11 Nov 2023

The essence of a happy home: Beyond material possessions

5 minute read

It’s National Organising Week and at APDO we can’t stop thinking about ways to make your place, your happy space.

In today’s blog, APDO member Julie Stevens explores beyond our material possessions to discover the emotional, social and psychological elements that truly matter in creating a happy home.

In a world that often equates happiness with the accumulation of material possessions, it's essential to remember that true contentment is not found in things but in the intangible elements that make a house a happy home. 

Creating a space that aligns with your personality, preferences and lifestyle, incorporating small personal touches of artwork, photos and cosy furnishings will contribute to your comfort and convenience but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a space filled with warmth and happiness. Comfort is derived from more than just the tangible elements: it includes the emotional comfort of knowing you’re in a space that represents who you are and your values.

1. Safety and Security

Feeling safe and secure within your home is paramount to happiness. This goes beyond physical safety; it encompasses the emotional safety to express oneself, make mistakes, and grow. A secure home is a place where you can be your authentic self without fear of judgement, criticism or harm. Knowing you have a sanctuary where you're protected physically and emotionally is a powerful source of comfort and happiness. (Do what you need to do to ensure your home is physically safe and secure. Install smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and ensure you have effective quality door and window locks).

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

2. Love and Connection

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© Image by Fauxels on Pexels

Once assured we are safe and secure, building the foundations of a happy home starts with love and connection among its inhabitants. A sense of belonging, support and mutual affection creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Whether it's family members, roommates or close friends, genuine connections are the heart and soul of a happy home. Conversations, laughter, shared experiences and emotional support all contribute to this sense of unity and harmony. 


Cultivating these connections, along with open communication and empathy, is crucial in nurturing a happy home.

3. Peace and Tranquillity

A peaceful and tranquil environment is one of the things my clients tell me they want when creating their happy home.  Often the starting point for peace and tranquillity is clearing unwanted things, organising the things that are wanted and creating defined spaces for relaxation. It is well known and accepted that establishing a peaceful, tranquil ambiance encourages calm and fosters positive mental health, making it easier to unwind and recharge within the confines of your home.

4. Gratitude and Mindfulness

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© Image by Fauxels on Pexels

Practising gratitude and mindfulness within your peaceful and tranquil home can have a radical impact on the overall happiness experienced within it. Recognising and appreciating the small moments, the beauty in everyday life and the blessings that surround you, can enhance your overall sense of contentment. Mindfulness practices help you stay present, reduce stress and foster a deeper connection with your living space. By infusing your home with a sense of gratitude and awareness, you'll find happiness.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Aesop

5. Flexibility and Adaptability

Life is unpredictable, and a happy home is one that can adapt to changes and challenges. Flexibility and adaptability are key components in maintaining a harmonious living environment. Being open to change, willing to compromise and finding solutions together with your cohabitants can make your home a dynamic, resilient and happy place. Embracing change as an opportunity for growth ensures that your home remains a space of positivity and progress.  Learning not to fear change but to be excited by it will serve you well.Here are some very practical ways you can start to create your happy home.

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© Image by Samkov on Pexels

Shared Responsibilities

Shared responsibilities and a balanced workload among the household members maintain a happy home. A sense of fairness and cooperation ensures that no one person feels overwhelmed or unappreciated. When everyone participates in the care and maintenance of the home, it fosters a sense of unity and shared commitment to the well-being of the household.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mahatma Gandhi

Respect and Boundaries

Mutual respect and clear boundaries are essential for a happy home. It's crucial to respect each other's space, needs and personal time. Setting boundaries helps establish a sense of order and consideration for all occupants. It prevents conflicts and misunderstandings, making your home a peaceful and nurturing place for everyone.

Laughter and Joy

Laughter is the universal language of happiness. A home filled with humour and joy is a happy home, indeed. Share funny stories, engage in playful activities and find moments of lightheartedness to counterbalance the challenges of life. Laughter not only relieves stress but also strengthens the bonds between individuals, making your home a place where you can find solace in shared merriment.

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." Victor Hugo

Harmony with Nature

Nature has a unique ability to rejuvenate and inspire. A connection with the natural world can bring serenity and joy into your home. Consider introducing indoor plants to bring the outside in and create an outdoor space to relax with comfy seating and tables to eat at. This harmony with nature promotes well-being and a sense of balance.

In the pursuit of a happy home, we must look beyond material possessions and focus on the intangible elements that matter. Love, connection, peace, safety, gratitude, adaptability, comfort, shared responsibilities, laughter, harmony with nature and respect are factors that make a house a happy and fulfilling place to live. By prioritising these elements, you can create a home that radiates warmth, contentment and positive energy, making it a true haven in the chaos of the outside world.

The essence of your happy home starts with you and is beyond the things that you fill it with.

Julie Stevens, founder of Younique Designs Ltd, is an Interior Designer, Professional Organiser and Coach who has spent the last 30 years cultivating a Happy Home for herself and her clients. She works with men and women who struggle to get organised, who procrastinate and find it hard to manage themselves within time. Julie served on the Board of APDO for 4 years as their Professional Development Director, has a passion for training, personal and professional development and is on the core team for APDO’s Productivity Group. She lives in Rochester, Kent with hubby and an orange cat, Marmaduke.  You can find out more by visiting her website, youniquedesigns.co.uk 

To find your local organiser who can help make your space your happy place, visit our Find an Organiser page.