A brand spanking New Year is upon us and I, like most of you out there in the world, have been thinking long and hard about what areas in my life need some tender loving care and which areas need a massive over haul. Our physical health tops the charts with most New Year’s resolutions and we almost always hit it hard the first few weeks with clean eating, Cross Fitting, and a happy Fitbit. But this go hard or go home approach may seem overwhelming to some and a more gradual, relaxed plan may be best for sustainable results that keep our body, mind and cravings in complete harmony.
As well as getting our bodies back on track this year we may also want to think about tackling a few things in and around our home that can also bring good energy and balance to our minds and souls. Our home can be a source of complete stress or it can be a relaxing haven. I think we all deserve the latter.
Personally, when my home is in order, I feel in order. When my home’s interior is just right, my personal interior thrives better, ideas flow freely, I relax easier, and I want to enjoy my home by entertaining friends and family or create fun, cozy moments with just the hubs and our children.
Let me give you a few New Year’s Resolution ideas you can implement slowly and gradually that will bring order to your souls as well as your home.
My husband and I have 4 teenagers at home and one of my pet peeves is shoes scattered around the house. It drives me completely bonkers. (Please note, I am far from OCD, although I may be slightly ADD) My craziness over this is more safety driven as I have almost died countless times tripping over shoes parked right in front of a door, around a corner or in the middle of the kitchen. The kitchen!
My solution–one designated area for everyone’s shoes. This area is in my utility room which is near the garage. And since people around here seem to enter through the garage and not the front door, I have four inexpensive shoe shelves along the walls as you enter that room. You can use inexpensive baskets as well. It may not be entirely tidy at times and yes, there may be an over flow because there are six of us, it works and it’s the first thing the family does when they come home. See, you can train up a child and a hubby. The shoe hazard is gone, out of sight and out of our minds. Ahhhh.
DITCH THE CLUTTER
Whoa Nelly. I have one friend who is fanatical about a clean closet. Everything is color coded, arranged according to seasons and all hangers are facing the same direction. Although I dig the hanger direction, I’m not going completely there and I surely don’t expect you too either. However, I do know there are things in our closets that we haven’t worn or used in years because of hoping to lose the weight or have the time, but if you haven’t worn or used it in over a year-especially 5 years, it’s time for it to hit the road. This goes for any shoes, linens, hats, purses etc.
Clutter is also found in the kitchen in the form of old pot and pans, plates, mugs, and the main cabinet clutter-plastic cups. Yep, it’s time to go. Find what you need faster with having less to rummage through.
And let’s talk about the dirty little secret all homeowners have but choose to ignore–the junk drawer. I have one (maybe three), you have one, your neighbors have a few and I’d bet it is over flowing with the most random items. Sorting through and cleaning out these drop and go drawers can be like Christmas all over again finding items you thought you lost forever.
Decluttering areas in your house (I won’t bring up the garage) will allow you to focus better and process information quicker. This may be a good time to donate these items or have that yard sale you been tossing around in your mind.
SAFE AND SOUND
You should be resting easy at night knowing your home is safe and secure right? The last thing you want on your mind or heart is a health hazards or a fire risk. So what can you do to ease this worry? I am glad you asked.
Make sure you are regularly cleaning out your dryer lint trap after every use, and the vent and ducts behind the dryer at least once a year. When your dryer hose and vent is clogged with lint, the dryer has to work harder using more energy and taking longer to dry your clothes. Believe it or not, lint is highly combustible and can cause a fire.
Another item of utmost importance is checking your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If you don’t have either, I highly recommend you have them installed. In our construction travels, we have discovered carbon monoxide in homes because of a furnace vent leak or blockage. This can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home which can be fatal and we all know why smoke detectors are important. No homeowner needs that on their minds when retiring for the evening.
Does your trash can over flow quickly? You would be surprised to know that almost 90% of your trash can be recycled. Junk mail, books, paper plates and cups, paper towels, napkins, soda cans, glass bottles, plastic containers, water bottles, and card board. All these items can be thrown in a designated recycling bin, giving you the warm fuzzies about helping the environment. Call your local trash/recycling company for a special bin and pick up days.
Research shows that some traditional cleaning products containing toxins can cause health issues such as respiratory problems, allergies, and headaches just to name a few. Switching to green cleaning products can reduce these harmful effects and once again, help the environment. Most stores now have these green products ready to buy or you can make them with products you already have in your home. Diluted white vinegar is great for cleaning almost any surface in your home. Baking soda which is mildly abrasive is great for the tough areas in a bathroom or kitchen. If you are interested in creating your own cleaning products, the internet is filled with complete recipes and uses and no, your home will not smell like a tossed salad once your home made solutions dry.
This may seem like a lot of work at once, but if you start slow, like I plan to do with my new health regimen, you can and you will have a home that feels refreshed, safe and inviting.
Cheers to a new year everyone. Namaste 2018, we got this. –Lisa Willard