Clear the Clutter
Ever wonder how much ‘extra’ we accumulate during the past 12 months? Things like furniture, bedding, clothing, table decorations, books or even the food in our pantry. Perhaps some items have come in to replace others, but perhaps some are impulse buys that have been added to our household inventory.
The start of a new year is a great time to clear out your collections. Break up the task and go through your items room-by-room, and perhaps aim to tackle one room per week. A great way to work out what stays and what goes is to create three piles; must keep, never use but someone else might, and trash. Keep what you want to keep, donate what you don’t use and recycle or bin anything broken or unusable.
There are so many fantastic second-hand stores in our communities, plus shelters, food banks, and even businesses that will happily take pre-loved goods, so those extra coats, books, and electrical items can easily become someone else’s new treasure.
Decluttering your home will help to make spaces seem larger, will make for easier cleaning, and who knows, you might even discover that long-lost item you’ve been looking for!
A great way to feel even better about your home is to make it more energy efficient.
Replace bulbs with LED versions, look at your shower-heads and consider replacing them with low-flow heads to reduce your amount of water use, and make a conscious effort to switch off lights in rooms that aren’t in use, or any that simply aren’t needed to be on.
As Canadians it’s important our homes are equipped with a strong heat source, if not multiple. For those with gas or electric fireplaces, have you checked if there’s a timer setting? Are you able to have the heat running only during times when you’re at home? Perhaps you can set the heat to come on early in the morning to take the chill off and then drop down, and back up for when you return home. Your home might be compatible with a Smart thermostat, which you can install to help control the heat levels from online or auto-adjust the temperature while you’re away.
If you require a new washer or dryer, consider eco models. Or simply making the switch from washing your clothes on a hot or warm cycle to a cold cycle will certainly help cut back on the cost of heating your water.
Brighter is Better
It may still technically be winter, but that doesn’t mean things can’t become brighter!
We have rooms like our mud room which is often the first space in our house we see, and laundry rooms which we’re in often, but aren’t necessarily our favourite room to be in. Areas like these are great spaces for a spruce-up – perhaps add a bright or patterned wallpaper or colourful feature wall to make these rooms more welcoming and enjoyable.
Your kitchen might be a space to also give a little refresh, as it’s an area where we tend to spend a lot of our time when we’re at home. One simple idea to give it a new look could be to swap out the cabinetry handles/knobs for something more unique or decorative. Perhaps you could add or replace the splash-back behind your stovetop (Tip: you can pick up a great selection of tiles at second-hand or reuse-it stores).
Alternatively, changing out your taps and faucet (kitchen or bathroom!) is a great way to give a room a new feel – go for a brighter brass or gold, or match your current colour scheme with a chunky matte black style.
The Great Outdoors
Get ready for the warmer months when it’s time to entertain outdoors again. Is your front door dull and drab, begging for a new colour? Does your front yard give off enough curb appeal or do those garden beds need a clear-out? There are so many ways to have fun with your home and don’t forget to look at what you can undertake now, and what you can plan for in the coming months.
The Fabric of Your Home
Literally, the fabrics! Now that you’ve de-cluttered that linen cupboard and donated all your mismatched or unused towels and bed sheets, is there a necessity for new ones? If so, try a pop of colour instead of favourable greys or whites?
Curtains and blinds are dominant items that with a refresh can change the whole look of a room. Have your curtains been sun-bleached over time and could use replacement, or do you spot little fingerprints that could come out with a gentle cold or hand wash?
Don’t forget that refreshments can be big or small, can be expensive or on any budget. They also don’t have to be what’s “on trend” but should be more about the right fit and feel for you. Any upgrades you make should still function well and any changes should always suit your living situation. But most importantly this is a time to enjoy making your home feel more comfortable, more inviting, and more fun! Home reno’s can also be extremely rewarding and add value to your home, so pick up that paintbrush, clear those gutters and enjoy your ‘new’ home this new year!