There are a lot of things young children bring into a household: joy, energy, laughter, and if your kids are like mine, a lot of random rocks, but peace isn’t often included on that list.
However, peace is important because it makes our living spaces feel like a true home- a safe and relaxing haven for us to do life.
Are you familiar with hygge? Pronounced “hoo-ga,” this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. For me, I’ve found that’s where the feeling of peace lies- in slowing down and enjoying the simple pleasures of day to day living.
Since I heard about this concept, I’ve become almost obsessed with it. I’ve gotten rid of things that don’t “spark joy” and have focus on creating a space that feels welcoming and peaceful, even if it’s far from “well decorated.”
Here are 15 things that have helped me bring peace into my home. Maybe some of these will speak to you, too!
- Know thyself. Does clutter make you tense? It does for me. Get rid of stuff. If the garage sale isn’t in the next month, donate it. However, what defines clutter is personal. Those cards on my desk in the picture above may be clutter to some, but to me, the messages of love create warmth.
- Paint your walls. When we moved into our home I got a bee in my bonnet about wanting to put our mark on it. Some decisions turned out well, like the girls’ rooms. Others, not so much. I painted our office a terribly bright Tiffany blue and our bedroom a bright green. I know, I know. It took me so long to paint over it again, but when I did, I felt immediate peace. It’s worth taking the day to paint the walls!
- Light a candle or diffuse your favorite oils. Buy a plant or pick (or buy) flowers. What appeals most to you? For me, it’s candles. All day, every day.
- Create personal space. Give your children a creative space. Whether it’s a craft table or magically decorated closet full of twinkly lights where they can cuddle up and read, having an escape place they can always count on to go to gives them a personal respite. Do the same for yourself. Find a reading corner and fill it with your favorite things. Or maybe a workout space in the corner of the garage. Something about having a place that is “just yours” is so nice.
- Do everything within your power to eliminate the need to rush. Have you ever noticed that your kids melt down only when you’re in a hurry? I’ve been there and it made me realize the kids feed off my energy. Deciding to stop rushing (as much as possible) has been the single most behavior-changing switch I’ve made.
- Stop mulitasking. Focusing on one thing fully, whether work, homeschool, or reading a book has been a challenge for me, but always leaves me feeling more peaceful and fulfilled that juggling multiple tasks at once.
- Look at the next day’s events and to-dos before the end of the current day. It sounds like it might add stress, but knowing what is lined up for tomorrow allows me to relax. Now I know why Hailey always asks me what the plan is for the next day. It’s nice to have a sense of what is to come.
- Take the TV out of the main living space. Truth: we have not done this. However, our TV console can hold up the TV or lower it into the base. When we lower the TV into the base, a different energy fills the room. It immediately makes it feel more peaceful and invites other activities, like board games and reading, to fill the space instead.
- Play music. I owe David for this one. He always has his bluetooth speaker charged and ready. I also always remember having background music for family dinners while growing up. Music totally brings energy into the room, whether you’re seeking peace to watch the fire or energy to get your scrubbing dishes vibe on. We love our Spotify!
- Add a lamp. Lighting can make the biggest difference in the feel of a room. I recently was looking for a place to put a lamp of ours and decided to stick it in the office until I decided on a permanent home. Now I’ll never move it because it has brought a chill vibe to my computer space that I absolutely love.
- Speak calmly. If you can’t, take some space until you can. I’m not a shouter by nature, but I’ve certainly gotten worked up at times. I always regret it. Now I really aim to breathe deeply, take a minute, then share my calm instead of joining in on their chaos.
- Don’t pick up your phone before you are ready for the day. This one is HUGE. I’m working incredibly hard to not start my day with social media or emails. My phone still calls to me (figuratively), but I’ve found my mind and spirit do better when I start my day with reading or journaling, exercise, and getting dressed. Take care of yourself before getting wrapped up in other’s energy.
- Stop picking on the things that are annoying, but not harmful. You know what is terrible to admit? My girls were laughing the other day and I was so annoyed. I was trying to read something and I found myself getting so frustrated at their giggles. In the past I’ve told them to quiet down or cut it out, but my goodness, they were just laughing! Instead I moved to another room and a few minutes later I was finished with my task and grateful that I hadn’t snapped at them for simply enjoying themselves.
- Get up early and have time to yourself. I know some people are night people, and to each their own, but I’m convinced that there is nothing quite like the quiet and calm of morning, when your mind and spirit are fresh. I’ve found that even if it means less quantity of sleep, it is better for me to still get up with my alarm because starting my day off in such a peaceful way pays dividends.
- Live in the present. Possibly the most cliche advice of all time, yet still poignant. Reduce the number of things on your to do list each day. Simplify what can be simplified. Then fully commit yourself to the task or moment at hand, and let go of what is next. I’m speaking to myself here because I’m always thinking about where we have to be in an hour and how I can be more efficient (I’ll fold laundry while they paint!), but spreading ourselves so thin is stealing the joy from our days. We all are in different seasons of life and the number of things you’ll get done in a day will differ greatly as move from one season to the next. Do what you can with where you are, and let the rest go.
Is a peaceful home important to you or do you fully embrace the chaos?
In what ways do you create hygge in your home?