As January comes to a close, how are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Many people use the new year to set resolutions to be happier and healthier. A large part of being happy and healthy is enjoying our living space and making small changes in our lifestyles toward a bigger goal.
De-Cluttering: The Art of Letting Go
Marie Kondo’s revelatory method, KonMari, focuses on minimalism and is all of the rage for homeowners. The longer we live in a place, the more we accumulate, whether we realize it or not. Small bits of paper here, small odds and ends there – it all piles up. In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo outlines the Japanese art of de-cluttering and organizing.
You may feel overwhelmed at the task ahead, but Kondo encourages us to start small. Rather than going room by room, Kondo tells us that we should tackle categories. She also recommends that we begin with clothing, since it is often the least emotional of the categories. You can get to those old photos and trinkets later! Schedule in times each week to tackle a category.
A big part of the Kondo method requires you to truly evaluate all of your belongings. When was the last time you wore that fancy party dress? Do those jeans from 20 years ago still look good on you? How do things make you feel when you encounter them? While we hang on to most of our treasured belongings for their emotional or nostalgic value, there are many objects in between that we do not use or even think about often. Clearing out and letting go of things can free up space – physically and emotionally.
Go Green in 2018
Going green does not require major investments. You can also make small changes towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. The biggest return on going green often starts with your energy bill. Build in small steps in your everyday life, such as turning off the light when you leave a room. Change out your lightbulbs with LED bulbs, and dry clothes on a line if possible.
Here in Arizona, where even winters can get quite warm, reconsider your use of the air conditioner. Turn the air conditioner down when you leave the house. Consider installing sun screens on your windows and patio doors. Sun screens protect you and your family from dangerous UV rays, and at the same time, they help keep your house several degrees cooler. At night, keep your heating system at a reasonable level. Sleep experts tell us that sleeping in a cool room is actually better for your sleep anyway!
In the kitchen, switch to composting your food waste and use that in your garden. Living in the desert, we are familiar with dry climate gardening. Even so, try to minimize your water use and switch to more native plant species.
Set a New Cleaning Schedule
Some of us love house cleaning, and some of us hate chores. Still, they have to be done! If you want to get on track with a good cleaning schedule, what better time to start than in the new year?
Break out your cleaning schedule into daily, weekly, and monthly. On a daily basis, it makes us feel good to have clean dishes and clean living spaces. Make sure your dirty clothes are in the hamper and all of your items are in their assigned spaces in cabinets and closets before going to bed.
For a weekly cleaning schedule, go room by room and focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Dust every room first, clean your shelves, surfaces, and counters, and then sweep. Save the mopping or vacuuming of the entire house for last. Even better, get different family members to sign up for tasks and finish up cleaning efficiently for leisure time!
Every month, tackle different projects you’ve been meaning to complete. Go through that pile of old photos to scrapbook, or build that birdhouse with the wood that’s been waiting in the corner. Maybe you want to redecorate a room and just haven’t found the time. Schedule in a trip to the hardware store for paint samples and spend a weekend re-painting!
Install Sun Screens on Your Doors & Windows with CC Sunscreens
Sunscreens are a great long-term investment for your interior and exterior design. Our window screens are excellent during golf season, when an errant ball may fly through the glass. Sunscreens do more than protect you and your family from Arizona’s UV rays – they also make sure that your artwork, wood furniture and floor, and family heirlooms do not fade in the sun. In terms of energy and money savings, sun screens help lower your energy bill by keeping your house cooler. Contact us at CC Sunscreens today to schedule a consultation.