While we’re all familiar with the term “spring clean”, there’s something deeply satisfying about refreshing your environment in any season; and with the new start and new opportunities that come through with the new year, now is the perfect time to really clear out the old and create space for the new! As they say; cluttered house, cluttered mind – the same could be argued for outdated décor.
Refreshing your space can do wonders for your mental health as well. In fact, I have a friend who changes her house around every couple of months, and always feels better after a bit of a revamp. She doesn’t buy anything new – just moves stuff around, which makes a massive difference. Your home should be a sanctuary, a source of comfort and inspiration for you – so let’s get to work on making that happen!
Where to begin
Breathing fresh air and energy into your space might be a quick job if you change things around regularly; or it might be a bigger task if you tend to hold on to stuff. First up, identify how much actually needs to be done, then allocate some time accordingly. If it is a big job, break it down into smaller chunks (e.g. do a different room each day), and consider enlisting the help of a friend. Write a list of what you’re going to achieve – then feel free to feel a bit smug when you cross everything off!
The first step is to remove clutter. Start with surfaces, then work inwards towards shelves and drawers. Clear out old paperwork that you don’t need (obviously hold on to things like receipts, etc, but perhaps organise them all neatly into one area). Try to abide by the “touch once” rule: only touch things once and put them straight away – don’t move things from room to room saying you’ll “put that away later”.
Now is also a great time to have a good wardrobe cull. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, has rips or stains, or that you never wear. Donate it if it’s still in good condition, or if you’re disciplined, sell it on TradeMe or the Facebook marketplace. It can be hard to let go, particularly with nostalgic or expensive items, but remember, the space you clear can then become home to new items that you really love.
While we don’t have to constantly keep up with the latest home décor fad, it’s definitely a good idea to regularly evaluate your environment and check whether it accurately reflects you as a person. Have a look at the artwork on your walls, the trinkets and ornaments on your shelves. Have a look at the colours around your house. Look at your duvet cover and sheets! Do you still love them? Do they inspire you? If not, pass them on.
Create room in your space for new items, colours and textures that align with what you’re wanting to achieve in 2019. For example, we had a giant wall in our lounge full of 6×4 photo prints of our adventures stuck in a grid, which we loved, but after a while we all felt we needed a bit of an update. So, we pulled them down, and exchanged it for a few retro prints in a frame. Simple swap but made a huge difference! If you have items that aren’t sparking joy for you, but you can’t bear to get rid of them, consider either popping them away in storage for a while, repurposing/updating them with a bit of TLC, or even just moving them to a different area in your house like my friend does.
When bringing in new items, think carefully about where each item will go in your home. Consider its purpose. For example, plants not only freshen and filter the air, they also give off fresh, lively vibes, and represent growth. Art can inspire creativity and stimulate emotions. Photos and memorabilia can serve as beautiful reminders of past experiences and adventures – and inspire you to go on more!
Think of this as a cheap, exciting way to kickstart your new year. Even small changes can make a huge difference to the feel of your home – and your mental wellbeing. Have fun and let me know how you like to refresh your space.
Written by Bunny T
A mama of two who advocates for mental health awareness (yes girl!), Bunny is a badass babe blogging about womanhood, motherhood and the adventures that happen in between. You’ll usually find her exercising (running after kids), partying (drinking coffee) and rocking out (sleeping).