Coffee Talk: Making Your Home a Haven

  • Copy by: Caroline Wilder

In a perfect world at the end of the work day, you’d come home and be able to unwind. Your to do list is done for the day, your apartment is perfectly clean, you already meal prepped dinners last Sunday night, and you pour yourself a glass of red wine. Or we’d cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a cup of hot tea, and read a book or catch up on our latest Netflix addiction. 

But as we all know, life is messy; as much as we try, it doesn’t always look like that. But wouldn’t it be nice if it did? Why should you come home from a long day at work to a messy apartment and spend the rest of your evening cooking dinner, cleaning up, and doing household chores? Our home should be an escape at the end of the day. You’ve spent the entire day working, so you deserve at least that!

Let’s talk: What do you think makes a home a haven? Is it your cozy bed? Maybe you’ve pared down your belongings so you have less chores. What could you do to make your home a much deserved escape at the end of your day? 

Photo via mltblog

  • Dianna

    gosh that all sounds so lovely! clean house, dinner ready, wine poured! phew!

  • Dianna

    gosh that all sounds so lovely! clean house, dinner ready, wine poured! phew!

  • Amie Melnychuk

    Pared down possessions and knick knacks so there is less to clean, and all the stuff that remains has meaning.

    Cosy blanket and knitting waiting for me on the couch, and a cat to cuddle with.

  • My biggest challenge in living alone is keeping everything clean! It stresses me out when my life is a mess, but I’m constantly behind on the tidying…I need to turn my place into my cozy clean haven so I can RELAX!

    • Carly, I’m the same way! I get so stressed out when my kitchen is a mess, so I started a new trend where I clean up immediately after a meal, no excuses! It doesn’t have to be a deep clean – just dishes in the dishwasher and the counter wiped down. I save my deep cleans for Saturday mornings after a workout – I’m already sweaty and gross so I do it really fast before I get in the shower! Doing these two things lets me have more time during the week so I don’t feel like I should be constantly cleaning. Maybe it would work for you!

  • LL

    It’s ironic how home can’t feel like a haven without those obligations being done (cooking, cleaning, etc) but that’s what takes time away from truly relaxing. I’ve let go of trying to everything in a day, and just dedicate entire days to certain things, i.e., Sunday morning for relaxing, Monday evening for meal prepping, etc.

    XX Laura
    girlwhowrites.com

  • Sydney Fiorentino

    I find that getting up a little earlier in the morning, and using that time to take care of things I never feel like doing after work (meal prep, straightening up my apartment, etc.) makes it so much easier for me to walk in the door and just unwind at the end of the day. And knocking out all of my to-dos before the day has even begun is one of the greatest feelings!

  • KB

    I discovered a while ago that scent also plays a part in making my home a “haven” — making sure it smells clean and familiar, either with incense or candles. It’s a small thing but it helps make my home feel cozier, even when I’m spending the day cleaning!

  • Ahh, this has inspired me to get my place back into cozy status so that I can relax 🙂

  • Rachel @ Betty LIVIN

    I have found that candles with a sweet warm scent make my house feel soothing no matter how dirty or disorganized it is.

  • Mel

    I do my cooking for the week either on Saturday or Sunday so I come home to a prepared meal during the weekdays. When I come home at night, I prep the ingredients for my morning smoothie so that I just have to blend everything before I go to work.

    As for cleaning, I try to keep my apartment clean on a daily basis by making sure that I pick up after myself. Then on the weekends, I’ll do a deep clean of everything (sweep, mop, reorganize as needed, put back clothes in the closet, etc.). The deep clean takes no more than a couple of hours each weekend because of the small clean-ups I’ve done during the week.

    I also try to make my bed every morning so I feel that I have accomplished one small task before I leave for work and so that I can come home to a tidy bed at night.

    • I follow almost this exact same “recipe”! Food prep on Sunday evenings has saved me so much time during the week nights, I don’t know how I lived without it. I also do the cleaning 1-2 punch of little pickups + occasional deep cleans. I’m also big on the bed making – I can’t NOT make it now haha! It’s cool to see this works for someone else too!

  • I recently rearranged my studio apartment and I think that made a world of difference! I also got more organized and established a home for everything so it’s not as messy as it used to be. And I have a cleaning service that comes once a month. It used to bother me that my apartment wasn’t fully decorated or “Pinterest-worthy” but now I don’t mind it so much. I feel comfy in my space especially when it’s clean!

