It's tough to function in an inhospitable place. If your living environment is cluttered or noisy or toxic, if it lacks privacy or essential creature comforts, it's time to take action.

If you find yourself surrounded by stacks of old magazines or newspapers, start now to recycle them. If you have loud neighbors, ask them to quiet down, and if that doesn't help, speak to your landlord, even file a complaint with the police if it comes to that. Wash those dishes. Get out the broom and the vacuum. Rearrange the furniture. Improve the lighting. Hang a picture. Empty the trash.

Start now, bit by bit, one item at a time, begin to remake your living environment into a place where you can feel comfortable, secure, and productive. Make a place that reflects your values and tastes. A place to live, not just to exist. If you can't do it alone, ask a buddy for help. Offer to return the favor.


Make a short to-do list of improvements you can make to your living environment. Prioritize the items on the list and take some action every day for at least a week. Check off the items as you get them done.