This post isn't about embracing habits that affect the cleanliness or order of your home like making your bed or taking your shoes off. In fact, it's not about making your home better, it's about making yourself better through time spent at home. Read through and see which ideas appeal to you, which are realistic, and which ones spark different ideas you can pursue.
1. Have one daily ritual that is just for you. For me, a mom to two young kids, I like to drink my coffee in peace in the morning. Even if it means getting up earlier, that quiet time before the family routine kicks in helps me ease into the day and do something for myself before I start doing things for everyone else. Your ritual could be anything that brings you pleasure or peace, even if just for a few minutes. My mom, for instance, took a hot bath almost every night of my childhood.
2. Set aside time in the week to listen to music. For some people, music is always playing at home. I envy these people. I live in a small apartment with three others and more often than not, the sounds filtering through our home come from the tv, iPad games and noisy toys. On Sunday mornings I like to very intentionally put on music that we can all enjoy and keep other sounds to a minimum. Set aside time in your home when music is all that you can hear. If you live with others, perhaps rotate playlists.
3. Use what you have. Go ahead - use the "nice" soap, light those spendy candles, break out the fabric napkins. Treat yourself well at home. Too often we squirrel away little luxuries at home and only bring them out for company. Let your home provide you with small pleasures; you deserve them.
4. Cook or prepare something, for pleasure, for yourself once a week. Cooking, even for people who love to do it, can be a grind when it's a daily obligation and particularly when it's on you to feed your family. If you can, make something for yourself as often as you can that is not completely utilitarian, even something simple like salted avocado spread on toast. It may help you reconnect with the parts of cooking you do like and, of course, the eating of it will bring you enjoyment in the short term.
5. Choose one weekend day when you don't do any housework. Wouldn't it be great if you did a little bit of housework each weekday so you could just relax and enjoy your home on the weekends? Yeah, that doesn't really happen. Try to condense your household chores to one part of the weekend and have one day, Saturday or Sunday, that is reserved for being home, not cleaning home.
Re-edited from a post originally published 1.3.15-NT