Quick, Momma, what things bring you joy?
Maybe your kids, maybe a spouse or significant other, maybe a job or chocolate or flowers or yoga. Whatever your answer is, it tells you something about yourself. And that answer can lead you to sprinkling joy throughout your day like salt on vegetables (or fudge on a sundae if sweet is your vibe).
When we think about making big changes in our surroundings, it can be overwhelming.
Let’s start small. Who has time or money for a complete overhaul to increase joy anyway? Not me and probably not you.
When I ask the question “what brings me joy,” my answer includes friends, beauty, family, travel, organization, words, community, and God. To increase joy, I want to focus on these things. This is where little changes can make a big difference.
1. Find unused space in common areas to add little touches of joy
First, think about where you have unused space in your house such as the insides of cabinet doors.
Unused spaces became opportunities for encouraging messages. I have a large medicine cabinet door in my bathroom – it became a personal and uplifting space where I could add pictures and quotes that I love.
It brings me joy every day as I take out my makeup or mouthwash.
2. Add living things like plants or flowers
Another easy way to get your joy vibe going is to add plants or flowers.
There are many places now where you can get cheap, beautiful flowers or plants such as Trader Joes. I know it can be a pain to water them, and it is a small expense, but they can really brighten your day!
A friend gave me a bamboo plant five years ago and I still have it in my house. Not only does it look nice, but it reminds me of my lovely friend.
3. Find ways to include encouraging words around your living space.
Since I love words and want my kids to see encouraging words once they can read, fill small spaces in your house with joyful words.
Years ago I bought these blocks from a friend and they are a reminder for me to focus on these things. They rotate so I can set them up in whatever way appeals to me at the moment and change them every so often. You can also put quotes on your walls as decals or under pictures. The Target dollar section is also a great place to find little things to add joy.
4. Save and display things your children create
Something else you can do to increase joy is keeping evidence of your children’s love around the house.
These are things my son wrote down on scraps of paper as he was learning to write his letters. They make me so happy and I didn’t want to throw them away, so I taped them to the inside of a kitchen cabinet – space that I wasn’t using anyway. Or you could put up a bulletin board or create a space on top of a cabinet or shelf. You don’t have to save everything your child makes, but keep a few things in different spots to remind you of their love.
5. Include colors and patterns that you love
One more simple way to bring joy to your house is to fill it with colors and patterns that you love.
This pattern is on my bed and I love it! We used to have a pattern with totally different colors that I liked fifteen years ago, but it hadn’t appealed to me for some time. It was too dull and calm for what I like now. So, with a few gift cards and after looking online for weeks, I found this comforter and ordered it. It brightens up the room and the richness of the colors brings me joy.
If you don’t have gift cards or don’t want to spend much money, go to thrift stores and find a new pattern you like for curtains or placemats. You could also change the color of your towels in the bathroom or the kitchen.
Boxes with pretty patterns are also a great storage idea for your nightstand or other areas where you need things close by.
I think a lot of people believe that if they make big changes in their circumstances, that will lead to more joy.
They could buy a new house, move to a new neighborhood or remodel their whole kitchen. Those things aren’t bad, I just don’t think they’re necessary. And they require a large investment. Thinking that you need to do something big could also stop you from doing anything at all.
Instead, start small and soon you’ll have reminders throughout your day that bring you joy.