I don’t know about you, but when my home is a mess, it’s generally a good sign my life is a mess, too. With the ongoing pandemic, we’ve been spending a lot of time at home, and it’s easy to get bogged down by the clutter all around us.

If you’re tired of your home feeling like a box of anxiety, here are some home decorating tricks that can help.

Adding plants

Plants are a great addition because they bring life (literally) to your home. While I’m personally a fan of fake plants (they never die!), flowering plants like anthurium decrease stress levels. They also look nice and bring the outdoors in – the latter which you’ll probably especially appreciate in the winter!

Adding warmth: lights, blankets, and candles

Have you ever walked into a room or bathroom and something just seemed off with the lighting? You may have even gotten horror-movie vibes.

If so, the lights were probably not warm enough with that yellow tint that feels so homey. Buying warmer lights, or “soft white lights,” can help.

You can also add things like candles and blankets. They elicit feelings of coziness and safety. Just thinking about them helps me relax!

Limiting patterns

Home decor stores are full of different items with cute patterns, and buying them all can definitely be tempting. However, too many patterns in one area can overload your brain. Keep it simple with solid colors (and a few patterns mixed in).

Putting your bed against the wall that’s opposite your door

According to the principles of Feng Shui, a Chinese practice that helps people achieve peace in their environment, putting your bed against the opposite wall as your door can create feelings of relaxation. Isn’t that so cool?

The 3 Cs: containers, closets, and cleaning

Are you dealing with clutter and a large accumulation of stuff? I hear you, and so does interior designer Karin Bohn. “I’m a firm believer that a space with lots of knick-knacks, or just disorganization, creates visual tension and physical stress,” she said for a Better Homes & Gardens article.

 In that case, remember the 3 Cs.

First, containers. It’s okay to have more than one “junk drawer.” You can buy some cute bins to put things in so rooms look neater.

Then, find places to put those containers. Closets are great because they can be closed up when you have company over.

And lastly, clean. While cleaning can be stressful, doing what you can when you can makes a huge difference, at least for me. Get some cleaning materials you feel good about — cute trash cans, a solid vacuum, et cetera — and get to work. You got this! 

Checking Instagram for vibe ideas

Ready to buy some nice decor, but don’t know where to start? Finding attractive products is easy, but matching them can be a whole other thing.

If you struggle with this, check Instagram for ideas. You don’t even need an account! Search hashtags like #homedecor, #homedecorideas, and #cloffice (AKA a closet office) to see what kind of vibe you’re looking for.

Maybe you want neutral colors and simplicity. Maybe you want ocean colors and decorative pillows. Having these set ideas can take away some of the stress and help you feel more in control.

Place happy photos in multiple rooms

Bring joyful memories to your home with happy photos. Get pictures from your phone printed at Walgreens or CVS, then hang them up with string lights or put them in photo frames. It’s harder to be anxious when you’re surrounded by loved ones!

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About Ashley Broadwater

Ashley Broadwater is a freelance writer and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She's been published in POPSUGAR, Medium, and more. You'll find her writing about body positivity, relationships, mental health, and entertainment regularly.

View all posts by Ashley Broadwater