How Redesigning Your Home Can Complement Therapy In Helping You Feel Better

Seeing a therapist isn’t the only way to help yourself feel better. Of course, it’s one of the best options to do so, but it can’t stand on its own. For therapy to fully help you, you must couple it with some lifestyle, behavior, or environmental changes.

One modification you can make to your environment is the way you design your home. It’s one of the places where you spend most of your time. Thus, it’s crucial to consider how you feel when you’re staying there. Being comfortable and relaxed in your home can spell a world of difference in how you take care of your emotional and mental health.

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For your well-being, you need to have a place you can call home. It’s not only a physical structure where you eat and sleep. Instead, it’s a space where you feel safe, comfortable, and at ease. More than being a roof over your head, it’s where you can empower yourself and express your emotions.

Here are the ways you can redesign your home to help you in your journey toward being emotionally and mentally healthy:

Free Up Space

One piece of advice you’ll learn in therapy is to face your situation to ease your heart and mind. That way, you can make room for more valuable things in your life. The same goes for your home.

Clutter is linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. And by staying in an area crammed with so much, you may be inadvertently stressing yourself even more. Freeing up space may help you breathe better and maintain a clear mind. It will also give you more room to do the things that make you happy.

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Let Go Of The Things That Hold You Back

Sometimes, being sentimental makes you unable to let go of some of your belongings. However, it would benefit you to detach from some of those things, more so the ones that hold you back. That means throwing out, donating, or giving away items that tie you down to negative memories and emotions. That also includes letting go of things you don’t use anymore.

You may want to go through your belongings and decide whether you’ll keep or give them away. If you haven’t used something in a while or it doesn’t make you happy, perhaps, it’s better to donate it.

Rearrange Your Belongings

The layout of your home can sometimes dictate what you can and can’t do. If you find your space limiting you, then you should consider rethinking your design. Whether big or small, you’re in control of arranging your belongings and making your space breathable.

In addition, think of the things that make you happy when rearranging your layout. If you like painting, then maybe try freeing up some space by the window. If you’re into yoga, you may focus on allotting a vacant area that can fit a mat. You don’t have to make significant changes either. It’s enough to focus on tiny modifications that will help you move, think, and breathe better.

Hang Up Stuff You Vibe With

Designing your home isn’t all about aesthetics and rules. When thinking about what to display, you may focus on the things that inspire you and make you happy. It doesn’t have to be an expensive art piece or an artisan vase. Instead, it can be something easy for your eyes.

You may also decorate your home with anything you like. Don’t let fixed themes and concepts restrict you. As long as you’re comfortable with what you have, go for it! Just be mindful of your space to avoid crowding it with displays.

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Express Your Creativity And Emotions

Engaging in art activities can help you relax and relieve stress. Once you’ve done some pieces, don’t be afraid to express your creativity and emotions by displaying them! Doing so will remind you of a sense of accomplishment for making something out of your hands. 

You can also hang up treasured gifts. Love a drawing made by your friend? Frame it! Adore a sweater knitted by a family member? Wear it! What matters is how you feel, especially in your own home.

Put Up Things That Empower You

In addition to displaying things that express your creativity and make you comfortable, put up pieces that empower you. These may be a printout of an inspirational quote, a poster of your favorite band, or an artwork you made. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to display it if it empowers you.

By displaying things that help you remember your strength, you make yourself see your character. That way, you can remind yourself it’s normal to feel emotions, and you can win through those challenges.

Welcome Some Light And Life

Sunlight can elevate your mood, help you feel relaxed, and calm you down. In the same vein, taking care of plants can relieve you of stress and improve your well-being. Adding more of the two in your home can benefit you both instantly and in the long run.

If you use curtains or blinds, you may want to consider leaving gaps to let light inside. And if you’re worried about privacy, then you may turn to inexpensive window films that work one way. They let sunlight in and afford you privacy.

You may feel tempted to buy artificial plants for aesthetics’ sake. But if you can, you may want to purchase live plants that provide you with physiological and psychological benefits. If you don’t have a green thumb, opt for succulents, which are easy to look after.

