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8 New Year’s Resolutions for your Home

By Emelyn Hinrichs

Did you give your home the love it really deserves in 2016?

Instead of focusing on the usual fitness, finance and family goals why not make some New Year’s resolutions for your home? Here are eight ways to make your home a space to be proud of and somewhere you want to be, all of the time.

1. Find a permanent spot for your keys and other transitory items

Are you forever losing your keys or putting down your handbag in mysterious places? Take note. Find a convenient – somewhat hidden – place to keep those on-the-go valuables and your life will change for the better. For security reasons and to discourage intruders, it’s best if this spot is a little deeper into the home than a visible place in the entryway. A drawer, hook or a bowl (rather than a table surface) will ensure keys and valuables don’t get lost beneath a pile of mail.

A hall stand drawer can be a good place to keep valuables out of plain sight.

2. Try to keep some indoor plants alive this year

The interiors industry embraced indoor plants in 2016, but in reality it’s not always an easy trend to take on. There’s no doubt greenery adds life and colour into a space, however many people struggle to keep the plants actually looking green for extended periods of time. Healthy house plants require the right amount of light, water and fertiliser, as well as pest protection, dusting and (small) stints outdoors. Here’s everything you need to know about how not to kill your indoor plants.

3. Finally take that upholstery/pottery/woodworking course

Are you the type of person who sees a carefully crafted mug and thinks: ‘I could make that’? Now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is because the maker movement has never been bigger. Trend forecasters from all over the world are predicting the rise of handmade goods and artisan-created pieces in the homewares industry.

Making things with your hands can be therapeutic and satisfying. Picture: Erinna Giblin

If you’ve got an itch to occupy your hands with an honest craft, then find a class or course, pick up the tools and get cracking. At worst, you’ve broken out of routine, met some new people and escaped the screens for an hour. At best, you could discover a new passion or hobby and create a new piece (or two) to display in the home.

4. Stop buying things you have no place to keep

Most of us have just enough space in our kitchen cupboards – so why buy that expensive ice-cream maker that gets used once a year (if that)? If you want to embrace a de-cluttered existence in the new year, you’ll need to become a cut-throat shopper. The new item either needs to have an empty space waiting for it, or it has to be purchased to replace an old item in the pecking order. With that said, the new item also needs to have a clear purpose or function in your life. It’s no use throwing away old things you never use if you’re only going to replace them with new things you never use.

Between the Thermomix and the coffee maker, does your kitchen bench have room for another bulky appliance?

5. Get more fresh flowers & place them around the home

What a fun and easy resolution. At this time of year it’s highly likely your rose garden is in need of pruning. So why not pick some fresh blooms to display while you work on the garden? No flowers in the garden? Pick up a bunch from the local market. Most fruit shops sell fresh flowers, and you can usually find a simple bunch of native florals for less than $10.

Flowers don’t have to be fancy to add charm.

6. Declutter your life… for real this time

The trick with decluttering is to not attempt the whole house in one go. Grab some empty boxes and try sorting room by room, bookshelf by bookshelf or cupboard by cupboard. Give yourself a set amount of time with regular breaks slotted in. You don’t want to burn out, otherwise you’ll only do a half-hearted job. Check our step by step guide on successfully decluttering the home.

7. If there’s more than one of you, set a cleaning roster

Now you’ve gotten rid of the clutter, cleaning should be a breeze. Remember 80% of cleaning is putting things away so you actually have a surface to clean. You’re then left with regular tasks such as dusting, doing the laundry, taking out the rubbish, wiping down the bathroom and sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. In a family or shared household, these jobs shouldn’t be the responsibility of one person. Creating a cleaning roster will help ensure everyone is accountable. Also, remember people tend to prefer certain cleaning tasks over others – so be sure to assign accordingly.

A blackboard in a visible place can be a good spot to draw out the cleaning roster.

8. Get cooking

The saying goes ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’ – not the couch, where many of us have been chowing down on Uber Eats in front of the box lately. Fast-paced lifestyles have encouraged eating on the go and sit-down dinners in many households have become a thing of the past. If you do spend more time in your kitchen – rather than admiring it from afar – you’ll probably find you naturally start eating healthier and spending less. Then there’s the forgotten ritual of actually sitting down to the table with your family (or housies), turning off the TV and enjoying the meal you’ve prepared. If we can’t switch off for meals, when can we?

*Originally published on Realestate.com.au

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