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Anytime is a good time to make your home a healthier place to live. But the winter of an ongoing pandemic may be the best time. With a few tweaks to your space, you can boost your physical wellbeing and mental resilience. So embrace these subtle shifts now to set the stage for wellness through the winter:

Organize Your Pandemic Supplies

Keep face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves — in other words, whatever makes you feel secure and has become part of your daily routine — in a designated space for easy access. 

Many families keep these goods near the door that they use most to enter and exit the home. That could be in a console drawer or portable drawer unit, on trays in the entryway or in baskets in the mudroom.

Corralling these daily supplies follows the same principle that applies to any home-organizing task. When everyone knows where an item is kept, they can find what they need, and you can see when you need to restock.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

Your balcony or backyard could be your best friend this winter: a literal breath of fresh air. 

To make your outdoor space inviting even when temperatures plunge, aim to create an outdoor area for relaxing, eating and entertaining that’s as welcoming as your home’s interior. Layer in lighting. Provide heaters or blankets. Fold in textures for an extra-cozy feeling. 

You might also want to purchase hand warmers and toe warmers and store them outside in a weatherproof container.

Prep Your Powder Room

If you plan to entertain outside, you’ll need a guest-ready powder room inside. 

Stock it with hand soap, hand towels and hand sanitizer. Take it up a notch with a touch-free soap dispenser

And keep spare paper masks near your home’s main entrance should an unmasked visitor stop by. You’ll still be able to welcome them in as you hand them a mask.

Black And White Home Inspiration Bathroom

Just Add Plants

It’s no understatement: Houseplants are our BFFs right now. 

In addition to adding an organic element to a space and a glorious burst of natural color, they boast several health benefits. They help remove air toxins. They increase indoor humidity. They trap dust, allergens and other airborne articles. 

And if you don’t have a green thumb, invest in a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Declutter

Incorporate mindfulness in your home design by clearing the way for calm. 

Letting clutter pile up is detrimental to both the efficient running of your home and your mental health.

Whether it’s a stack of unopened mail or a pile of unfolded laundry, it’s always there nudging us: Pssst, this needs attention. That feeling hangs over you, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. And it wears you down.

Enjoy calmer surroundings simply by decreasing the amount of “stuff” that surrounds you.

Get Organized

Increase your peace of mind by organizing your space.

You might start small by organizing a junk drawer or the area under your bathroom sink. Then graduate to your pantry, your closet or your kid’s room

Any time spent organizing will pay mental-health dividends: an immediate feeling of accomplishment and a clearer path to productivity throughout your day.

Let In the Light

Sunlight is good for your soul and your serotonin levels, so now is not the time to skimp on your  daily dose of Vitamin D. Keep the shades up or curtains open during the day to allow in natural light.

If your home just doesn’t get good light in winter, plug into light therapy lamps. They’re designed to improve those winter blues associated with days when we get less sun.

art of layering

Stock Your Medicine Cabinet

At the first sign of a sore throat or runny nose, the medicine cabinet becomes the go-to destination for relief.

Keep it well-stocked to avoid emergency trips to the pharmacy when someone is already feeling lousy.

Physicians recommend the following items, at a minimum: 

  • Thermometer
  • Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen
  • Cough drops and cough syrups
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Fingertip pulse oximeter for measuring the oxygen level in your blood 

A little self-sufficiency goes a long way to keeping us safe in these times.

Pamper Yourself

In times of ongoing stress, self-care is essential. Think about what comforts you and focus your efforts there.  

If yoga is your jam, make space for your practice and maybe even buy that new mat or towel you’ve been ogling. 

Do you love a good soak in the tub? Create a DIY spa day at home. Take it up a notch by installing a rain shower head or replacing your old towels with the most luxurious towels you can afford. 

If you’re all about bingeing the latest Netflix fix while drinking tea, keep a cozy faux fur throw handy for chilly winter nights. Hygge it up!

Whatever helps you feel a bit better this winter, do that.

A Havenly designer can help you feel even better about your home. Kick off your design collaboration by taking this design quiz.

Words by Staci Sturrock