~Heading into a new year tends to inspire us to to take a step back and review the past year to identify the areas of our lives that could use a bit of improvement.  While most of us resolve to start a new exercise regime or diet plan, it’s also a good time to scan through your home and decide what steps you can take to cultivate a happy home this year. 

External Factors
Studies show that factors such as long commutes, mortgage debts, and neighbor relationships can all play a significant role in the happiness of your home.  Changing jobs, or moving house might not be within your reach this year, but improving your relationship with the neighbors is a great place to start making strides in this category.

Cleanliness
Although a clean home isn’t always a happy home, it certainly will be happier than a downright dirty home.  The feeling that comes from having the laundry clean and put away, the dishes done, and the bathroom sparkling is priceless.  Try delegating tasks to family members, not only to enjoy the end results on a more consistent basis, but also to allow everyone else to experience the satisfaction of a job well done!

Design and Organization
Take a look at any magazine stand in the grocery store check-out, and you will find plenty of ideas on how to create the perfect atmosphere for your home this year.  Ideas include ways to cut clutter, paint color palettes to soothe the soul, as well as how to display collections of items that make you happy.  Also, while installing a new home security system may not be as aesthetically pleasing (or as exciting) as a new couch, this step can go a long way in providing you and your family with peace of mind.