Here are seven secrets to a tranquil beginning to the new year.

Clear out the clutter. You don’t have to be a minimalist to create a sanctuary, but decreasing the clutter can dramatically change the way your space looks and feels. Clutter creates a feeling of burden, stress, mess, and chaos. The goal of creating a sanctuary is to feel at peace, serene, comfortable, and fluid—a place where you can come home and truly relax, be nurtured, and commune with your family. 

Display photos of your family, friends, and favorite life memories in beautiful frames. Life is about relationships and having meaningful experiences. Create a special place in your home to honor special family members and friends to showcase milestones and the fun times you’ve had with them. Seeing these images often will bring joy and connection, and remind you to create more of these moments. 

Have candles in your home and light them on special nights. Have beautiful holders for them, and make sure to buy unscented or only naturally scented candles. Everything looks better by candlelight and creates a mood. Use candles for nightly dinners, meditation, yoga, and a weekly bath. Go ahead and light candles when preparing dinner to set the stage.

Bring a plant or two or more into your house. Plants create comforting energy and also naturally clean the air. Popular houseplants include a spider plant, chrysanthemum, peace lily, and Boston fern. 

Create a beautiful outdoor space to commune. Whether it is a yard, porch, deck, or balcony, have a space where you can eat a meal, have a cup of tea, write in a journal, star gaze, people watch, or simply listen to the birds. 

Get an essential oil diffuser. Our sense of smell affects us immensely. A particular smell can trigger a memory in an instant, whether the memory was bad or good, it doesn’t matter, the scent will transport you there. To uplift try orange and lemongrass. Peppermint can be energizing and lavender is perfect for relaxing. 

Go chemical-free. Create a chemical-free environment. That means replacing harmful toxic household cleaners, synthetic materials, and anything else that brings chemicals into your house, with a natural version. 

Wishing you daily peace, comfort, and beauty this new year!

Zoe Weston helps families create the healthiest foundations in life from pregnancy to home sanctuaries. Learn more at