We’re in the final days of 2016, so it’s time to reflect on the past year and set some intentions for 2017. Are you the type to make New Year’s resolutions? Most years, I set a few goals for myself for the coming year, but I usually forget about them by April or so. Maybe this year, I’ll get it together and actually follow through! I still think that making New Year’s resolutions is a good ritual, though. It’s nice to go into a new year with motivation and focus. If you need some resolution inspiration, here are some ideas to whip your home into shape for 2017.
1. Practice Completing the Circle
Years ago, I learned the phrase “complete the circle” as it relates to living a more zen life. The concept is that when you pick something up, you return it to where it began. For example, if you take out a coffee mug in the morning and drink coffee from it, don’t leave it in the sink to deal with later. Instead, wash the mug, dry it, and return it to the cabinet when you finish. This little exercise in mindfulness can help keep your house organized with minimal effort. Make one of your New Year’s Resolutions to complete the circle in 2017!
2. Get Your Finances in Order
A lot of financial issues come from just not wanting to face the truth about our money and what is going on with it. This year, resolve to confront your financial situation. Make a place for your financial paperwork, organize your bills, and make a real budget. We have always had a vague budget, but a year ago, we started using YNAB, and it has really changed our lives. Check it, or another budgeting system, out and see if you can get your budget under control.
3. Go a Little Greener
Take a step to improve the earth we’ll be leaving for our kids and grandkids (and boost your home’s value at the same time!). Start small–try replacing your light bulbs with more energy efficient ones. If you need to replace an appliance this year, choose one with a good energy rating. Try adding some insulation around the drafty areas of your home this winter. If you like technology, try a new smart thermostat (we love our Nest!). You’ll see a savings in your monthly utility bills, and you’ll get a boost of good feelings just knowing you’re doing your part.
4. Do One Thing You’ve Been Putting Off
When you own a home, there’s always a to-do list a mile long. This year, why not commit to shortening it just a bit? Jot down all the things you’ve been meaning to do around your home–everything from hanging that family picture that you had taken last year to replacing the roof. Now, choose a few things that you can do this year. For example, maybe renovating the entire kitchen isn’t in the cards for 2017, but what can you do this year? Replace the cabinet hardware? Put down a new floor? Put in a pantry organization system? Small steps like that can go a long way to make you feel better about your house.
5. Prevent Clutter from Piling Up
Maybe you’re not ready to deal with every disorganized space in your home, but how about we stop new clutter from coming in? Commit to monitoring what enters your home this year. If you usually toss the mail on the dining room table, only to have it pile up on a chair somewhere, start a new habit of going through your mail right away and tossing all the junk. If you’re an impulse shopper, make sure you know exactly where you’re going to store something before you buy it. If you don’t have a place to put it, either don’t buy it or get rid of something you’ve already got.