Kate Hatherell helps people unlock the secrets of creating a beautiful home with her website The Home Design School. Turning home design dreams in to a reality, Kate knows a thing or two about what to do in January to refresh your home for the New Year and here she shares her top tips with us…
With Christmas done and dusted and the festivities over, January can feel like a bit of a damp squib. Spring is still a little too far away to be tangible, and the long winter nights are still tedious to endure. But the New Year also brings fresh opportunities and a sense of revitalisation and renewal, and this can extend to our homes too.
To get your home ready to hit the ground running, I’ve rounded up 10 top ideas which will help you refresh and reboot your home, and start the New Year as you mean to go on.
1. ‘Undeck’ the Halls
Packing away the Christmas decorations can bring mixed feelings. For some there is sadness at saying goodbye to treasured items for another year, and for others there is relief at getting back to business as usual. Whichever way you feel, be kind to yourself for next year by packing away your decorations with some smart storage solutions. Wind tinsel and fairy lights around cardboard to keep them tangle free, and wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or tissue. Store your decorations in sturdy cardboard boxes, or if you are keeping your decorations in a garage or loft, use plastic boxes which are weather and critter-proof.
2. Organise your Children’s Storage
If your children are anything like mine, they will have received sackfuls of presents from well-meaning friends and relatives, but storing all these new gifts can be a challenge, especially if you are limited with space. January is a great time to sort through your children’s toys, giving away to charity toys and games that they have grown out of, or no longer play with.
Utilise as much hidden storage as possible, such as under-bed drawers, or stacking boxes, which can be stashed away in a cupboard at night. If space is really tight, store some of their toys in a loft or garage, and rotate the toys they play with each month.
3. Organise the “Every Day” Things
Make life easier for the coming year by creating organisation stations in your home. Use chalk boards, pin boards and shared calendars to keep everyone clear about what’s happening each week. Install pegs for bags and coats at child (as well as adult) height, and place shoe racks underneath. Station a plate or bowl near the front door for keys and loose change, and place a letter rack in the entrance hall to collate post as it arrives.
4. Spring Clean and Declutter
Although spring is still some weeks away, a thorough clean and declutter can help to set the intention for the year. Tackle one room at a time, starting with the ceiling and working downwards. Clean under furniture to sweep away stray bits of tinsel and pine tree droppings that seem to have an ability to get everywhere. Sort through kitchen cupboards and wipe surfaces with a damp cloth. Cull your bathroom cabinet of half empty bottles and old toothbrushes. Give away any unused or unwanted items to charity, or take them to the recycling centre. A clean, clutter-free space makes a great start to the New Year.
5. Set your house goals for the year
Once you have decluttered and organised, it’s time to start thinking about what you would like to achieve with your home decor this year.
Which projects have been outstanding for some time? What needs fixing? Which rooms could do with a refresh? Think about how you would like your house to look this time next year, and agree with your partner which projects you’re going to take on. Create a shared vision of how you want your home to look a year from now, by using a shared Pinterest board or scrap book with your ideas. Agree a budget, and schedule in each project, month by month.
6. Create a space which aligns with your New Year’s Resolutions
If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution, help yourself stick to it by creating a designated space in your home. Repurpose an unused corner for a reading nook or meditation space; or rearrange a spare bedroom as an exercise or hobby space for example. If you’ve made space for your new habit, you are more likely to be successful at sticking to it.
After all the decorations have been taken down, your home can feel a little bare, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Dress your home for the winter by swapping your festive wreath for a winter version, and scatter your home with plenty of candles and strings of fairy lights. Decor isn’t just for Christmas!
8. Keep the greenery in your home
During the festive season, we fill our homes with winter greenery, including Christmas trees, wreaths and table centerpieces, but there is no reason for this to stop once Christmas is over. Remind yourself that spring is on its way, by bringing winter greens into your home. Fill zinc buckets and glass vases with foraged greens from your garden and make the most of the evergreen pickings from walks outside.
9. Create a new look with existing decor
If you’re all spent out after the Christmas indulgence, rearranging your existing decor can create a fresh new look without spending any money. Moving artwork, mirrors and cushions from room to room can bring a whole new feel to your space. Spend some time creating new vignettes and displays on coffee tables, sideboards and consoles to refresh your home without breaking the bank.
10. Splash out at the January Sales
What better time of year to say, “Out with the old and in with the new”? The January sales give you the opportunity to refresh the whole look of your home for less. Treat yourself to new bed linen and towels for a spa-like experience at home. New cushions and artwork can pack a punch by transforming a room without making permanent commitments like painting or wallpapering.
With these top tips in place, you’ll be ready to face the New Year head on.