We Northern Hemisphere folks spend a lot of time indoors in January, especially those of us where snow is expected at least a few times in the month. People with seasonal depression are also affected by the “indoor-ness” of their lives at this time of the year. And this is even worse if the person’s home base or “nest” is not to their liking. Also, post winter holiday financial blues can make it tough to redecorate the nest. To help, here’s some ideas for quick and cheap or free fixes for your nest.
• No more clutter. Go through your favorite nesting room and throw out or put away things that are just making the room look dusty or cluttered. Optional: Buy or repurpose storage boxes, either ones fit for display, or those that need to be hidden in a closet or under a bed, to organize that clutter.
• Make a proper display out of things you already have. Stuffed animals? Statues? Pine cones and acorns? Soda and wine bottles? Paper or silk flowers? If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
• Dust and clean every surface in that favorite room where you nest.
• Do you have any finished coloring pages, or kid-art, or something else light and flat you want to display? Tack a length of yarn or other string between two tacks or nails or hooks, and use clothespins to display your art. If you have time/energy to paste the art to a slightly thicker back piece of paper such as construction paper (bonus if it works as a frame), it’ll help prevent the art from curling.
• Noisy neighbor? Hang an old quilt or large piece of wall art on the wall that separates you (or even the ceiling). It won’t completely get rid of the noise, but it’ll help.
• When you’re relaxing in your room, play the music you like from your phone or tablet or even that old stereo that still works.
• Sing to yourself or drum or beatbox or whatever you’re into, in your space.
• When you’re trying to rest and don’t want music, put on a fan, white noise generator, or just your furnace, to block background noises.
• Is the surface you rest on in your nest soft and comfortable? If not, soften by rinsing bedding in vinegar (yes, that works) or add pillows or a soft, folded blanket from somewhere else.
• Put a few things you love to touch along your pathways into and out of your nest. Stuffed animals, silky scarves, smooth wood, etc., are good ideas.
• Keep your nest at a temperature comfortable to you, even if that’s not possible in your home overall. Use a space heater, set your zone for comfort, or wear layers and half gloves and sock, or curl up under an electric blanket or on a heated mattress pad.
Okay, you can’t taste your nest, but you can stock a spot near where you nest with yummy pest- and pet- resistant treats. Here are some ideas:
• If you have an electric kettle of some sort, keep it near with tea and/or cocoa and/or instant coffee and fixings for your caffeine fixes and the wonderful smells and tastes.
• Stash a few low calorie treats that don’t need refrigeration nearby. Pretzels, an apple or two (if you know you’ll eat them quickly enough), nuts and/or small amounts of good chocolate.
• What the heck. Go all out and pull out that old dorm fridge from wherever you had it stashed, clean it out – well – and stock it with sodas and healthier foods that need refrigeration. Put a few ice cream sandwiches in its tiny freezer while you’re at it.
• Tart warmers (like those made by Scentsy) are everywhere these days, and you’ve probably received half a dozen as gifts lately. Plug one in and use the tarts that come with it, order some online or from that friend who sells Scentsy, or pick some up at Etsy or your local Target, Kmart, or Walmart.
• Drop a touch or two of vanilla or other extract or essential oil you like on a light bulb before you turn it on.
• Add vanilla or an essential oil to your mop water before you mop, or use a floor soap whose smell you love.
• When you vacuum, choose a scent you love for your vacuum powder. If you can’t find one, put baking soda in a shaker bottle with (you guessed it) some vanilla, other extract, or essential oil, and shake before vacuuming. (If you don’t have a shaker bottle, use a zippered storage bag with a few small holes cut into a corner. Tie or tape the corner up when not in use.
The point here is that you don’t need a lot of money or time to turn a favorite corner of your home into a place that welcomes you every time you’re there. You can even implement these ideas in an office or home office. Have fun, and get creative with building your nest.