5 ways I reset my living space to uplift my mood and destress each day

Try incorporating these easy methods in your daily life to reduce stress and clutter

Three images of natural, calm toned interiors
(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers / Albion Nord)

Your home should always feel like a sanctuary to you, a place where you can feel safe and able to be the best version of yourself. My home is definitely that to me: an environment where I can feel relaxed when the outside world gets a bit overwhelming. 

Over the years, I have acquired a handful of things that I like to do to reset my space and surroundings and ensure that my home provides a neutral zone that calms and relieves stress from my everyday life. 

The ability to reset your space effectively can help everyone create a clean and fresh environment, ready for you to channel your energy and time into anything you choose. 

5 ways I reset my living space to uplift my mood

Here are 5 ways I reset my living space to uplift my mood and create a sense of calm and relaxation.

1. Diffuse essential oils and incense

Essential oil diffuser

(Image credit: The White Company)

One thing that I find completely transforms my space is scent, when the house smells good it significantly changes my mood. Having a familiar aroma throughout your house instantly makes you feel relaxed and uplifted.

As humans, we learn through association, and we can associate positive feelings directly with certain smells. Have you ever smelt something and been instantly transported back to a certain time and place? Well that can easily be recreated in your home, too. Simply choose a scent that feels comforting and pleasant to you and have this aroma spread around your home in the form of candles, incense and essential oils. You may also want to try fragrance layering or 'scent-scaping' to set different moods for each room in your home.

My scent of choice is sage. The moment I smell sage I feel comforted. I normally use an oil burner diffuser like the Brass Oil Burner from Aesop to evenly distribute the smell around my house. 

Caitlin Murray, Founder and creative director of Black Lacquer Design, suggests the use of Geranium, Eucalyptus, and Chamomile essential oils to invite tranquility into your space and bring a spa-like atmosphere to each room. Using essential oils is one of my many hidden tricks to keep my home smelling nice.

Caitlin Murray
Caitlin Murray

Black Lacquer Design is an award-winning, full-service, Los Angeles interior design studio with a tailored, vibrant vision for special spaces and the people who inhabit them.

2. Surround yourself with indoor plants and flowers

onservatory with dark grey frames, grey marbled floor and lush foliaged plants. Renovation of a Victorian terraced house in North West London, by interior designers Federica Gosio and Arianna Crosetta, home of Milly O'Sullivan.

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

There is something about being surrounded by nature that just makes you feel at ease, natural plants give out so much positive energy. I can instantly feel it when I add new plants to my living space, especially green ones. 

Having natural foliage around your home adds a change in texture, too. It also provides many health benefits as houseplants naturally filter the air in your home and can reduce the presence of nitrogen dioxide by up to 20% in a confined area such as a house or an apartment. That can make a significant difference to your health and mood. 

If you happen to be in a small space where you can’t add as many house plants as you would like, opt for small easy-to-maintain indoor plants such as the spider plant. Or simply display fresh-cut flowers in vases around your home. A study conducted by the University of New Jersey found that flowers have a huge benefit in increasing serotonin in the brain and, therefore, enhancing our mood. And who doesn’t love an extra dose of the happy hormone?

3. Soften your space with natural textiles

A neutral bedroom with thick comforter

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

Natural and muted tones are normally more delicate on the eye and provide a more calming and nurturing environment, especially on more stressful days. I am an advocate for color and bright decorations, although I do believe there is a time and a place for them. Personally, I like to keep my bedroom relaxing and calm, filled with natural colors that are not too overwhelming to the eye or too stimulating for the mind. 

In the bedroom I tend to keep it more simple and like to layer natural tones and materials to create a calming space. To do this I use light linen bed sheets, my favorite is this oatmeal linen bundle from Piglet in bed. These sheets are both soft and breathable and provide the most luxurious night's sleep. 

'To ensure that your space does not look too stark, add in different textures in the form of scatter cushions and drapes,' says Karin Bohn, Founder and Director of the House of Bohn.  It is a good idea to stay within a similar color palette so that you don’t overpower the room. Adding different layers of warm tone colors can add interest without creating overstimulation in the room.

Karin Bohn
Karin Born

Karin Bohn is the founder and creative director of the award-winning House of Bohn design studio. She established the interior design firm in 2009, and since has made her mark in many industries including luxury residential, multi-family, restaurants and retail.

4. Create designated areas for clutter

Living room shelving with open wooden shelves

(Image credit: Richard Powers / Future)

Clutter exists in every household, even if you are the most organized person clutter will show up somewhere. And disorganized chaos is the last thing you want to see when you are coming home after a long day or trying to relax in your communal spaces.

The thing that I have found that works best for me is to acknowledge that it is there and accept that there will be an area of the house that will sometimes be more cluttered than others, but determine which area that is and keep it contained. When you designate a particular area in your house to clutter the chances are that it will stay there. 

I have a Goodpick Extra Large Wicker Storage Basket from Amazon in the corner of my living room and kitchen that I like to call the ‘clutter basket’, and the sole purpose of it is to contain mess and objects such as toys, blankets and any miscellaneous objects inside. This way, you can contain the mess in one confined area that also enables it to look chic and quickly get it out of sight and out of mind so that I can enjoy the space for the evening with immediate effect. 

I usually revisit the ‘clutter basket’ every Sunday to go through the objects that have been collected throughout the week and put them back in their rightful positions around the home. This method is much less stressful than decluttering immediately.

5. Air out your living space

light flooring and patio doors in hallway

(Image credit: Mandarin Stone)

Now this may sound simple, and for all intents and purposes it is, however you would be surprised how many people do not do this. Once a week, I open all the windows in my house. Sometimes I open them all at the same time or go room by room and open the windows in each room to bring in a fresh influx of air that circulates the house. 

The main reason you should do this is because often the air we breathe in is confined when it comes to the house and can have higher levels of carbon dioxide present as it has been inhaled and exhaled so many times, it is essential that we allow a fresh supply to come into our homes and this is so simple to do. 

I can feel an instant difference to my space and mood whenever I do this in any room. There is nothing like a deep breath of fresh, crisp air. Sleeping with a window open is also a great way to absorb more oxygen when you sleep and maintain good air circulation.

Resetting your living space is a great way to uplift your mood and empty your mind. By resetting your home, you can increase focus and productivity, freeing up more time and energy to complete other work.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.