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To Wrap Up

Therapy doesn’t stop after stepping foot outside of your therapist’s office. The lessons and understanding you learn should follow you outside, into your home, and wherever you go. Taking care of your safe space can complement therapy in making you feel better.

Redesign your home in a way that makes you feel happy and comfortable. Free up space and donate your old belongings. And display pieces that empower you and help you express yourself. Let some light and life in as well! These simple steps can help your mental health, especially now that we’re all cooped up in our homes.

Counseling 101: Comparing Friends To Home Decoration

I worked as a psychologist and counselor for a year when my middle sister asked if I could pencil in her colleague in my schedule that particular week. She explained that the woman was a fantastic interior designer at their firm, but insecurities drove her actions outside the workplace. While they were not close, my sister leaped faith and offered her a helping hand.

Of course, how could you say no to your favorite sister? Even if my schedule was full, I made sure to make time for her colleague the very next day.

Meeting The Interior Designer

My sister’s colleague arrived on time at my office, looking elegant and fashionable. Upon a quick scan of her, I noticed that she was excellent at hiding her real emotions with her smile and poise. However, her eyes betrayed her as she kept blinking and looking around.

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Extremely Bold Designs Are Not For Everyone

The interior designer’s primary dilemma was that her friends kept wanting to do things she was uncomfortable with. One time, they asked her to go to a strip club and get lap dances. The other time, they invited her to a nudist beach, even if they knew that she was not the type to show too much skin in public. She worried that her friends might ask her to do something more extreme in the future.

The simple advice was to say no. “No, I’m not into that.” “No, I don’t want to do that.” In my client’s case, though, she could not bear to think of disappointing her friends.

Instead, I told my client, “Have you ever thought of separating yourself from your current friends and finding new ones? If you don’t know it yet, the phrase “opposites attract” often applies to lovers. When you have friends, your likes and dislikes should be the same to avoid conflicts.”

“I don’t understand,” the designer said.

“Think of your friends like bold home decorations. I’m sure you know where to get or create the most frivolous designs out there, but you cannot recommend them to all your customers. Similarly, extremely bold friends – like the ones you have – are not for everyone. It’s practically a fact of life that you must accept.”

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Subdued Colors Are Not Boring

My client also worried about seeming undesirable or bland in other people’s eyes. She uttered, “I already have a tough time looking for love as it is. With my crazy friends on the side, they can at least make me look cool.”

The interior designer’s lack of self-confidence was evident in her choice of words. It could be surprising, especially if you saw how elegant my client was, but it was more common than you assumed among beautiful individuals. Although they knew that they looked good, they could not believe that they could be enough.

So, I reminded my client, “I know you know that subdued colors are not awful in a house. More often than not, they make a space look lovely and lively. Hence, please try not to think that people will only pay attention to you because of your friends.”

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Minimalism Is Amazing

Last but not least, my client told me that she had always had issues with letting go of people, even if she knew how toxic they could be. The interior designer assumed that it was likely because she did not grow up knowing what it’s like to be loved by her family, so she would cling to anyone who would show her affection.

It was unfortunate to hear, but I likened the situation to her favorite topic: minimalism. “Whenever you talk to your customers, you tend to advise them to throw away as many possessions as possible or donate them to others. This way, you can have a less stressful life than others,” I said.

When the interior designer nodded, I added, “Well, please think of emotional detachment using the same principle. Having fewer people in your life can most likely make your relationships more significant than ever. After all, you will only allow yourself to get close to individuals who want nothing but greatness for you.”

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Final Thoughts

Helping an adult client deal with anxiety and dependency issues was more challenging than helping a child overcome them. As the interior designer was full-grown, her beliefs that her current friends were the only people who cared for her and that she would be nothing without them had been deeply ingrained in her mind. I had to keep her in counseling for a few months because she kept going back and forth, unsure of what she should do, although she was aware of what must be done.

Nevertheless, the interior designer made a concrete decision once her friends tried to make her do something illegal. She reached her breaking point, turned her back on them, and never looked back.

