The dawning of a new year is a chance for renewal, not just for yourself, but for your home as well. It’s a chance to make some vital changes, amp up your ambiance, and transform your home into a more peaceful place. Life is hectic enough; you don’t need your home to add to the chaos. Instead, your home should be a serene retreat away from it all.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some tips and tricks to bring serenity and softness to your living space in 2018.

1. Declutter.

Clutter is not only visually distracting, but it creates unconscious chaos. It weighs you down, even when you don’t realize it. Some small part of your brain is working to deal with those out-of-place items and piles of clutter. Make a plan to clear the clutter in your home daily, starting with one space at a time. Eventually, those cleared surfaces will make it easier to stay calm, collected, and focused. A clutter-free home creates a clutter-free mind.

2. Consider color.

As you probably know, color can have an emotional, physical, and psychological impact on you. Certain colors can affect your mood, your body temperature, your appetite, and even your energy levels. Figure out which colors have the most impact on you and your family, and use that knowledge to paint the walls in each room in your home. Calming colors typically include soft gray, icy blue, lavender, neutral green and beige, warm brown, and even pastel pink in some environments.

3. Appreciate natural light.

Rather than always using overhead lighting, learn to appreciate natural light and utilize it as much as possible. When natural light fades in the evening, try using candles, lamps, and sconces, and dimming switches to soften the light and create a calmer vibe.

4. Create zones.

0051_sweetAllocating specific spaces for things like work, play, rest, and relaxation can help keep a balance in your home and allow you to move from one activity to another gracefully. Create a cozy corner in your living room space specifically for relaxation, with a comfy chair or beanbag, some soft lighting, blankets, and books. Create a space with clear, flat surfaces and bright lights for working. Whatever the designated zone is for, keep it specifically structured for that activity alone.

5. Bring the outside in.

Bringing a slice of nature into your home is a surefire way to create a more relaxing space. In fact, it’s been proven that indoor plants can lower stress levels. Aside from plants, though, try bringing in things like incense, fountains, wood candles, crystals and more into your home to incorporate all the elements.

A peaceful home is more than just a stylish abode. It’s a place for reflection, for relaxation, and most of all, for peace. Your home should be your own little slice of heaven, and with these 5 tips, you’ll be well on your way.