Brighten Up Your Home & Combat the February Blues

If you’re anything like me, you find the shortest month of the year feels like the longest. The days are cold, we are in between holidays, and we are wearing sweatpants far more than we would like to admit. It’s quite common to have the February blues. This year with us all spending more time at home, it seems appropriate to leverage some design and decorating tricks to boost our moods. Here’s the plan:

Let’s start with colour, as in, you need more colour.

Choose one of your favourite spring colours, perhaps inspired by the garden, and bring that inside now. This is most easily done through toss cushions, new artwork, new bedding (which is one of my favourites), or, more elaborately, through paint. Consider perhaps a door in the house, either to a bedroom or a powder room or your home office, and give it a huge style boost with an unexpected paint colour such as pink, bright yellow, or garden green. It’s just a door. Have fun!

Now let’s get some new plants going.

Garden centers may not be open yet, but there’s a good chance your local grocery store is selling plants. If surfaces are limited in your home, order a plant hanger from a source like Amazon or another retailer online, or alternately order a wall-mounted shelf that can support a few of your new green friends. Plants give us a sense of feeling more alive, more connected to nature, and a sense of well-being and hope. They are also nature’s filters and do wonders for purifying the air we breathe.

Next, let’s address our sense of smell.

The scents we associate with springtime, and new beginnings are many. Everybody has their personal preference, but most florals are happy smells and are easy to find represented in candles, incense, and room sprays. Lavender and vanilla is my current favourite. I recommend using a scent in the rooms you frequent most, like the bedroom, home office and kitchen, to trick your senses into feeling like spring has arrived. This olfactory delight will significantly help boost your mood.

And finally, kick off your spring cleaning early this year.

Donation centers have been in short supply due to COVID-19 restrictions and will surely welcome new items as the lockdown begins to lift. More importantly, decluttering your home is an excellent way to boost your mood, decrease stress, increase a sense of accomplishment and provide you with a fresh new appreciation for your home. Physical clarity supports mental clarity!

If you have difficulty parting with objects, I typically suggest packing items that you have not used in at least 12 months into a bin or large tote bag. These can be household items or clothing items. Once you are done packing, place the items in the basement or other storage area for an additional period of time. Perhaps three months. As a result, this will give you the satisfaction of a decluttered home in a baby-steps-way. If you have not needed to retrieve the packed items after three months, they are ready to donate. If you are not somebody who struggles with object attachment, rip the Band-Aid off and do some good old-fashioned housekeeping. This will genuinely lighten your mental load and boost your mood.

Happy February, everyone!