It did not take long for the interior designer to find real friends at her workplace. The last time we talked, she said that she could not be happier about agreeing to do counseling since it pushed her to see a solution to her problems.

A Counselor Advised Me To Redecorate My Room

Once upon a time, my new boyfriend Jesse moved in with me. He told me that it was the most practical decision because it would allow us to be with each other as much as possible and save on rent. I had never lived his any of my boyfriends in the past, so I was hesitant at first to agree with him. However, he eventually got me with his sweet gestures and promises of forever. Mind you, we were only dating for a month at the time.

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Since the relationship was still new, everything felt hot and exciting whenever I did it with Jess. We practically acted like newlyweds for a few months (without the legal papers and all that jazz, of course). We cooked and cleaned together all the time and made love in every part of the house. We could not be more in love than ever.

When the honeymoon phase died down, that was when I saw another side of Jesse.

Trouble In Paradise

I realized after a few months of living with Jesse that he loved his alcohol. He always suggested popping a bottle of wine after dinner all the time, and I would indulge him sometimes. I thought that sharing wine with your partner was romantic, and I was all for romance.

However, when the pandemic came and Jesse lost his job when his company filed for bankruptcy, he began drinking more. One glass turned to three; a quarter of a bottle a day soon turned to a full one. Worse, he hid his new drinking habits from me for a while.

I guess it was not too challenging to do, considering I passed out in bed at precisely 9:00 PM on weekdays. Jesse would go to bed with me, but I would not know if he slept or not. I was used to him getting up only after I had already gone to work, so I suspected nothing.

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However, the truth got revealed when my bladder woke me up in the middle of the night one time. I looked to my right and found Jesse’s side of the bed empty. The bathroom was unoccupied, so I went out to search for him. I saw him in the living room, hugging an empty bottle of whiskey, clearly drunk.

I felt shaken by this revelation, to be honest. Jesse knew that I did not want to date someone who loved downing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in one sitting. My dad did that, and the alcohol messed him up so badly that he turned out violent in the end. Still, since I did not see signs of that in Jesse yet, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and a chance to come clean with me.

Unfortunately, Jesse continued to pretend that he was sober for weeks, even when I finally found his stash of empty whiskey bottles, and the couch started to reek of alcohol. I decided to confront him once and for all when I woke up one morning and saw that he could not even bother to hide the evidence in the living room anymore.

Jesse was apologetic when I talked to him that day, but then I was surprised when he started blaming me for it. He said things like, “You always go to bed early” and “You don’t know my hardships because you got to keep your job.” I would not have any of that because I had been covering Jesse’s part of the rent ever since he lost his job. It was not my fault either that I got to keep mine, and he didn’t.

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I lost my respect for Jesse that day and packed his bags, and made him leave. He refused to do so initially, but I technically owned the lease to that apartment, so he had no claims over it.

Getting A Unique Advice From A Counselor

When Jesse was finally gone in my life, I assumed that I would regain my peace of mind. However, a month already passed, and I still felt troubled, so I contacted a counselor for some assistance.

The counselor listened to me patiently for two whole hours. When I asked her what I could do to hopefully give myself some relief while counseling, she suggested redecorating my room.

“Why my room only?” I asked.

“Well, that’s where you shared a lot of intimate memories with your ex-boyfriend. Since he technically did not do you harm, you might still remember and miss him subconsciously whenever you’re in the bedroom.”

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This suggestion made a lot of sense, so I hired an interior decorator to help me out. I did not have much preference on how my room should look like, but I wanted the bed frame, the paint on the walls, and even the floors changed. After a couple of weeks, I entered my newly dolled-up bedroom.

I did not know how it worked but seeing that my entirely different room gave me a sense of tranquility. I did not see anything that would remind me of my failed relationship, which made me happy.

With my new bedroom and the counseling treatment that I continued to receive, I regained myself.

