said, your home may be a source of stress, regardless. Some things that come to mind is if your home needs repairs or if you're stretching your money to make rent or mortgage payments. Obviously there are many factors that cause stress; however -- just like life -- we'll start with some of the things that are within our immediate control at the moment.

You would be surprised at how one small change in your home can lift your mood and get you more motivated to take on other projects.

1. Donate your wall clocks.
Seriously, send them to a charity. You have clocks on your microwave and cell phone, and possibly on your stove or cable box, as well as alarm clock if you use one. (Which you should, read here). I have faith that you can always access a clock when you need to. You don't need one on the wall staring at you and ticking away, especially during your relaxation time.

2. Cute magnets & photos on your fridge! (aka NO BILLS, DEADLINES OR NOTICES)!
Decorate your fridge with love and cuteness. Keep track of bills and other deadlines on a written or electronic to-do list or calendar. Just like the wall clock theory -- you don't need stressful reminders constantly in your face.

3. Clear clutter.
And on that note, clutter tends to cause stress as well. To get a handle on it, first minimize the clutter by getting rid of what you don't need. Next, file any papers that you need to hold on to. For random things that you're not quite sure what to do with, throw them in covered decorative bins, baskets, drawers, etc.

4. Create a happy spot.
No matter how small your living quarters are, I have faith that you can find a tiny spot to create a little zen station. It's your happy place to go to when you need to regroup or relax. This means different things to different people so of course you can personalize it for what works for you.

For example, a friend of mine simply had a shelf with all of her chachkies that made her feel calm and happy. In my apartment, I have a small meditation corner with a cushion and essential oils close by.

Create a safe little space that you can escape to for a few moments when you need some calming.

5. Unplug.
Shut off what you're not using, unplug what you don't use often. Also, don't forget to unplug chargers if they're not connected to anything. It's a matter of managing energy, spiritually and literally.

6. Natural light.
Let in as much sunlight as possible for at least a portion of the day. It boosts mood, health and comfort and can change the appearance and feel of a room.

7. Clean your house regularly.
Click here for a handy info-graphic on what to clean and how often.

8. Eliminate odors / Add a scent.
I realized my home was lacking great scent when I stepped into the lobby of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas ten years ago. I can still smell that signature scent just by thinking about it! Most of us work pretty hard just at keeping odor out, let alone adding a welcoming scent. Click here to find out how to deodorize. And click here to learn how to odorize... pleasantly.

9. Clear pathways.
Not only is it safer when you have a clear path to walk throughout your home, but it also saves time and frustration. As we all learned in elementary school, a straight line from Point A to Point B is the quickest & most efficient route. So you can imagine that stepping over clothes or weaving around out-of-place furniture can create unnecessary stress and interrupt the flow of your home.

10. Use rooms for their purpose.
Example: sleeping in a bedroom, eating in the kitchen, watching TV in the living room, and so on. If you're in a studio apartment or small space, section off your areas as best as possible. This is a matter of getting good habits in place to decrease the possibility of insomnia, overeating, etc.