6 SIMPLE Ways To Create A HAPPIER Home In Singapore

Yes, even during the Covid-19 outbreak. Make that, especially during such a stressful time.
16 April 2020

(image: Veronica Tay, Home & Decor)

When you’re bombarded with doom-and-gloom headlines 24/7 and have to keep everyone indoors during these circuit breaker times, the combination of everything can really take a toll on your mental health.

So, it’s more important than ever to turn your living environment into a calm and safe space. Here are 10 little tweaks to make it true sanctuary.

1. Declutter and Organise

Some people actually thrive with clutter around them, according to studies done by scientists and researchers at the University of Minnesota. If you’re one of those folks, you may want to consider organising your clutter into different piles.

However, if the “messy room, messy mind” saying applies to you, start clearing out everything you don’t need. Your makeup, clothes, shoes and any odds and ends. Be merciless and immediately put what isn’t needed in the dispose pile. For plus points, pass on the things you don’t need to your loved ones, upcycle them, or better yet, donate them (after the circuit breaker ends, of course).

Once you have a clear space and less of a clutter, you’ll feel the harmonious house feng shui energy – an enlightened load, so to speak. (Sounds too overwhelming? Try these 15-minute decluttering tricks instead.)

2. Fill the House with Natural Light and Fresh Air

(image: Veronica Tay, Home & Decor)

For your house to have good ‘Chi’ or feng shui energy, it needs to be filled with fresh air and light. Doing the following is also beneficial for your health. In a book by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, a.k.a., America’s popular “Dr. Oz”, it’s said that “the inside of a home generally has three to four times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us”.

So, make it a habit to draw the curtains and open up the windows every morning once you wake up – ignore the heat or wind. You may also want to consider switching your blackout curtains for translucent ones, or even blinds. On the weekends, try and leave the windows open and curtains drawn through the day. The point is to fill your home with as much natural light and fresh air as possible. You can also use an air purifier, which – just SYK – is recommended for home hygiene during the Covid-19 outbreak).

3. Add Some Plants

(image: Darren Chang, Home & Decor)

Speaking of fresh air, adding a plant can also do wonders. Having indoor plants doesn’t just make your home look good, they’re also scientifically proven to boost your mood and productivity, as well as reduce stress. It’s one of the reasons why activities like a walk in the park or tending to your own home garden (even if you don’t have a yard!) can help clear your mind and make you feel better – getting in touch with nature has a deeply calming effect.

Certain plants are also known to remove toxins from the air, as well as produce oxygen at night to help you breathe better. If you’re worried about not having a green thumb, start with these hardy plants that won’t die easily on you.

4. Decorate Your Living Space

It’s comparable to retail therapy – you only buy things that make you happy, so why decorate your house (or leave it bare) with things that you don’t like? Adding bits and bobs of colour and objects that are aesthetically pleasing to you, makes you happier and feel less tension when you step in.

Shop from a furniture store you like to give your home a refresh (start with these furniture and homewares sources still offering some services during the circuit breaker!). Add objects in colours that you love, but make sure that they complement each other, not clash.

Get some inspo from these five ideas you can do even in a rental (and without pissing off your landlord!).

5. Make Your Bed

(image: Darren Chang, Home & Decor)

Just as how decluttering your possessions can clear your mind, keeping your room and house clean clears your mind, too.

It’s one of the simplest chores that too often we skip, because we’re busy (or, ahem, lazy). Take a few minutes out of each morning to clean the bed. Simply smoothen out the covers, or you could brush the bed to dust off any dead skin or dirt that may reside there.

Leaving the room clean and tidy will make you feel more welcomed when you come home. While you’re at it try these different ways to use essential oils around the house to make your rooms fresh-smelling as well.

Why does scent matter? A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that odors can affect your behaviour and mood. More specifically, the study, which included testing the effects of lavender and rosemary on people, found that those who smelled lavender felt more relaxed and were happier.

6. Put on Some Tunes

Silence can be oppressive, so fill your living space with some relaxing music that’ll put you and the rest of the household in a good mood – your very own “stay-home soundtrack”, in a way. You can create a playlist on Spotify, iTunes or YouTube and just press play when you need a pick-me-up.


A version of this article was published in The Singapore Women’s Weekly. Text adapted by Alyaa Iman Imran/Her World, Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew, Home & Decor, April 2020 

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