Frequently Asked Questions About Validating And Fixing Teenage Depression

As a sheltered (read: homeschooled) kid most of my life, I did not deal with teenage drama at all. My best friend was my mother; my favorite thing to do as a teen was painting. Even in college, I preferred to take most of my classes online to finish everything earlier than the others and graduate quickly. Although I would have loved to spend all my life at home, I knew that I already “overstayed” at 21 years old, so I moved out and got a job in another city as a junior advertising executive.

A few months later, Mom called me, crying. I thought something terrible happened to them, but I eventually learned that she was shedding tears of joy.

“Honey, I’m pregnant. You’re about to have a baby sister,” she informed me.

I was so shocked that I could not speak immediately. Mom was already 42 years old. Sure, she was youthful-looking, but she was still too old to be expecting again. When I told her about what I thought, she laughed and told me it was a miracle. Despite my initial reaction, I was happy to know that they would have another person to look after.

Six months later, Camilla was born. She was the cutest baby I had ever seen. That’s saying something, considering I had always thought that I held that crown for a long time, but I willingly gave it up to my sister as soon as I saw her smile. I tried to go home as much as I could to help Mom out and watch Camilla grow up.

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Different Kid, Different Education System

Since Camilla was technically a miracle baby, my parents were overly protective of her. They planned to set up a playground in the backyard so that Camilla would not think of asking to go to the park and play with the other kids. They also wanted to homeschool her, considering I turned out to be a decent adult despite my lack of social exposure.

The unforeseen flaw in my parents’ plan was that they allowed Camilla to watch nursery rhymes with real kids playing or singing in parks or nursery schools in the background. As soon as Camilla could talk, therefore, she said, “I want to go to school like them.”

Did my parents listen to her? Not immediately, no. They thought it was a phase and moved on with the homeschooling idea. They also deleted all those clips and replaced them with animated ones for good measure. However, every year, Camilla would ask when she could go to school like other kids her age and draw pictures depicting that.

My sister’s desire to go to a regular school became more persistent when she finished middle school. She argued, “I am almost 18 years old. I want to experience a normal life. I want to attend a prom, go to a football game, and have friends.” She would talk about it every day in the first couple of weeks of summer. The more my parents said no, the more her mood became dull, to the extent that she refused to leave her room. Worse, her drawings became darker and more vivid, and that scared my parents.

When Mom called to tell me what happened at home, she painted the picture as a rebellious phase. But I countered, “Is it possible that Camilla’s dealing with depression? After all, she’s been wanting to go to school for a while now, but you still haven’t allowed her to do that.”

“No, that can’t be true. Teenagers don’t get depressed – they only get rebellious.”

Uh-oh, I thought, Mom’s still not #woke. So, I talked to her extensively about validating – and hopefully fixing – teenage depression.

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What age group has the highest depression rate? 

Young adults (aged 18 and 25) have the highest depression rate.

How do I know if my teenager is mentally ill? 

You can tell that your teenager is mentally ill if:

  • They excessively worry about everything.
  • They refuse to socialize with anyone – even family members.
  • They get too sensitive and insecure whenever they hear constructive criticism.
  • They always feel sad and worthless.

Is it normal for teenagers to have mood swings? 

Yes, it is normal for teenagers to have mood swings, considering they are dealing with hormonal changes as their physical features develop.

What is the leading cause of depression among youths? 

Bullying is the primary cause of depression among youths, although it appears in various forms.

Does puberty make you feel depressed? 

Yes, puberty can make you feel depressed. The reason is that hormonal changes can intensify a person’s emotions, thus possibly turning sadness into depression.

What are the leading causes of teenage stress? 

  • Demanding academic schedule
  • Negative self-talk
  • Physical changes
  • Peer pressure
  • Family problems
  • Safety issues
  • Parental divorce
  • Chronic medical condition
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How does stress affect teenage life? 

Stress can make a teenager overeat to cope with their issues. Instead of resolving them, though, this habit may cause the development of diabetes, obesity, and other medical illnesses, which may stress them out further.

In other cases, stress is the primary trigger factor for a broad range of mental disorders. The more stressed a teenager feels, the more severe the mental symptoms may become.

What percentage of high school students are stressed? 

