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Five tips to a healthier, happier home

For most of us, our house is our home base, and having a happy and pleasant vibe in all of our rooms is critical. TODAY contributor Elizabeth Mayhew says you can make drastic changes without investing too much time or money. In the first part of our weeklong series “Make Your Life Better TODAY: Five Ways in Five Days,” Mayhew shares her five simple improvements to creating a happier home that have radical results.


Five tricks to a happier home

Tip No. 1: Color your way to happiness Adding color to any room is a drastic mood lifter, and it can be done pretty quickly! Consider painting just one wall a lively color. A bright red, a soothing green or even a vibrant yellow completely changes the feel, and will really affect the vibe of a room. Paint is relatively inexpensive and usually requires just a few hours to do an average wall in most rooms.

Tip No. 2: Celebrate life
First of all, think Flower Power! Fresh flowers are very easy to get at your local grocery market, and they make any room seem more alive. Plants have the same positive effect. There are plenty of types that don't need direct light, and will give your house a sense of energy all year round. Another way to celebrate life is to surround yourself with images of friends and family. Don't keep your photos put away in albums or in your computer. Put them up on the walls to remind yourself of your favorite times and your favorite people.

Tip No. 3: Let there be light The more points of light in any room, the better. Especially as the days are getting shorter, having warm lighting will help you feel more energized and alive through the winter months. Overhead lighting can be augmented by lamps in several places throughout a room. In your bedroom, put a lamp on either side of your bed. Installing dimmers is also a simple and inexpensive way to make the mood of a room easy to alter. At dimmers.net, for example, you can get a dimmer for just $17.75.

Tip No. 4: Get comfortable
You begin and end almost every day in your bedroom, so make the room an oasis! Have proper bedding and pillows. You will feel well rested, and it will be easier to get up in the morning. Keep clutter to a minimum in your bedroom, and remove anything distracting that will interfere with your sleep. Associate your bedroom with a tranquil, restful escape, not just a room where you get some shut-eye. Upgrade your pillows and bedding at bedbathandbeyond.com.

Tip No. 5: Take control
It's this simple: Clear space = A clear mind. Keep desktops, countertops and tabletops open. Put the papers, files and knickknacks away. Not only will your home feel cleaner, it will feel a whole lot bigger! Maximize your wall space with the elfa shelving system at containerstore.com.

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