4 {easy} Steps to an Instantly Cheerier Home

We spend a lot of time indoors and at home during these long winter months. The days and the daylight are short, the kids can be rowdy and who couldn’t use a heaping dose of sunshine and Vitamin D by the end of January?  Here is my no-fail, four step plan guaranteed to bring more cheer to your home {and spirit} this winter season!

Step 1.  Let the Light Shine In!

Image via Smith & Vansant Architects

Never underestimate the beauty of natural sunlight!  Walk through your house and open all of your blinds and window treatments.

When we moved int0 Helen’s house, it was large and dark.  All of the windows were covered with blinds and in some cases, blinds and other window treatments.  The first five minutes that I was in the house, I walked through every single room and pulled the blinds all the way up to the top of the windows.  The difference in that one act was positively transformative because light filled the house for the first time in years.  In the living room, I ended up taking the blinds down entirely. The windows are now bare.  We do get a bit of bright, direct sun for about 30 miutes each afternoon, but it is more than worth the trade-off of beautiful sunlight the rest of the day!

Sunlight is a free, God-given mood booster!  Let your light shine!

Step 2. Clean & Declutter

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

Even the most unfortunate rooms feel happier and more comfortable when they are clean and not overun with excess “stuff.”  Moreover, even the most beautiful room can induce stress when it is full of clutter or in dire need of a cleaning.  Enter the 10 minute power clean!  What is a 10 minute power clean?  It is going full force for 10 minutes picking up anything and everything in sight.  I fell in love with the 10 minute power clean after discovering that 10 minutes of frantic picking-up transformed my living room from looking like a daycare center that had been hit by a hurricane into a place where I was actually relaxed and happy to spend the evening with my husband.  Do not underestimate the power of 10 small minutes.

If you don’t know where to start with decluttering a space, address each item in a given room by asking (1) is it useful? and (2) is it beautiful to me?  If you cannot answer yes to one or both of these questions, relocate, donate or toss the item.  You won’t miss it!

Step 3.  Add Fresh Flowers

Image via House to Home

Flowers have the ability to brighten a room in a way that nothing else can.

Thankfully, flowers do not have to be fancy to be a focal point in a room.  A mason jar full of Queen Anne’s Lace is a summer favorite of mine.  In the winter months, you can buy a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store for less than $10.  Alstromeria is a cheapy-favorite of mine.  If you live near a Trader Joe’s, check out their always great flower selection (think Hydrangeas in January).  When going the grocery store route,try to separate any ferns or other filler (just put each item in its own container).

Put flowers in something other than a traditional vase for quirky whimiscal appeal-consider jam jars, honey jars, a vintage glass or pitcher, even a pretty coffee can works well and tells a story.

Image via Wedbook.com

Step 4.  Turn on Some Music!

Few things brighten the mood in a space like music.  I particularly love to have music playing while I’m baking or cooking in the kitchen, it reminds me of my mother doing that very thing when I was a child.

Set up your laptop, tablet or phone and play music through your own personalized radio station on Pandora or your own playlists on playlist.com or Itunes.   My favorite Playlist for working around the house is this one here.  Also try turning on something light-hearted and dancing with your kids.  This works particularly well after the 4 o’clock hour.  It is a great cure for grouchy child syndrome.  For example, check out I Saw the Light by David Crowder Band ., it is a favorite in our house!

What do you think?

Have I missed anything?

What would be on your list?


  1. Laugh!

    Great post! I am all about the declutter! We need less stuff! Less visual noise. It’s just got to go!!

  2. Great tips!! Yes, the winter months are long …especially with small children at home. One of the first things I do every morning is open the blinds. I also enjoy bringing my iPad in the kitchen while cooking and listening to music. This week I have been cooking and praising with Kutless.

  3. I loathe dark rooms and pulling back curtains is one of my first tasks in the morning. I would add cooking something – the smell of soup, bread or cookies is always cheery.

  4. I’m with you, Erin! I need a cheery environment, especially because hubby and I both work from home. I open all the blinds throughout our home first thing and we always have some kind of bouquet of flowers (usually from the grocery store-hubby got me a gorgeous orchid from Whole Foods for just $16-they typically last 3+ months). The one thing I’d add is opening the windows, if you can. Hearing birds sing is just so precious and I love the scent of fresh, winter air. Our temps are quite warm (some may have windows iced shut) but I find fresh, cool air so invigorating!

  5. Love ALL of these! Couldn’t agree more. I am heading over to check out your Pandora station now. I love, love, love, love music. I find that when we’re having a hard part of the day, the Watermark station on Pandora sends the strife packing!


  6. you are right-on, girlly. these are definately the major things for me that help! you know how much I love music so that’s a major one for me – but sunlight and the decluttering are oh So crucial too. I don’t get much fresh flowers so for me, if I surround myself with things that I think are beautiful even if it’s a old wooden box, or stacks of beautiful, vintage books or positives words on my wall – that tends to really help me. And doing crafts. If I can get an hour or two in my little office once and a while- enough time to bust out a little art project… that makes my heart skip-a-beat <3

  7. Wonderful ideas for getting through this dark time of year. I realized how fortunate I am to have a marvelous selection of fresh flowers at my local grocery store, many varieties without those fillers (although one can also buy fillers). Right now I am enjoying a gorgeous bouquet my hubby gave me on our wedding anniversary!

  8. I love all your tips! Opening up the blinds does wonders for me and I love the David Crowder Band. Can’t wait to check out your playlist.

  9. Letting the light in is my all-time favorite… followed by having lovely growing green things. I’m a weirdo and don’t like flowers much, but I love green leafy things and have them EVERYWHERE in my house. My 200-or-so indoor plants only need about an hour a week of care and the payback is happiness every time I look at them.

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