  • Riley Russell

    I typically try to do a “five minute tidy” when I come home – picking up clothes off the floor, putting dishes away, wiping down counters, etc (it’s fast when your apartment is small)! But what really makes my home a haven is what happens after that – snuggling with my dog, curling up next to my husband for a movie, baking cookies. Those things are worth leaving a few dirty dishes in the sink at the end of the night! 🙂

  • Bonnie Ng

    Inviting the right people in makes my home cozy.

  • Jen

    I meal plan so I know what I am going to cook when I get home especially during the week. I get to spend time with the two younger kids by my daughter helping me cook and my son sits at the counter and tells me about his day while completing his homework. I take a hot shower and kids are in the bed by 2130 after that it is my time with my beverage of choice wine or coffee accompanied by the remote.

  • Vivy Chan

    Probably the fact that I have a range of bath/bodycare things that I can do to relax at the end of the day + cozy warm bed!

  • Mac

    DEFINITELY coming home to a clean, ready-to-relax space would be ideal (complete with a bottle of wine). When I make an effort to clean up after myself every night before going to bed and then every morning before I leave so that I come home to no errands or to-dos is the ultimate. It’s just so exhausting to always be on top of that, in between laziness and running late. Maybe the answer is the effort of creating more balanced time.

  • Kali

    Hands down my best recommendation for making “clean” a habit is to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Not only is the book easy to read but completely realistic and as a college student living in a large aparment alone most days it worked wonders in creating lasting habits to make home an escape.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308

    • Hillary

      This book transformed my home and has changed the way I approach cleaning – and relaxing! Thank you for mentioning it!

  • Flawetic

    Soothing music works for me

  • Clean house, dinner ready, candles burning…all wonderful relaxing methods for me but I find that what makes my home extra homey is surrounding myself with books, art, pictures and décor that has been given to me from people I love or I’ve bought from places I’ve traveled. It makes it feel more like a reflection of my experiences. (Ahhh all this being said is being me REALLY antsy to leave work now and go home!)

  • Goodness! That sounds like a true haven. I happen to live with my younger siblings and there is no such thing as clean. You can wake up as early as you want..mess. Get home, clean up, get ready for bed…mess. No amount of candles or classical music will do it for me. Truth be told, a nice childless house might be all I need for a haven.

    *TJ
    http://www.HardlyFocused.com – let’s make libraries of ourselves

  • Allyson B

    Having a pet (in my case two cats) makes any apartment an instant haven! Greeting them when I come home at the end of a long day is one of the best parts of my day, no matter what state my place is in.

  • I feel that a home is truly a haven when it is beautifully designed and filled with furniture and decor that you truly love. I recently wrote an article about why “You Deserve to Live In a Beautiful Home”:

    (http://www.annaeleeinteriordesign.com/-2015-/2015/9/22/you-deserve-to-live-in-a-beautiful-home)

  • Elizabeth Walthall

    Definitely a cozy, made bed is my favorite way to make my house a cosy home!

    • Liz Walthall

      Me, too!!!

  • For me I think it is chiefly photographs and my books. What helps additionally is scented candles and baking…which is even better smell-wise!

  • musical capricorn

    I find that being organized, not having clutter and picking and choosing who’s in your home and how often they’re there makes a difference. I find the more organized I am, the less that I have to do later as for a cleaning later. As well as not having clutter give me less things to clean just as Amie Melnychuk said below. I come from a big family and they tend to have a lot of people over their house lot. I feel for me I want the people who mean something to me over my house. Plus by nature I’m more introverted and like alone time for myself sometimes, so therefore I don’t like everybody just showing up when they feel like it. So for me having these things in check give me a peace of mind and allows me to escape from the world at the end of the day. And that to me, makes my home a haven.

  • Marquisha Lawrence

    I keep my house a haven with 20 minute moments of cleaning before I leave the house for the day or in between dashes in and out. It helps keep everything tidied. In 20 minutes, I have the dish washer loaded and running, the kitchen floor swept, the pillows in the living room fluffed and the toilet and tub scrubbed! The next day or so will be filled with another set of chores within a 20 minute timeframe. It works for me and my place is the perfect space for me! 🙂

  • Katie Knotts

    Weekend cleaning! Once I finally admitted to myself that I never feel like doing chores on weeknights, it wasn’t too bad to do the bulk of my cleaning and tidying on Sunday evening so that I can enjoy being home after work.

  • Martice

    Candles and flowers are my favorite quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to add some charm and peace to my home 🙂

  • Wow…that would be a dream. I actually have just moved out of my house for the 1st time and reality is really settling in. I want to cry last night from all the ironing I needed to do. It’s been non-stop. Now needed to visit my parents and my boyfriends parents on weekends… exhausting! Need balance!