After discovering the correlation between making the bed every day and happiness, I wondered if there were other equally simple things I could do around my house to make me happy. Turns out there are!
Discovering what these things were was at the heart of the Westweek panel, The Art of Making a Home Happy. Alexandria Abramian-Mott of Angeleno Interiors moderated a lively conversation between graduate student-in-psychology Katie Nelson, designers Bruce Bolander, Jamie Bush and Sebastian Knorr and declutter maestro Peter Walsh. Here's what we learned:
Keep Your Home Clean and Declutter it Frequently: Most people are happiest in their homes right after the maid leaves. If you can't afford a maid (or even if you can), find a simple cleaning routine you can do and do it consistently so it's always just a few moments away from being clean. Toss the stuff that doesn't support your life and the things you love to do. A home that's clean and decluttered will make you feel good. And if you feel good about your clean, "company ready" home, it's likely that you'll want to have people over more often.
Have People Over Often: It turns out that having strong relationships is the one of the biggest indicators of a happy life. Getting together with friends just twice a month in your home has a greater effect on your happiness than doubling your income. While you may not want or be the type to have a big bash every month (or even every few months), knowing that you can invite someone over for a meal or even just invite them in for a moment and not apologize for the state of your house, goes a long way towards feeling happy.
Change It Up: Variety, surprise and novelty are components of the third key to happiness. While most of us can't afford to redo our homes every time we get bored or grumpy, little changes are just as effective as big ones. So, move your sofas around, bring in a new pillow, roll up your rugs for the summer or just bring in some colorful flowers!
Image: Laure Joliet