Special days like Family Day are fantastic reminders to celebrate family. But a lot can be done every day to help foster healthy family relationships on a daily basis - and there is no better place to start than in the family home.
Shared living spaces are tricky because homes contain multiple personalities, their possessions and different lifestyles. There are many things you can do to make the home you share with your family a more harmonious one. Read on for ideas on how you can make your home less of a horror and more of a haven for everyone.
One way to preserve your family’s sanity is to create places for people to retreat to. This doesn’t have to be an entire room for each person, it’s just a matter of having separate spaces for people to recharge in.
It could be a play mat for your children, a bean bag, a reading nook, a quiet seat away from the television, or a nice outdoor setting.
The idea is not to constantly avoid one another, but to have places that each person can retreat to for some personal space if they need it.
Clutter in your home creates a stressful environment, especially if the mess isn’t yours. To eliminate clutter in your home, take note of what is commonly left out and check if the place it belongs is adequate. For example, if your children often leave toys and books lying around, make sure the toy boxes and bookshelves that they belong in are within reach for them.
It’s also a good idea to periodically inspect and declutter your items. You can find our tips on the best way to do this here.
Ultimately, the most effective way to keep your home clutter-free is by keeping unnecessary items out of your home in the first place. Take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book of tidy wisdom and limit your consumption to things that only spark joy!
Technology has improved our lives in many ways, but unchecked use can have detrimental effects on our home lives. This is because it can get in the way of our ability to be fully present with ourselves and our families. Encourage balance by imposing tech-free zones.
A common recommendation is to keep our eyes off screens for at least an hour before bedtime. This can help improve sleep quality by limiting the amount of artificial light that we are exposed to after dusk.
An easy step towards minimizing screen time is to make bedrooms technology-free zones. If you rely on your phone to wake up, swap it for old fashioned alarm clock. And if you need to replace a bedtime social-media scroll with another way to wind-down, get your hands on an enthralling book!
Keeping phones out of the bedroom will also make for more mindful mornings. Instead of waking up to information overload on your phone, use your morning as a time for conscious reflection. Check in with yourself, your partner and your family rather than checking out social media.
Just because you inhabit the same space, doesn’t mean that you spend enough quality time together. This is especially challenging as children grow up and start to have their own lives.
Spending quality time together is important for getting to know and understand one another, which in turn boosts our capacity to empathize. All of these things can help keep you from getting in each other’s hair!
Quality time can be as simple as sharing a daily meal together. If you can keep it technology and TV free, even better! If mealtimes are too difficult to coordinate, you can multitask by asking for help while you cook or getting some exercise together while you walk the family dog.
Living in disarray is no way to attain family harmony, but keeping an entire family home clean is too much responsibility for one person. Delegating tasks with a family cleaning schedule is a good way to share the load. Plus, cleaning as a family doubles as time spent together.
‘The more the merrier’ definitely applies to home cleaning: chores will be done much faster if everyone lends a helping hand, and seeing other members of the family working can be motivating and creates a sense of togetherness.
Keep your family safe while you clean by using non-toxic cleaners that are natural. Conventional cleaners can contain chemicals that aggravate allergies and asthma and can even worsen these conditions. Choose natural cleaners that don’t leave harmful residues, and of course, leave the use of cleansers to older family members.