A Holistic Home Reset To Start Your Year Off Right, From A Professional Organizer
It's a new year, and many of us are getting going on our healthy mind and body resolutions. But what about our homes? If the past two years have taught us anything, it's that our homes are an extension of ourselves. And they need annual health and wellness checks, just like we do.
This holistic home reset will give you a sense of what's working, what's not working, and—most importantly—what you'd like to improve about your space in the year ahead.
Step 1: Take a tour.
Getting started on your reset is easy. Just step out your front door and look at your home. And I mean, really look at your home. Sometimes when I'm doing this, I'll pretend I am a new neighbor or a person who might size me up before I've had time to pick up (you know, someone you wish wouldn't pop over without call!). Look at your home through their eyes and ask yourself:
- Who lives in this space? Is it a person, a couple, a family?
- Is this home welcoming, chaotic, or comforting? How can you tell? What are the clues?
And don't stop at the front door. Walk around every room with the same critical eye. If you see things you don't like, take note of them.
Our homes cast an immediate impression on not only our guests but ourselves and everyone else in our households. I believe that if you walk into chaos, you set a tone for chaos. If you walk into calm, you set a tone for calm.
This initial walk-through will show you whether or not your home matches the life you live—or the vision you have for your new year. If it doesn't, it's time for a change.
Step 2: Go back to basics.
These days, it's easy to forget what the home is: a space to live, to sleep, and to take care of loved ones. If your home has become a catchall for work, exercise, and more in the last two years, it's time to consider if you're asking it to do too much. Is your home working perhaps just a little bit too hard?
In this step, become aware of spaces in your home that are doing double, or even triple duty. Take note of how you can best set up these spaces for what you need—and not what you don't. Think again about how to create a dedicated workspace for your kids. Relocate your home office from your bedroom to a corner of the living room, just for a change or to improve your sleep. Reclaim your dining room table from paperwork and have a healthy meal with your family—not just once, but nightly, like we did before the world changed. Roll backward in time just a bit.
Take note of remote lifestyle layers in your home and see if you can change up or remove a few. We aren't out of the woods yet with our virtual lives, but we can and should regroup regularly. The New Year is as good a time as any to do so.
Step 3: Make a list.
Now that you have an overall sense of your space, take a closer look for things that need to be taken care of, replaced, or fixed. Start a room-by-room list: Jot down everything from big to small, from "fix broken window" to "time for new dish towels" to "I want to makeover the guest room." Get everything down.
If you can, take care of a few small to-do's right away. Change that light bulb, or remove that broken shade. Crossing a couple of fix-its off your list will make you feel like a million bucks and build momentum for the next step.
As for the larger projects, remember that it can take a few months to find a contractor or research a new sofa, especially in today's environment. You might not have time to get to the big stuff right away, but you've set the intention, which counts as taking the first step toward achieving your goals at home. Doing so may inspire you to start planning for a big project down the line, like a summer kitchen renovation or a spring garage sale.
Step 4: Organize a small space.
With so much legwork done, it's time to start taking action. Review the organization projects on your list and pick one that is on the easier side but will have a big payoff, like a bathroom or your kitchen countertops. If you aren't sure where to start, you can always try a simple anchor project like creating a drop zone in your front hall, or doing a midwinter closet declutter.
Set aside a few hours, assess what needs to get done, then get to work. Just remember: Getting organized is not an overnight process. It's going to take time, but like with every good journey, it begins with a single step. My five go-to questions everyone needs to ask before they start organizing can help you feel focused and motivated to get started and stay on track.
Step 5: Go green.
Everything that we throw into the trash is something that does not sustain the earth. So, as a final step in your home reset, I recommend taking stock of your home's environmental impact and vowing to make some shifts. Your cleaning routine is a great place to start.
Since I moved part time to the country, I've found myself paying closer attention to what I consume in my home. Personally, in my household, I switched to using cloth napkins for cleaning up wipes and spills. I've been known to drive friends crazy who like to reach for paper towels—but what about trying microfiber cloths? Or switching to sustainable, eco-friendly paper products?
Another easy way to make a change is to whip up your own cleaners. I fill a reusable spray bottle with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and keep it under my kitchen sink. When the two interact, they bubble and form a powerful deodorizing solution that I use to clean just about everything.
What works for me might not work for you, but even so, take stock to see if you can't make even one change this year to help Mother Earth.
With your lists made and your mini project complete, you are well on your way to a holistic home reset. Moving forward, vow to set clear intentions, stick to your vision, and dive into meaningful changes at home. After all, if we support our homes, they'll support us—and together we can have a happy and healthy new year.
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