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10 DIY Project Ideas That Will Help Alleviate Stress

De-stress with DIY projects that help you relax, improve your home and let you say goodbye to everyday stressors.

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paintingDaxiao Productions/Shutterstock

Recreate a Room

Burn off anxiety and nervous energy by recreating a room to fit your needs. Clutter can make you stressed, so start by clearing clutter and organizing that spot in your home that’s always messy. Try bringing in a few items that spark joy, such as favorite family photos or a cheerful piece of art.

You can take it a step further and repaint the space a soothing color. Studies show that shades of blue and green can be calming.

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Family Handyman

Make Your Own Barn Wood

If you’re into rustic decor, you can de-stress by diverting your attention to making barn wood. This simple, inexpensive DIY project allows you to easily transform pine boards into rustic boards that are nearly indistinguishable from authentic barn wood. And it’s kinda fun to pound on the boards to create those realistic-looking dings and scrapes.

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Create a Tabletop Zen Garden

Are you stressed from work and everyday obligations? Studies show tending a zen garden can help. To create a homemade terrarium, start with a bowl or container of your choice and add items such as sand, small pebbles and even small plants. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of ideas on The Garden Glove.

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Plant Perennials

Planting perennials┬áin your yard not only has a calming effect, but can also increase your home’s curb appeal.

“Horticulture therapy is a relatively recent field of study that primarily focuses on the effects of the process of gardening on rehabilitation, providing both a sense of control and a distraction from worries, pain and stresses,” says Leonard P. Perry, a professor in the University of Vermont’s Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science.

“Following zen principles, a simple garden is often a peaceful one,” Perry says. “Less is indeed more in this case. Use few plants, or at least few types of plants.”

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Start Knitting

Studies show that knitting not only reduces anxiety and depression, but can also slow the onset of dementia and even help with chronic pain.

Try knitting a throw blanket for your porch, pot holders or a wall hanging as a DIY project to de-stress. Not only will it give you something else to focus on besides the things that stress you out, you’ll end up with a finished project to display or use in your home. Find free patterns at

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Create a Message Board

Keeping up with everyone’s appointments, sports practices and school events can be difficult and stressful. Create a message center for your home so everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when. A message center can also help you keep unsightly clutter like mail, permission slips and to-do lists out of sight.

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Prep for the Holidays Early

You know how crazy holidays can get, so try doing indoor gardening in advance to prepare. You can plant flower bulbs at certain times so they’ll be ready in time for holidays such as Christmas and Easter. It will give you a chance to de-stress, while knowing when the holiday rolls around there will be one less thing to worry about.

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Reorganize the Bookshelf

“Clutter is the number one stressor in most homes,” Tikva Morrow, the chief editor of Hometalk, told the web site Bustle. “Having too much ‘stuff’ around on the outside tends to create a lot of noise on the inside, and can leave us feeling frayed and scatterbrained.”

If you have too many books, going through them and giving away those you no longer want can be an easy way to de-stress while reducing your home’s clutter. Donate them to Goodwill or send them to Books for Africa.

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Hang Artwork

What items make you happy? Maybe it’s a postcard from a favorite vacation, a piece of artwork or a cherished family photo. Take these items and make a gallery wall.

“Put up pictures of family members and loved ones to strengthen and de-stress you throughout the day,” Morrow told Bustle. “Seeing familiar faces reminds you not to sweat the smaller things.”

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hallwayNew Africa/Shutterstock

Create a Staging Area

Your home’s entryway or mudroom can easily become cluttered and unorganized, so create a staging area near your door. Having a neat and orderly entrance to your home will help calm you down whether you’re leaving for the day or coming home at night.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.