Now, more than ever, we need our homes to be our refuge. The home is meant to be a place of safety and comfort. But oftentimes it doesn't feel that way in the midst of our clutter and neglect. After a stressful day of work, we come back home only to trip over a mountain of shoes blocking the entrance way and get more stressed out about the fact that we never finished building that shoe rack. Or the laundry that's still in the dryer and wrinkling as we speak- another reminder of a growing list of pain-in-the-neck tasks that we know we're going to push off until next Sunday night. Yet, it doesn't take much to change this dynamic between you and your living space. All that stands between you creating a stress-free safe haven is 5 important moves.

1. Organize Your Living Space

To start off, you need to declutter your space. The visual chaos of mail, clothes, and wires laying around everywhere is no doubt giving you unnecessary anxiety. More clutter only means less space for you. You've likely heard of Marie Kondo and her system of decluttering the home. She offers a minimalist approach to organizing and advises folks to get rid of unwanted items. Throw things away if you don't need them or, as Kondo has popularized, if they "do not spark joy." If you're like me, however, and probably have an unhealthy emotional attachment to the things you own, wicker baskets may be the better way to go. These are a more aesthetic way to store- aka hide- your items and maintain visual order around your living space. Other possible options include storing your books and blankets in an ottoman or incorporating your home's vertical space such as by installing pegboards or wall-mounted shelves. By creating storage, you can still keep all your things, but you won't have to sacrifice the space you deserve.

2. Putting Your Space Back the Way You Found it

Finished your bowl of cereal? Why not just take the thirty seconds to hand wash it now rather than stress yourself out later seeing a big dirty pile of dishes overflowing in the sink? If we work to form a habit of resetting each room or area after we're done using it, before we know it, one day it will become second nature. Suddenly, that towering list of chores no longer seems so insurmountable. Doing the time now means so much less work for ourselves later, and we are rewarded with a happy and tidy space the next time we come home.

3. Creating More Space

Another important way you can improve the comfort of your home is through remodeling. Many people misuse their space, making their homes feel smaller than they actually are and leaving these homeowners feeling cramped and uncomfortable. One renovation could be knocking down any unnecessary walls to create additional space. You could also add extra space by building sunrooms or screened-in porches. You don't necessarily have to shoot for these large scale renovations either; it is very doable creating space via smaller means. One idea could be manipulating the purpose of rooms. Who says you have to use a room in the same form it was designed? Maybe you don't need that walk-in closet, and the space would serve you better use as a home office. You can also take advantage of every nook and cranny in your home. Use every square footage of space that you have and make it functional. That small corner of the room beside the door? Why not build a bookshelf there? Home remodeling projects will not only make your home feel more comfortable, but they can also vastly increase the value of your home in the long run.

4. Barefoot Comfort

Sometimes that fluffy white rug is the last piece you need to complete your snug dwelling. Rugs and carpets break up the monotony of walking on cold hardwood floor and instead add texture, warmth, and color to a room. Go ahead and splurge on that faux fur rug; it's an affordable and essential luxury in my book! Your bare feet will thank you for it. Additionally if you're willing to pay the money, radiant floor heating is actually something that exists. It provides heat directly to the entire floor while the heat system itself is nowhere to be seen, making it a cherished feature among homeowners.

5. Noise Reduction

When we return to our homes, we expect a retreat from the noisy and hectic outside world. However, for some of us who live in bigger cities or high traffic areas like railway lines or airports, being comfortable at home isn't only about comfy furniture or spacious living rooms. Noise pollution can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. One solution to the problem is soundproofing our windows via glazing. The window glazing system essentially separates yourself and the rest of the world by a layer of inert gas injected between two panes of glass. The design also yields less air leakage, lower heat loss, and minimal condensation for our windows, thus improving our comfort and our view. An added bonus if you apply multiple glazing to your windows: temperature regulation. Two or three panes of glass serve as a great barrier against the outside temperatures- perfect for those of us living in colder climates.