The new year is a great time to get rid of the old, and bring in the new, freshening up dull interiors and giving your home a touch of spring.

Your home makes a huge impact on your happiness and wellbeing, and having a beautiful environment to live in can really boost feelings of relaxation and calm, inducing a state of satisfaction and contentedness. So by making sure you love the way your home looks and performs, you’re actually already on the path to happiness.

With the winter weather outside, now’s the time to give your home that overhaul, and get the year off to a great start.

One of the easiest things you can do first is carpet cleaning. This gives an instant lift before you tackle the harder chores.

Declutter

When your home is filled with clutter, trying to tackle a mountain of stuff can seem quite overwhelming and demoralising. The trick is to find a place for everything and get into a routine of putting away.

Incoming snail mail, papers and useful magazine articles are the bane of my life, so I’ve a designated in-box. Into this I put everything from letters, leaflets, receipts, bills and more, immediately I receive them. Once a week (ish) I go through this box, and either throw out or refile in my ‘Important – deal with this ASAP’ box, ‘Never, ever lose this’ box, or my ‘Keep in case it’s ever relevant’ box. Make a note on your calendar to go through this last box in six months time, and ruthlessly throw out the papers that haven’t, in fact, been relevant.

Go through your wardrobe for clothes you don’t wear

As you’re getting ready for work, and going through your wardrobe for something to wear, spend a few minutes pulling out items you haven’t even looked at in a few months. Store them away if they’re seasonal clothes, and give the rest to a charity. Doing a bit at a time is far less stressful than throwing everything at once. You could even hold a clothes swap evening with friends.

Clear out your medicine cupboard

Go through everything for any outdated medicines, things you’ll never use again or the dirty-looking bandages shoved at the back. The grubby tubes of creams that you’ve used once years ago and the ointments that never made any difference to the bags under your eyes (I have so many of these) can all go, too. Replace any essentials with new, hygienic items.

Surround yourself with things you love

Your home should be your sanctuary, and a place where you can find beauty and harmony. Why hang onto things you don’t like? Throw out that lampshade you’ve always hated, but bought in an ‘it’ll do’ moment, get rid of the china ornament from great aunt Mary that you hide when any guests come round. If you don’t love it, or it doesn’t bring you joy, chuck it out. Remember, this is your space.
Next, make sure the things that you love, hold happy memories or bring joy, on display. You can highlight them by painting shelves or using spotlights.

 

Vow to reuse and recycle

More relevant in today’s consumer culture than ever before, being green and creating less waste should be one thing we all try and manage. If you have anything that can be upcycled, all you need is some imagination and a few crafty items, such as paint, or fabric and a staple gun, and your old piece of furniture can be given a new lease of life. If you just can’t make it work, then maybe a friend, or a charity, would like it. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, after all.

Spring clean

Giving your home a top to bottom spruce up is hard, but very satisfying, work, so make it easy on yourself by having your curtains and sofas professionally cleaned, while you dust, polish and clean everything else. With the clutter under control, and any unwanted items gone, it’s that much easier to keep on top of the rest.

Then, when you’re done, you can sit back and relax in your beautiful, calming, clutter-free home.