Approximately 50% of high school students complain about stress.

What can trigger stress? 

  • Extreme social or peer pressure
  • Biological or physiological changes
  • Moving to a new place
  • Lack of control over some issues
  • Overwhelming responsibilities

What are the five emotional signs of stress? 

  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Losing track of thoughts and activities
  • Feeling irritable all the time
  • Overeating
  • Experiencing apathy

How do I know if I am stressed? 

  • Small changes make you anxious.
  • You feel frustrated quickly.
  • It would help if you were in control is stronger than ever.
  • You cannot set aside your worries.
  • You always feel worthless or pitiful.

What are the three causes of stress? 

  • Chronic diseases
  • Traumatic incidents
  • Relationship issues
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What are the four signs of stress? 

  • Feeling out of sorts
  • Unexplainable physical pains
  • Changing appetite
  • Sleep issues

How can I avoid stress in my life? 

  • Watch what you eat.
  • Stop abusing substances.
  • Decide on a workout program.
  • Take a break whenever you need it.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Sleep as much as possible.
  • Avoid taking failures too seriously.

How do I relieve stress and anxiety?

  • Learn breathing techniques.
  • Change your lifestyle.
  • Seek fun activities.
  • Downplay awful situations.

Final Thoughts

That conversation I initiated with Mom pushed her to have a heart-to-heart talk with Camilla. The first thing they did was go to a psychologist’s office to see if she really had depression and what they could do to treat it. I turned out to be spot-on, and my sister proceeded with therapy for the rest of the summer. Then, when the psychologist recommended a change of scenery for Camilla, my parents finally agreed to let her go to the local junior high, as long as they would drive her to and from school instead of taking the bus. It was not 100% freedom, but my sister took it as a win, and her mood continued to improve after that.

Beautiful Home, Beautiful Family

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The home is where we first learn about life; it is where we get exposed to a lot of our firsts as kids. Our first words, first steps, first tooth, first social interaction, we experience all of that at home with our families. It is such a fantastic feeling for parents to see their baby come home finally. This is also a lot of firsts for parents, which is all just an amazing memory when the day comes.

Continue reading Beautiful Home, Beautiful Family

Happy Colors For A Happy Home

 

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Wall colors and decorations in the home are mostly viewed in terms of appearance – what will look attractive. However, color psychologists suggest that choosing the right colors to beautify your home can greatly impact you and your family’s mental well-being.

Leslie Harrington, a color expert from Old Greenwich, says that color is generally a nonverbal language that most of us can speak. The colors we utilize to paint our walls and closets aren’t just because they look pretty, but we can use them to help maintain our emotions.

Other experts also believe that considering the function of each room before assigning a color to it is a great way to create a mentally healthy abode. Picking a primary color would be the next step. This has not been proven scientifically, although homeowners along with other psychologists agree that some shades are more effective than others at enabling calmness and positivity. Would you like to know if all this is true?

Perhaps you should try reading this rundown of the essential spaces in your home and their corresponding color match in terms of the mood they evoke.

 

The Rooms And Their Colors

Living Room And Porch. Yellow, red, oranges and earth colors such as beige and brown almost always work great in the living room and the porches or hallways. These tones are said to encourage conversation. The warmness calms the space and people are inspired to gather together and talk. The connection is there when they are embraced by these colors.

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Dining Room. Shades of red on your decorations are effective in creating a cozy dining area. Aside from stimulating conversations, red is also an appetite enhancer. Color consultants also believe that when someone’s dining room is red, guests will think that the owner is a great cook!

Kitchen. Experts agree that people who have fond recollections of their family in the kitchen when they were children would do well to create the same kitchen in their current homes. If you had a pretty kitchen with blue and white hues, then those are probably the best colors for your own kitchen, to rekindle the past happiness and perhaps pass it on to your family.

If you don’t have any particular scheme in mind, then yellow and red are some of the commonly chosen tones. If you’re health conscious and are aiming to lose weight, however, just stay away with the red and stick with yellow. Even the restaurants would agree with this idea!

