5 Steps To Create A Home Sanctuary

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Settled back into work and fully into the January blues? We all get that feeling after the excitement of Christmas. A blur of family, friends, parties along with general overindulgence and festivities can be tough physically and emotionally - not to mention financially! So when the budget won't stretch to a week of RNR in the Maldives, why not turn your home into your sanctuary? After all, you'll likely be spending more time there than usual with the weather getting colder, "dry January" progressing and the bank balance groaning. Not sure where to begin? We show you how in our latest blog.

1. Declutter

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Whilst many of us haven't the time - nor desire - to master the art of Feng shui, having a "winter blitz" can do wonders to your home and your mood. If you're suffering the deluge of festive tat, spilling over into the new year, take control! Completely declutter and clean your home, not forgetting those pesky cupboards! Make an effort to clear areas you've been putting off. It's a weight off your mind that you never even realised you had! Tidy space, tidy mind!

2. Create An Ambience

You've cleaned up and visually; your house is now show home-esque. Why stop there? Make the rest of your senses "happy", to enjoy spending more time in your home:

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- Designate a room (or "corner of calm"!) for quiet time. Try to spend at least ten minutes here a day. No technology, no noise... perhaps read a book, or simply relax and gather your thoughts.
Smell - A pleasant-smelling home will automatically inspire a welcoming and positive feeling. Invest in plug-in air fresheners or oil burners. Candles will also add a cosy ambience. We recommend cotton fresh scents as they are subtle yet pleasant.
Touch Turn up the heating, because nothing is more inviting on a cold, wet and dark winters' evening than a toasty warm home! Bonus points if you invest in a cosy blanket or throw for the sofa.
Taste - Award yourself for all of your hard work with something delicious - cupcakes never made anyone sad!

3. Yoga

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We're far from yogi greatness, and it can sound intimidating, but there is a reason they say yoga is "good for the mind and soul" - because it is! Start off with very basic, gentle stretches via YouTube videos (search "Hatha Yoga"). Associate a particular area of your home with your yoga practice and enjoy! Master an art, get in shape, and reduce tension and stress - for free and all from the comfort of your own home. Next step: That impossibly flexible headstand?? Consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise regime.

4. Bring Nature Inside!

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It may be too cold for countryside walks, but you could always invest in indoor plants. Plants oxygenate the air and make a room feel more "alive". They are a great addition to any room and are cost effective; yet provide enjoyment for years to come. Struggle to keep plants alive? Look for a robust variety such as Dracaena.

5. Bed Down

Whilst the luxurious beds of a five-star resort may be months away, that doesn't mean your bed can't be five-star luxury right now!

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Avoid synthetic bedding and sheets, as they tend to make you sweat more and generally less comfortable than their natural alternatives. Cotton - or even bamboo - sheets with feather-filled pillows and duvets are a choice investment, and aim for a minimum of 400-thread count. If a new mattress may be a stretch at this time of year, consider a memory foam mattress topper. Toppers lay over your existing mattress for a revamped nights' sleep. You may even be able to pick one up in the sales.

Perhaps you have your own additions you'd like to share? Head over to our social media channels - Twitter, Facebook - to start the conversation; we'd love to hear your suggestions!

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your home. If you don't enjoy it, try to change elements of it to suit you.

Still not happy? Why not check out the thousands of properties Martin & Co have for sale and to rent across the UK. Pop into your local branch or explore our website for more information.

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