Every new year starts with burgeoning excitement and possibility for what's to come. With renewed energy after the work and school break, it's a wonderful time to start thinking about new year's resolutions and all that the new year holds. Brimming with possibility, you have probably thought about and begun to plan for every area of your life. Maybe you will focus on your relationships and family or your physical health, or perhaps you have some budding travel plans or financial goals that you are looking forward to?
But what about the place you call home? What resolutions could you make to create an inviting, safe, and well-organised home for you and your family and friends to enjoy? We run you through some of our top 5 new years resolutions to get your home in tip-top shape and to make sure that it runs as a comfortable base for all that the new year has to offer.Declutter and Streamline Your Stuff
Albeit not the most glamourous of all new-year home resolutions, cleaning is a great place to kick start your home transformation! Cleaning is the first step to getting your home in order, and the beginning of the year is the perfect time to declutter. Purging any unwanted or broken items comes next so that you can clear space for the year ahead.
This may seem like an incredibly daunting task, but it is one of the most effective ways to transform your space and an inexpensive way to feel better about your home. A good strategy is essential so you can see small successes along the way and make sure that the process isn't too overwhelming leaving you paralysed in the kitchen staring at the 4th potato peeler you've discovered at the back of the cupboard. Here are our best decluttering tips:
- Remember that a good rule of thumb is that if it's been stuffed in storage or hanging in your closet in a year or more, you're likely not to miss it and it can be donated or discarded. Be ruthless; you won't regret it when you come home to a decluttered marvel!
- Create three boxes to store your stuff as you go along. You'll need a keep, discard and donate pile. If you want a more robust strategy consider a things to move to another room, things to donate, things to give to someone I know, things to discard and things to think over piles. Simple is best, so no need to get fancy.
- Be Methodical. Make sure to go systematically through each room one at a time and break the space up into manageable sections. You don't want to start too big, and by the time you reach dinner time, you can't exit your kid's room cause the floor is covered in piles of old clothes. This will discourage you, so take it one little step at a time.
- For busier and more cluttered rooms like the kitchen, set aside at least a full day or two to get through a good chunk of it so that you're not wading through your declutter piles when it's time to make school lunches the next morning.
- Keep energised and focus on the small victories. Play some music and get the whole family involved to keep the energy up. Once you've decluttered an entire room have a little celebration party and bring out the snacks!
- Fill your home with things that energise you and bring you joy. Think twice before you place anything new into your sparkling clean and beautifully organised rooms.
- Without regular decluttering, things can add up fast, and before you know it the desk drawers are filled with random bits and bobs again. To combat this clutter creep, set up a schedule for room-by-room periodical clearing. Every 2 to 3 months is a great interval to make sure nothing you don't genuinely want sneaks in.
Once you've completed your declutter, everything in good-knick can be donated to your local charity store or shelter. Make sure to wash and mend any clothes you want to donate so that they are ready to be worn to those who need them. Sit back and take in all your hard work!
Create a Cleaning System
It's all too easy for the year to get away with us, so set yourself up for success by relooking at your cleaning schedule or creating one for the first time. One of the best things you do all year could be coming up with an inclusive plan for the whole family to keep the house in order this year!
So get the family together and follow these tips to wrangling your home cleaning:
- Break up the tasks into daily, weekly and monthly priorities.
- Focus on one type of cleaning at a time and break the tasks down by room.
- Keep cleaning supplies in crates or portable carryalls, making them easily accessible, easy to move from room to room and categorised by type of cleaning.
- Divide the tasks up in an age-appropriate way between family members.
- Keep it fun and create charts for smaller kids to track their chores. Don't forget to add some fun incentives and prizes.
If you set out a clear plan for each room and assign daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to each family member, you can have the house spic and span in no time. And of course, you will have a created a cleaning system and strategy that you can implement the entire year.
Your house may be sparkling clean and organised, but is it safe? There are a couple of critical things to check periodically to make sure everything is running smoothly and that there are no security threats, fire hazards or any other health risks. January is a great time to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the year ahead.
