Get off on the right foot in 2018 with our home resolutions for a calm, clutter-free and stylish space
We know the feeling. You’ve packed away your decorations for another year but now your home looks a little lacklustre without them. Well, it’s time to get back on track. Our interiors-based resolutions are stylish, smart, purse-friendly and, above all, easy. Claim a few as your own and make this the year of style in your home.
Keep calm in 2018: Restore the balance at home for the New Year with these Feng Shui tips
Keep your office organised
Befriend your shredder this season and invest in a desk organiser. A clear space is a clear mind and it gives you the excuse to shop for savvy stationary and pretty pieces now that you can see your desk beneath the paper again – yay!
Clean behind the furniture more than once a year
Venture into territory never seen before – pull that sofa out and tuck that nozzle behind the TV. Your carpet, surround sound system and inner clean queen will salute you.
Hang those frames that have been sitting on the floor
Clear those death hazards off the spare bedroom floor and finally get round to hanging them. You’ve already found the perfect spot, you’ve already got them framed and you own a hammer, so just stick them up already!
Always load the dishwasher after dinner
Such a task when all you want to do is relax in front of a film and not tackle the tomato sauce stained crockery, but you know it’ll be 10 times worse tomorrow. Spend just two minutes after dinner tidying it away and have a clutter-free morning.
Add some greenery
You’ve been saying for years that you need to add a mini tree here and a plant pot there so get round to it whilst the sales are on. Foliage will make your home seem less barren after taking the Christmas tree down and add an instant pop of beauty.
Stop hoarding things you never use
Have you worn that tassel leather jacket you won at a rodeo 10 years ago? Have you served anything off that awful platter you got for your birthday last century? If you haven’t touched it all year then it’s going to the charity shop. Be strong, warrior.
Wash the curtains
You see the cobwebs every morning and you brush past them every evening but we are all reluctant to gently unhook each eyelet and get the curtains down to the dry cleaners. January is your time and a little fresh fragrance will transform the room.
Clean the pantry shelves out
Go through the pantry and chuck out anything that has gone past its expiry date – we bet you throw out more than you are left with! Then give the shelves a soapy wash down and rid the sticky remains of Christmas pudding and escaped rice granules.
Weed the garden
Be ready for summer this year instead of hosting garden parties in the middle of the Amazon like last year. It will be cold and maybe a little wet but you will thank us when you have a perfect cobbled path leading to plush garden beds.
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Read more: Jobs to do in the garden in January
Clear out the loft
It may be no man’s land and an awful way north but it is time to clear that loft out. You’ve been talking about it for months and complaining to your partner but the time is now!
Rearrange your living room
Did you move things around in your living room to accommodate your Christmas tree? Does the space work better than before? Try a new arrangement. If nothing naturally replaces the tree as the room’s focal point, think hard about what’s going to catch your eye as you walk in.
Develop good style habits
Empty magazine racks monthly. Replace your flowers weekly with a fresh bunch from the supermarket. Make the bed properly and plump those cushions daily. Pop used cups and glasses in the dishwasher every night before bed. Once you get into a routine, having a neat home that’s the envy of friends will become second nature.
You could also start a ‘Home Treats’ savings pot and allow yourself a small buy once a month to cheer up your space.
Tackle the toys and games
We can’t promise miracles, but we have a few tips you could try. Start by watching what toys the kids play with since receiving their new Christmas ones. Propose having a sort out by half term, and from then on start a ‘one toy in, one toy out’. Tell the kids that any old toys, books or games that have fallen out of favour should be put in a box for the charity shop. Or encourage kids to set up a swap shop with friends, exchanging to try new books or games.
Pop any soft toys in a pillowcase and wash and dry according to their labels. If they can’t be washed, use a sticky roller to get rid of any dust. Replace any broken cardboard game boxes with plastic tubs (clean ice cream ones are ideal). They’ll be more robust, too.
Related: Children’s room ideas
Do a storage basket audit
Lots of baskets are very handy, but don’t let them fill up with random content. Use them to keep similar things – such as birthday card and ribbon – together. Spend a good hour filing away like with like. Can’t see what’s inside a storage basket? Write down the contents on a luggage label and hang it from the handle or lid.
Give your bed a makeover
Spruce up your bedroom with a new bed linen set. You’re bound to find a bargain post-Christmas – and even if you can’t find a full matching set on sale, you could experiment by mixing and matching patterns. Does each of your beds and pillows have mattress and pillow protectors? If not, buy some, or if you have them already, when was the last time you washed them?
Cut down any worn bedsheets into small squares for dusters, or use as dust sheets for decorating.
Learn to knit or crochet
Set up a pretty wicker basket and fill it with wool and your needles or hooks. Keeping your craft out on show will make you more likely to do it. Also, it creates a little ‘stylist’s moment’, even if your handiwork isn’t quite up there with the knitting gods.
Give the basket a clean once in a while with a squirt of furniture polish and a toothbrush, then buff with a soft lint-free brush.
Encourage the whole family to tidy up
Find hooks with everyone’s initials on them and also a box with their name on that you can keep in a communal area like a hallway or kitchen. Then encourage everyone to put away their own things – you’ll soon see who isn’t pulling their weight!
Sort out your wardrobe
Pack away your party clothes, but be ruthless and give anything to charity that you didn’t wear this festive period. Or perhaps get creative and turn that sequinned to from 10 years ago into a boudoir cushion.
Invest in some smart clothes hangers, maybe treating your home to a clutter-busting buy every other month.
Do more with the underused areas of your home
Think backs of doors, at low level (such as under a bed or sofa) or in the opposite corner of a room to where you usually sit. These neglected areas are often not working as hard as they could be.
Shop with these newly discovered areas in mind and go armed with dimensions. For example, know how deep the space is under your sofa so you can buy boxes on wheels. Or increase the potential of the back of a door with over-the-door hooks, canvas pocket holders or wire racks. Store and Ikea have a fab selection.
You could even frame a door with shelving. Using the wall around and above the door will give you valuable extra storage space while creating a striking feature. Divide into cubbyholes with chunky floating shelves.
Check your first-aid supplies…
Go through your first-aid cabinet or tin and check the dates on medicines. Throw away anything old and expired and make a list of what needs replenishing. Stock up on extra plasters, too.
…and shoe kit
Talking of kits, you could also restock your shoe-cleaning box. Buy new laces and check what specialist cleaners and protectors you already have, so you don’t buy unnecessary ones when you treat yourself to new shoes in the sale.
Make that New Year health kick easier
Top up jars with guilt-free treats, such as herbal tea bags and dried fruit and leave them on display. You’re more likely to reach for these than naughty snacks if you can see them easily.
Get set for summer
It may seem a long way away, but now is a great time to sort out and clean outdoor toys. Pack away roller stakes, games and so on into their own plastic tubs, making sure they’re with the right pair/ball, etc. You could also set up a ‘go bag’ that has everything you need for a day out. Then when the warm weather finally arrives, you’re all set.
Clear out your shed, and check over your garden tools while you’re there. Do you need new wire for a streamer or oil for your hedge cutters? If so, sort it now so you are ready come the better weather.
Reorganise your cleaning cupboard
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Check out what’s under your kitchen sink – you’ll be amazed at the half-used bottles of cleaning product. Use these up first before buying new ones. Sort through your dishcloths and tea towels, putting discoloured ones in a bag ready to deal with leaks and emergencies.
Carry out a crockery audit
Empty, wash and put back the contents of all your crockery cupboards. Use this opportunity to check out the plate and glass situation post Christmas. Were there any damages or pieces that you need to replace? Head to the sales and bag a bargain or two.