5 ways to turn a chaotic house into a calm house

Does this happen to you: You can't wait to finish your day and get home, only to find you can't actually relax once you get there? Between the family coming and going, the mess and the noise you feel more like you live in la plaza then in a warm, relaxing home.

I've searched the inter-web for tips but honestly, they all seem a little impractical--clear the clutter--I get it, but I often wonder if magazine editors actually have children because that is so not as easy as it sounds.

Here are 5 things I have done that made my home calmer:

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Paint a neutral color: My whole house is a nice warm brown with off-white trim. Painting with the same color helps create flow between rooms and picking a neutral color doesn't mean picking a boring color. I could never live with beige walls, I'd rather the chaos!

If you can't clean it, make sure it smells nice: I think we often forget that our sense of smell has a lot of control over our emotions. Smells can remind us immediately of good times and be comforting. They can also calm you down. Scents like lavender or flowers from your home country are an easy way to alert your subconscious to calm down.

Bring the outdoors in: Plants are a great way to bring in color and scent but they also make your home feel less closed in. We all feel better outdoors.

Remove the clutter from all but one room: Of course you will feel better if there isn't visual chaos all around you but be realistic about it. In my house, we all work to keep the living room and kitchen clean, but I just stopped worrying that the computer room is a mess. It has a door. Having a place for the chaos helps keep the rest of the house clutter-free.

Use soft fabrics: I think Oprah said "your house should rise to meet you" which to me means it should hug you. Soft fabrics on the couch and chairs help that a lot. Don't have an itchy rug or throw pillow just because they look good--make sure they feel good too.

How have you made your house less chaotic?

Image via evanllama18/flickr