Fire safety is crucial, and you should have a small fire extinguisher in the house in case of any fire. You could also consider installing fire alarms in the kitchen to add an extra level of safety. If you cook with gas, you will need to perform periodic checks on this. You can easily call in a professional to come and give everything a once over to make sure everything is in working order, and there are no leaks inside or outside where your gas is stored.
Lastly, dryer lint is a little known danger as it accounts for many house fires each year, so check and clean your lint collection in your tumble dryer every month. The lint will sit on the inside trap of the dryer door, but the critical cleaning needs to be done in the vents at the back of the machine where most of this highly combustible lint collects.
Indoor air quality can contain contaminants like pet dander, pollen, mould spores and dust. While not all of these are harmful, they contribute significantly to the quality of your living environment. More seriously consistent exposure to these pollutants can cause allergies, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic respiratory disease.
One of the more insidious culprits is mould, but you can combat any mould growth by making sure to keep bathrooms, storerooms, attics and garages well ventilated. You can do so by opening any windows during use and checking that outside venting bricks are not clogged up with dust or debris. If your kitchen or bathroom doesn't have windows, consider installing an extractor fan to get rid of smoke and cooking fumes as well as any humidity. If you have carpeting in the house, consider getting these professionally cleaned to target pet hair and dust too.
Go Green and Shrink your Bills
Now solar panels and electric cars are excellent eco-friendly additions to your home, but we're thinking a lot simpler here so not to worry. There are a few hacks that can help reduce your family's impact on the environment and save you money! If going green is one of your new year resolutions then check out our top budget-friendly hacks to get you started:
- Fancy yourself a green thumb? Give composting a try and get rid of all the organic waste in your kitchen.
- Learn to recycle and find a local service in your area for your weekly waste.
- As your bulbs blow, make the shift to LED or other energy-saving bulbs such as halogen incandescent and compact fluorescent. These will help you save on your electricity bill too!
- Worried about water? You can also change to low-flow showerheads to reduce your family's use.
- Reboot the garden with indigenous and drought-tolerant plants to stay water-wise. This will mean you can water your garden less and save on your utility bill.
- During summer, dry some or most of your clothes on the good old washing line instead of the energy-sucking tumble dryer.
- Make sure your appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher are full before running them.
Much of this may seem insignificant, but these simple hacks add up and help you move towards greening your home and save you money on your bills too!
Update your Home for Entertaining
As part of our new year's resolutions, many of us plan to spend more time with friends and family. What better way to start of the year by making sure your home is welcoming for guests? It doesn't need to be a complete overhaul, all it takes is a little rearrangement and a few décor updates.
A fun family project may be just what you need to get excited to create an inviting space for guests. Spend quality time together and upgrade the living room or outside area with a fun DIY project.
If you are looking for some value adding home DIY projects to do together? Check out our article to update your space on a budget. Fresh out of ideas for a home project? Check out our top 5 Instagram accounts for home inspiration to get you going.
Looking for budget-friendly decor ideas to update your space? Check out some of our top tips:
- Update dated throw cushions or add a new rug to give the living or dining room a new look.
- Clean out the guest room, clear out space for guests in the cupboards, and some creature comforts like candles to the bedside tables.
- Greenery is a great way to add life to any space and up the air quality so add as many flowers and indoor plants as you can. Choose low-maintenance plants like succulents or philodendrons.
- Paint some plant pots to match the colour scheme for some super low budget style matching.
- Paint an accent wall in the lounge, behind the fireplace or the headboard of the guest bedroom.
- Rethink the furniture in the living and outdoor spaces to foster conversation and connection by facing seating towards each other. Free up some space with some multifunctional furniture ideas too.
The new year brings with it change and can often start with stress and busyness. Set you and your family up for success this year by prepping your home for organisation and revisit these resolutions throughout the year to stay on track. A little planning goes a long way, and it may be just what we all need to start the year with a bang.