MR Note: My apartment might not be filled with furniture and the drawers are certainly not filled with junk, but I need to use this list in my house. Admittedly, there is dust under the bed, I could use a few friendly faces in frames, and artwork would really make me happy.
Everybody talks about “Spring Cleaning,” but honestly I’m with Andrew Woj on this one. Let’s get it done now! I have some extra time (and helpful relatives) on hand.
The New Year is a time for me to review, renew and reinvent myself and my lovely little nest. Here are my top 5 ways to start the New Year with a fresh perspective.
1. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
I can never say enough about how far a clean house goes towards a beautiful house. Now is the time to wash windows, send your drapery out to be dry cleaned, and move the big pieces of furniture to clean underneath and behind them. Get into the really nitty gritty of keeping the place sparkling. Ceiling fixtures can be taken down and gently dusted/washed, base boards can get a good scrub and don’t forget to replace the filters in your heating system, they will catch all the dust that gets thrown up into the air and help with that winter cough! Since opening the windows when it is frosty outside isn’t really an option, try using aromatherapeutic products like Mrs Meyers.
2. Re-Accessorize the Whole House
Here is a great project for you and a few of your favorite relatives. Take absolutely ever accessory, book, candle, and nick nack from it’s current “place of residence” and compile the group on a large open space like your Dining Table or Kitchen counters. Now, re-imagine where things go. This can be difficult sometimes when things have been sitting in the same place for so long and so having some fresh perspective of your close friends or relatives, maybe a bit of Champagne and some great music to get you in the mood can make this task a fun event and a way to make your spaces feel brand new without spending a dime!
3. Change Your Photographs
Your life in the past year has included great moments, big and small. Do the framed photographs in your house reflect this amazing life you are living? So often we save digital photos on our computers never to be printed and placed around the house. Go through your digital library and pick out your favorite moments and print to size for the frames you have OR, if you don’t have many frames, now is a great time to go out and buy some during the sales! I also recently went through a file of old family photos and exchanged some pictures of recent family outings with ones of my Father when he was 9 and my Grandparents on the cruise where they met and other wonderful memories.
4. Time to Recycle!
I always go through my old books, my closet, the bar area, kitchen, just about anywhere and everywhere to see what I have NOT been using over the last year and then I donate it. A great way to keep your storage areas from exploding and get a few more bucks written off of Uncle Sam’s bill for the year, donating is a feel good way to clean and organize. Simply put, get rid of the stuff you are not using. It makes space for new wonderful things in your life and gives somebody else the opportunity to have that thing that they will use and love! Once you have been through all of your closets and cabinets, lay out everything you are donating, photograph it (proof in case you ever get audited!) and then drop if off at one of the MANY second hand shops that abound right now. If you have high end clothes/handbags/shoes, you might even get a few bucks back by taking them down to a second hand shop!
5. Treat Yourself
I am an avid fan of treating yourself like the King or Queen that you are! Whatever that means to you, whether it is giving yourself the time to finish your “Martha Stewart” DIY project or replacing the boring ceiling fixture in your bedroom for one with more personality or simply creating a beautiful space in your bathroom so that you feel like you are at the spa when you are there. It is not about spending a lot of money, rather it is about giving to yourself that thing that will make you the happiest. This year I am creating a trio of lights to hang over my bed—a bit of DIY combined with these lovely amazing dynamic Artenica pendant lights that I purchased recently on GILT.com in their home section for 70% off!
Have you done any of this thus far? Thought about it at least? Or are you just enjoying the time off :) Try not to see this renovation as a burden, but a process that will make 2011 so much brighter.