Whether you’ve taken a new-year-new-me approach to 2019, or you’ve just set yourself a series of goals you’re going to tackle before the year is up, there’s a good chance that there’s something on your list that you want to take care of at home. Maybe it’s organizing your office, sprucing up your family room, or finally taking that mountain of clothes and old toys in the garage to donation. Whatever your 2019 aspirations might be, here are five easy tips (or inspirations!)for redecorating and decluttering your home:
Paint Something: Painting is a great, creative way to give new life to a room. But repainting an entire room can be time-consuming, messy, expensive, and frustrating if you’re not prepared to take on such a task… But what about that old, beat up end table that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of? Or the old dresser that no longer matches the rest of your bedroom furniture? Painting your old furniture is a fantastic way to repurpose a piece that you love – without shelling out tons of cash. You can get everything you need to prep, paint, and finish from your local hardware store (with instructions!!) for exponentially less than it would cost you to replace whatever it is you intend to paint. There are so many fun and stylish options, so let your inner artist out!
- Rearrange a Room:
Sometimes it can be just as refreshing to rearrange the furniture in a room as it can be to purchase new stuff. You don’t have to get crazy with the Feng Shui if you don’t want to, I’m talking about taking the pieces you already have and creating a new space with them. When I was growing up, we completely rearranged the furniture in all of the living spaces every couple of years. Dining room, living room, and den. Going back into our family photos it gave the illusion that we moved around a lot, but really, we stayed in the same house and it was just our furniture that relocated. (What can I say; we like to keep things interesting!) Rearranging gives you the opportunity to keep your house feeling fresh, to be creative with your style, and to clean as you go… Especially because I don’t know that many people who make a habit of vacuuming underneath the couch. Guilty.
- The One Year Rule:
It’s simple. If you haven’t used the item in the last year, it’s safe to say you probably won’t use it again. (I find this especially useful when it comes to clothes and shoes.) This helps to save you time – time you would spend digging through the things you don’t need to find the thing you do need. It’ll save you energy – energy you would’ve spent getting frustrated and angry when you can’t find the thing you need. And it’ll save you space – space you can use to better organize all the things you can now find because you got rid of things you no longer need. Kind of poetic, isn’t it? [*Pro-tip! If you really want to purge your closet, turn all of your hangers backwards at the beginning of the year, then as you wear things, put the hangers back the correct way and you’ll really see how much of your wardrobe you actually wear at the end of the year.]
For the Kids: Clean-up time is nowhere near as fun as play time. And unless you’re Mary Poppins, I’m sure it’s difficult to make tidying up fun for anyone involved. But to make cleaning up easier on everybody, some cute or colorful bins are the perfect way to store the toys and games you don’t want sprawled across your floors. If you want to get really organized, labeling each bin will go a long way.Even if it’s as simple as having a box for dolls, a box for toy cars; or even easier, color coding by kid so they know which toy box is theirs to look through. Plus, this basic system will help you determine what toys and games your kids have grown out of or don’t use… and because the bins are labeled you’ll know exactly how to categorize them for donation. Score.
In the Kitchen: The kitchen is both my favorite and least favorite room in the entire house. I love it because it’s the center of everything. It’s not just where we cook our meals; it’s the room where we’re drawn to, to eat, to drink, to laugh, to talk, and sometimes cry when a recipe doesn’t turn out at all like it did in the photos. But it’s all of those reasons that seem to make it the first room in the house to get dirty. (Does anyone else feel like they’re constantly cleaning their kitchen too?) Kitchens are just prone to messiness, and I’ve accepted that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to contain a bit of that chaos! Just like in the kids’ room, you should never underestimate the power of a good bin. Grouping together a bin for each category of food in your pantry; for example: grains (cereal, bread, granola bars, rice, pastas, etc.), canned things (beans, fruits, soups, etc.), baking stuff (flour, sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla, etc.). And if you want to get really fancy, you can put your dry pantry items in uniform jars so you know they’ll fit together neatly on the shelves. But that may require a couple more snow days…