Keeping your home environment up-to-date and in a condition you’re proud of can be a fantastic way of improving your overall happiness. After all, as the GoodHome report found, homes are vital to our general outlook, accounting for 15% of our total happiness – approximately five times more than our jobs.

With this in mind, here are four changes you can make to your house to make it feel like a happier place to be.

  1. Rearrange, reorganise and redesign.

The colours and design of your home can make a big difference to how you feel living there. Some neutral tones may be relaxing but getting rid of the beige by injecting some colour and personality into your home can promote feelings of happiness. Although, keep in mind that darker colours can take the light out of a room and make a home feel much smaller than it actually is. Large objects and items of furniture can do the same, so don’t be afraid to get rid of them or try them out in different places if they’re affecting how you feel while at home.

Reorganising your belongings can help make you feel a lot more content as well. Why not utilise the effective method that the Japanese use to declutter and organise their stuff? Based on a straightforward premise, you simply need to take one item at a time, look at it, and ask yourself whether it makes you happy or not. If it doesn’t spark a feeling of joy, get rid of it. It’s as simple as that.

Redesigning your home is much more of a commitment, but can be a highly effective way of improving your happiness. Whether you choose to change the colour, texture or physical objects within your rooms, making small design changes can do a lot to optimise your home’s atmosphere.

Plus, the materials you add can make a big difference. Sheepskin, rattan, linen and wood are all great at making you feel instantly more relaxed. Think about which materials would work in your home, and only add those that have a positive impact on your emotions. If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t worry – take a look at local interior designer’s case studies, as their previous work will help you figure out what would/wouldn’t look great in your home.

  1. Embrace nature.

Adding houseplants and other forms of nature to your home can give it an instant lift. It will make you feel better too, since plants are known for purifying the air, reducing stress and acting as a natural humidifier. They also look great, so are an absolute must-have for your home environment.

Here are some of the best plants to consider adding to your home:

  • English Ivy. English ivy is the best plant at filtering the air, according to NASA. It’s also incredibly easy to grow and can be used as either a hanging plant or a floor plant.
  • Rubber Tree. Another incredibly easy plant to grow, rubber plants are fantastic at eliminating toxins. They also thrive in dim lighting and cooler temperatures, so are perfect for the British climate.
  • Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is fantastic for healing burns and detoxing the body. It grows best in sunlight and, again, is brill at maintaining air quality.
  • Bamboo Palm. Another of NASA’s top picks, the Bamboo Palm is brilliant at removing benzene and trichloroethylene from the air, keeping your home nice and stress-free. They require a fair bit of watering, but aren’t too difficult to keep looking great.
  1. Get a dog.

Having a pet can be a great way of instantly making your home feel happier – especially if they’re well-behaved. Dogs, in particular, are often renowned as being the pinnacle of happiness, due to their big smiley faces and tails that never seem to stop wagging.

For many people, there is simply nothing better than walking back in on their dog waiting to greet them at the door. It puts an instant smile on your face, no matter how bad your day might have been.

Plus, dogs are a great source of exercise, since they need to be walked on a regular basis. This will not only provide you and them with a ton of enjoyment, but it will also go a long way towards maintaining your health and happiness. Here’s why:

  • Dog owners take almost 3,000 steps more per day on average compared to non-owners.
  • Owning a dog decreases stress and has been linked to lowering blood pressure.
  • Dog owners have a reduced risk of developing asthma.
  • Dogs can help with anxiety and depression, and are often used as a therapy option.
  1. Celebrate your individuality.

A home should be unique and truly individual to you. It should represent your personality and what you like – especially in terms of colours, furnishings and décor. Don’t be afraid to be different – you don’t have to follow the latest trends if you don’t want to. Everything you do, both inside and outside of your home, should be exactly what you want.

While it’s perfectly fine to ask for advice, at the end of the day, you are going to be the person living there, so you need to make it a place that you want to come back to. Invest in artwork YOU like, buy furniture YOU want, and design your home however YOU want to.

Put the you into being you-nique.