We start out the new year full of good intentions and by the end of January, we’ve forgotten most of them. So keep it simple. Focus on a few changes you can make at home that will make life easier with a minimum effort.
Make Your Bed
This isn’t just your mother nagging you: Admiral William H. McRaven delivered the so-called
‘Make Your Bed’ speech to grads of the University of Texas at Austin a few years ago.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” McRaven told the grads.
Make it easy by investing in a cosy duvet and a comfy duvet cover. For budget options, check
out the choice of comforters at Ikea, choosing anything from summer weight to winter warmth
and matching it up with a colourful duvet cover. This is a good time of year to snap up bargains -
I’ve also found some great bargains in super soft sheets and duvets from Pottery Barn, either in
the clearance section online or in the store.
Split the housework. That sounds easy but the reality is in when it comes to cooking, cleaning and other household chores, women (around the world) tend to put in more hours in the unpaid labour of keeping house. Whether you’re sharing space with a partner, roomate, kids or all of the above, the start of a new year is a good time to sit down and figure out a fair division of chores. Play to your strengths: Maybe one person is better at keeping track of bills and paying on time, or someone in the family is a neat freak at folding clothes Marie Kondo-style and keep drawers neat. And don’t forget the kids - even something as simple as putting away their own toys will save work for you.
In with the new, out with the old
In case you haven’t notice, minimalism is the new mantra and that means cut the clutter. If you stick to the rule of taking one thing out of your home for every new item you bring in, you’ll keep clutter under control. And as an added bonus, consider selling old items that no longer serve you but could be of use to someone else. Maybe the new Instant Pot you got as a present can do double duty. You can sell crock pot, freeing up space in your kitchen cupboards.
Find a nice-looking compost container you can keep on the counter or under the sink, divvy up your bins into a recyclables container and one for garbage that can’t be sorted out. You’ll be surprised at how little garbage you’ll have left for the landfill after you recycle and compost. Even in a tiny kitchen, I’ve found room for everything under the sink - giving up that huge garbage can of old for downsized containers that let me pre-sort everything.
A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
This old adage can save you all that time and anxiety that you spend searching for things you put away and just can’t remember where. It seems an easy thing to do but amazingly we find fail to keep like things together. I realized when I was looking for a hairbrush one morning - and couldn’t remember if I left it in the bathroom with the hairdryer, the bedroom, or my gym bag. Multiply that little exercise by the many other items in our home and no wonder we spend hours trying to find things. Save that by grouping like with like.