Home is where the heart is – or so they say. Everyone deserves a nice place to come home to at the end of the day’s work, and while many of us are fortunate to have a nice marriage or house to come home to, there are also many readers out there who pay for small apartments, live with roommates or still stay with their parents. We need to feel comfortable where we sleep, and feel good about going there every night and waking up there every morning. If discomfort comes in the way of a poor relationship or real estate choice, we can’t do everything about it right away, but there are many little things we can do to improve our situation without having to change much of anything!
1. Cook comfort food.
Fill up your house with the smells of muffins and the warmth of rice pudding. Call your mom and ask for grandma’s favourite recipes from when you were younger and enjoy a nostalgic taste-bud-trip down memory lane at your dinner table. There’s something to say for comfort foods that make us feel good after or before a long day of eating takeout salads or bland sandwiches at work. Find an hour or two after work to whip up some classic recipes and relax on the couch for dinner. Feel like a kid again !
2. Invest in decor.
Life is getting more and more expensive, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of comfort. If your home is empty of feeling or emotion, or full o f old styles and ideas, try saving a few dollars and buying some new trinkets for your walls and shelves. A few dollars goes a long way at some of the popular home decor stores, and you can build up a style over time at interesting boutique shops. Remember it doesn’t have to happen all at once, but giving your home a makeover might be just what the doctor ordered. Even a few tacky pictures of flowers or generic decorations will give your home a few new colours to work with. Find things that interest you and suit you.
3. Invite people over more often.
Long gone are the days of hearing the doorbell ring because your friends were in the neighbourhood and decided to pop over. With mass communication so available, it is considered just plain strange to have people suddenly arrive at your door! Unfortunately, it’s made our homes turn into these unapproachable areas of isolation and disclosure. Find a day together with your friends where they can come over and enjoy some conversation at your place. You can have a movie night, play cards, or just drink a bottle of wine and catch up on gossip. Use the opportunity to make some of those comfort foods we talked about, or even do it together. If your home is good enough to have people over, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in it ever again.
4. Get a nice couch.
This one seems arbitrary but it is all psychological. Well, perhaps you already have a nice couch, but let’s say you don’t. Think of it like this – your bed is where you sleep, your couch is where you eat. Where can you go to just kick back and relax? You need to have a separate area of comfort for those times you are not ready to sleep or eat. There are many places in the world where the only furniture in an apartment is a bed. Enjoy your living room with a nice place to nap, read, or have a coffee. It w ill ensure a well rounded home, providing comfort in every corner.
5. Maximize sunlight.
Use windows to your advantage by keeping them open, enjoying a fresh breeze, and splaying the sun on places where it should be splayed. Put beautiful things where the sun is going to shine to, and emphasize those areas of the room. If you can’t keep the window open for lack of screen, get a screen and enjoy the freedom. If you have a cat, make the area where the sun shines comfortable for your feline – you know they love to sit in the warm sunlight to bask. A happy cat is a happy home.
6. Keep your favourite food and drinks at hand.
Maybe you’re on a diet, so you only keep healthy food at home. Or perhaps your salary does not allow you to provide luxuries to your food stock at home. Try to find a way to keep a couple of snacks around, so that you can really munch out when you want. I consider myself a healthy person, but sometimes all I want to do is sit around and eat cookies – it’s comforting! But what happens when I don’t have any cookies, and all the stores are closed? Well it’s a bit disappointing. Put a bit aside to keep some fun foods around for yourself and guests; ice cream, biscuits, or some nice ice wine or moscato. You’ll thank yourself later that you kept yourself well stocked for some enjoyment.
This goes without saying, but I bet if I came over to your house now I could find a couple of things to tidy up! Make it a habit to clean your room day by day, fold your clothes, make your bed. Clean as you cook, so you don’t have dishes later. Don’t let dishes stack up, and make sure there are no little puddles of water anywhere in your home. Use a day off to play some loud music and clean the dust out. You can’t believe how good it feels to live somewhere clean. Feel fresh, feel proud, clean your house, make some comfort food and invite friends over. You will love it!
By Steven Aitchison