Resolutions for the Home: Promises to Make (and Keep) for the New Year
If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolutions usually hit the wall by the Super Bowl. That’s probably because I usually resolve to eat right, exercise more, lose weight and get more sleep. A Super Bowl party is the perfect platform for shattering every one of those well-intentioned promises.
So, for 2015, I’ve set my sights on resolutions that I can actually keep. They require a lot less discipline, and I think they’ll feel just as good. This year, I’m still resolving to do a makeover, but this time I’m doing it on my home. I’m going to do it with three basic resolutions.
These days we seem to accumulate lots and lots of stuff; we even forget we have much of it. Rule of thumb: if you haven’t seen it for a year, you don’t need it.
Look through cabinets, closets, junk drawers, and the garage. Put emotion aside. Stop yourself from thinking, “That’s a perfectly good ukulele and you never know when someone will invite me to a Hawaiian party.” Purge it.
Everyone’s Tupperware cabinet has odd and mismatched lids, unclaimed platters and glass jars that seemed like such a good idea at the time. Purge them.
Go to the medicine cabinets and get rid of all the expired medicines, vitamins, and unused prescriptions. Don’t linger over them like a personal chronicle of your health history. When you see an old date, purge it.
In the ever-popular junk drawer, get rid of all the old homework (that the dog ate), rusty scissors (you swore you could clean up), paper clips, rubber bands, and mystery keys. Throw away (almost) all the pens and pencils that you know you’ll never use.
Clothes Closets, linen closets, and the toy closet. Hand-me-downs, don’t-fits and don’t likes. (I can’t believe I bought that). After you’ve done that, get rid of the empty hangers, too.
Believe me, you’ll get good at it. It’s cleansing. It’s refreshing. And it’s the only New Year’s Resolution where you can drink wine while you’re doing it.
Once you have cleared out and organized “back stage” you get to treat yourself to something great for the “main stage.” Whether it’s big or small, go ahead and splurge on one of the projects you have been wanting to do. Use our Seven Fundamentals of interior design to guide you through a project like:
1. Paint a room a new color
2. Make a photo collage for a wall or shelf. We all have thousands of photos. Get some favorites off the computer and onto your “main stage” where you can enjoy them.
3. Make an outdoor living room. Patios and decks can be transformed into wonderful living spaces. They relieve the pressure on your indoor spaces, making them seem bigger.
4. New windows. Not only will they work better, wait ‘til you see how much they save on energy costs. Yes, it may seem like spending money on “infrastructure,” but the new look is really profound.
5. Refinish wood floors. Our homes, like ourselves, age gradually. We don’t notice the wear and tear when we live with it every day. You’ll be amazed by how you feel with refinished floors. You’ll also wonder how you didn’t notice how bad they’d gotten.
6. Kitchens and baths are always contenders. They’re pricey to redo, but they’re an investment that pays off financially and emotionally.
Go below the surface for home maintenance and repair. Do an in-depth check of water filters, leaky faucets, slow drains, loose hardware pulls, dirty windows and carpets. Keeping up with the maintenance on your home, appliances, and fixtures will help them to perform better and last longer. Maintenance habits are habit forming. Make them a part of your monthly routine. Just by doing one job a month, your home will last a lot longer.
Purge, Splurge and Submerge may not seem to be as glamorous as a svelte, new you. But they really are. Your home will bring you much more enjoyment, it will increase in value and it will give you more years of happiness.
All in all, a pretty good deal. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have some ice cream and watch a movie.