Last year, we prepared for the New Year (this year) by identifying some New Year’s resolutions worth tackling in the home. But just like personal resolutions (losing weight, reading more books, spending less money on dog bandanas), it can be a challenge tackling these goals throughout the year. It’s especially difficult when, well, you don’t really want to do them anyway.
I get it—I’m the same way. I swear to do something, and for the first couple months it’s great! But then I fall into back into bad habits and, suddenly, falling behind on laundry is the new norm (I can honestly say I don’t remember when I last washed the dog’s bed).
If you’re into new beginnings and keeping things around the home fresh, the New Year is a perfect time to make some changes to your interior! Sure, you might not always associate January with home renovations, but why not? If you’re taking the time to clean your home for holiday guests, you might as well take an extra step and make it something new for the New Year. Or at least make it feel new.
The first step in making any change is to identify what you already have. Do you have furniture in storage that doesn’t fit with your current design scheme? Is there artwork in the closet because you have no room on your current walls? Do you have boxes of figurines somewhere that you don’t want to display but can’t bring yourself to get rid of?
Home is where the heart is. It’s a safe place that provides shelter at the very least and is hopefully also a place of love and support. It should reflect you and what you value. Sometimes when we want change, we assume we need to start completely new, but that isn’t always the case. You don’t need to break the bank to freshen up your home and make it feel new.
Focus on what you have. If there are pictures you haven’t looked through in years, flip through them some lazy weekend and pull out your favorites. How can you incorporate these into your home so you can appreciate them more often? Switching framed photos around the house is a very easy way to change up your walls or shelving on the fly.
Sometimes all you need to do is rearrange some furniture or decorations to uncover a room’s new possibilities. If the bookcase in the bedroom isn’t really working anymore, try it in the living room or the guest bedroom to turn it into a library. If your furniture is of sound quality but looking a little dull or dinged, it’s easy to restore it to new luster! A fresh coat of paint or stain and some new hardware can take your dresser or end table to a whole new level.
While taking inventory of your possessions and their possibilities, keep track of your favorite things and what you really like—about your space, colors, particular objects, and whatever else you fancy. If there is anything you don’t like in your home, it might be time to get rid of it. If it’s a particularly sentimental object, it could be hard to part with. But if it’s just taking up space or is something you hate looking at every day, is it worth it? Could someone else enjoy it more?
If you’re prone to impulse purchasing (like me), you might find yourself surrounded by things you thought you liked, but now aren’t super into anymore. To prevent this from happening in the future, it’s a great idea to create a scrapbook or Pinterest board with items that are very “you.” Frequent your collection and add new items you find and remove any that might have fallen out of favor. If you notice a trend in what you like (and what you don’t get sick of), you can make better purchasing decisions for what will give you long-term joy.
Similarly, keep track of all the things you don’t like throughout your home. Is a particular room too dark? Are those dusty boxes of mementos taking their toll on you? Are you not satisfied with a room’s flow? Make an ongoing list of things you don’t like and wish to change. If you’re not happy, why keep things the same? It’ll just lead to another year of unhappiness.
Once you have a sizeable list, take a look at it objectively. Is there anything you could throw away today? What could you change in the upcoming months? What can be passed down to a friend, family member, or donated to charity? Is there something you want to hold on for a little longer? What needs to be thought out long-term?
Part with at least one thing right away, as this will help make getting rid of other things much easier. Devise a plan for what to get rid of and when. If you hate a wall color, find some you like and sit on it a while, if you must, to find the best match for what you want. If you want to change curtains, find something that you really like. Don’t just settle for something that’s ok now, otherwise you might be setting yourself up for unhappiness again next New Year.
Before bringing any new items into your home or changing up wall colors, make sure it’s not just something you want, but something that you need and will use. This is especially important if one of your resolutions is to declutter your house. When shopping, consider first if you actually like it. Then consider if you need it. Do you know where to put it? Can you afford it? If all the answers are yes, then maybe you should buy it. But if it can wait, it might be best to hold off on it a bit to see if it’s just an impulse purchase. This will help cut back on buyer’s remorse—a feeling I personally know all too well.
Habits are difficult to form and are incredibly easy to break. It can be a real challenge sticking to any kind of resolution, especially when it comes to your home. But if you stick with it and really think about the choices you make, the process will get a little bit easier every day.
Whether you are trying to monitor a tight budget, want to explore a minimalist lifestyle, or something else entirely, establishing home resolutions can help keep you on track. Getting rid of clutter can really help make a place feel open and new. And changes don’t have to be extreme or expensive—which is especially important if you’re currently renting. If you are renting your space, we have some additional tips for temporary upgrades which you can find here.
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.