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When I think about creating a more calm family life in my home, it makes sense to think about the environment.  Here are 5 great tips to help you simplify your home space that you read more about here as well.

1. Make It Cozy – It’s especially important for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to have a space that allows for good acoustics.  Wood floors and high ceilings are more popular today than ever before.  In these beautiful spacious homes there can be a lot of echoing – not only can this be slightly cold but it can be very difficult for our little ones to understand our words while they are learning to speak.  You can create a cozier space and help the acoustics with rugs and fun cloths draped on the ceilings.

2. Natural Lighting – It’s well known that fluorescent lights are not good for our health.  Thank goodness we don’t usually have fluorescent lights in our homes.  The more natural light you can bring into your home, the  more calming and peaceful.  A lovely way to start or end the day is with candlelight.  Candlelight is something that invites us to be still and quiet.  As long as there is safety and supervision, it can be something to introduce into your morning or bedtime routine.

3. Reduce Noise – Some of the best ways to reduce the noise factor in our homes is to turn the TV set off when no one is watching.  It’s preferable with young children to limit recorded music – radio and CDs – aren’t as preferable as live music.  If you used to play the guitar, flute, piano, or the clarinet, bring it out, mama!  I was so inspired by one mom who had never played an instrument and decided to teach herself the penny whistle.  She began taking her penny whistle to the park with her kids – so cool.  You can certainly find a lot more peace by clearing out the toys.  Pssst…I give you complete permission to rid your home of those noisy toys.

4. Be Careful of Smells! – Kids are super sensitive to smells and their behavior will show it.  Chemicals from toxic cleaners (mama, if you’re still using Windex, bleach, and Tide – for shame – you know I love you, right? – but, those things are terrible for our little ones and for us).  Hyperactivity, aggression, poor cognition, confusion…these can all be caused by powerful smells.  Time to put aside strong smelling perfumes and aftershave.  Febreeze and Glade – these are strong chemicals that can hi-jack your child’s amygdala and truly be a source of difficulties you may be experiencing with the little ones.  You can clean effectively and safely and open the windows for fresh air rather than creating the “fresh” scent with damaging chemicals.

5. Eat Clean – It’s time to rid your pantry, fridge, and freezer of those big hit foods and flavors.  I’ve been super inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  I love veggies and I’m striving to cook more and more vegetarian and vegan meals for my family.  Jamie does a great job at making those processed foods that are full of chemicals, look totally disgusting.  Make a commitment to cook healthier and sign Jaime’s pledge!  It’s easy to look at efficiency when we are trying to feed our kids and settle for the fake macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets, but we’re setting them up to refuse to eat real food since processed food is such “big hit flavors” that vegetables, fruit, and grains taste like cardboard to our kids.  French fries do not count as a vegetable.  This week I’m planning to make a delicious wheatberry salad and a lentil salad that pop with flavor and are so good for us!

Mama, there are a lot of ideas here to think about. Now, don’t overwhelm yourself and try to implement everything today.  Focus on one do-able change for this week when it comes to your environment.

What tip connects to you most?