Bedrooms. Naturally, colors that are cool and light to the eyes are best for the bedrooms. Lavender, green, and blue have a wonderfully calming effect. When you’re stressed and your mind is boggled, let your bedroom be your respite. Red is a no-no for this space, as it suggests heat and is said to increase one’s heart rate and blood pressure.

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Bathroom. We always want our bathroom to reflect cleanliness, which is why white has never gotten out of style. But recently, the emergence of spas has encouraged homeowners to create their bathrooms in such a way that they feel they’re in the spa or in the ocean, so the blue-greens and the yellow-greens are in, as they signify clean and fresh.

 

Those are some wonderful ideas that you can follow if you’re planning to build a home, or simply want to do a home makeover. There’s no harm in trying, and it’s never too late to change those past color schemes if you want to stay happy, calm and mentally healthy in your own abode.

 

 

Mental Health Benefits Of Redecorating Your Home

 

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Did you subscribe to interior design magazines, hoping to find inspiration for the home redecorating project that you’ve wanted to start for some time now?

Plenty of practical residential owners do that. Instead of hiring a designer and spending too much cash to get his or her professional advice, they take a crash course by looking at pictures of other houses. These people try to scrutinize everything – from the style to the size of the model house – to figure out if the décor on the images will fit their home in reality.

The thing is, only a few individuals manage to fulfill their redecoration dream. Others often hold back due to a couple of reasons: 1) they don’t have time, and 2) money is short within the household these days. They keep on pushing the task further on the schedule, to the extent that more New Years come, and their living space still looks the same as it did way back in the early 2000s.

In case you are more of a waiter than a doer, knowing the following mental health benefits may help you decide to redecorate your home ASAP.

 

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The Act Itself May Reduce Anxiety

The process of revamping your living space can take all of your attention and distract you from other activities. For people with anxiety disorder, that is a plus because you won’t notice stuff that may trigger its symptoms. You can keep yourself busy, and it’s difficult to feel as if you wasted your time since you can immediately see the fruits of your labor.

 

Nature-Friendly Fixtures Can Be Soothing

Stainless and metallic decorations and fixtures offer a modernistic touch to your home, that’s true. However, to calm your mind, you may want to exchange your flashy table for a wooden one. Instead of tiles, the hardwood may be better for flooring. The glass chandeliers can transform into rustic pieces as well. You don’t need to turn the space upside down, but it will be amazing to make some items nature-friendly.

 

The House Feels More Like A Home By Adding Personal Effects

You tend to experience emptiness once all you see at home are random store-bought portraits or vases. You have to add a photo frame or memorabilia from your childhood at critical points all over the place so that it does not feel like a showroom that a real estate company put together for their clients’ sake. If you got little kids, you might also decorate a wall with their drawings and achievements for a homier vibe.

 

Plants Can Help You Breathe Inside Better

It is easy for negative thoughts to enter the mind when purified air does not circulate in the house. You may get quickly irritated, for one, to the extent that you pick fights with your housemates. Depression, anxiety, and a panic attack can also affect you, and none of these disorders should be welcome in your system. Because of that, you better put leafy plants here and there to ensure that the air gets cleansed naturally at home.

 

You Can Throw Out Unwanted Décor

Finally, redecorating is the perfect excuse to get rid of ornaments or furniture that you associate with bad memories or are merely eyesores in your home. Separate the items you no longer want in two boxes: one for trash, and the other for charity. Take your time sorting through your stuff to make sure that you won’t throw away an essential object on accident and that all the unwanted decorations are leaving your house once and for all.

 

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To Sum Things Up

Home redecoration can be more successful when you plan which furniture goes where or what décor you should add or remove in one area. Nevertheless, you need not wait forever to do it. If money is the problem, you can repurpose some appliances or visit second-hand shops to get items at a lower price.

The next time you hesitate to start redecorating your house, think of your mental health. Specifically, consider what the activity can do to calm your thoughts and promote personal growth. If you need more tips, you can visit BetterHelp. Check out their Facebook and Instagram for more helpful posts as well.

Good luck!