The new year is a great time to make changes around the house. If you’re feeling a surge of get-it-done energy, kick off 2019 on a high note with these 10 tasks that will give your space that shiny new-home feeling.
1. Have rugs professionally cleaned. Roll up those dirty area rugs and take them in for a professional cleaning — if you can’t remember the last time you’ve had them cleaned, you will be amazed at the difference clean, fresh area rugs can make in your home! For wall-to-wall carpeting, consider renting a steam cleaner or hiring a carpet cleaning service.
2. Schedule a get-it-done day. A get-it-done day is exactly what it sounds like: a whole day dedicated to taking care of a bunch of little tasks and errands that you’ve been putting off. Walk through your home with a notepad and jot down every little niggling task you think of that you’ve been meaning to get to. Then mark a day on your calendar to start ticking off those to-dos!
3. Declutter the entryway. The drop zone around the front door is a magnet for clutter. Take a moment to gather up stray shoes, kids’ toys and other items that don’t belong, and put them away. Gather up those piles of papers and file what’s important, shredding the rest. Need to get organized? Create a command center like the one shown here by hanging an inbox and outbox for mail, wall calendar and message board.
4. Replace old, worn out rugs and doormats. Despite your best efforts to keep them in good shape, there comes a time when rugs are simply no longer at their best. Doormats and rugs placed in high traffic areas (like the entryway) are especially prone to becoming worn out. Why not pick out a fresh doormat to celebrate the new year?
5. Unclutter the fridge door. If your fridge door is barely visible anymore beneath the layers of kids’ artwork, mementos and notices, take it all down and see how it feels. Even if you end up gradually putting more items back up, savor that clean-fridge feeling for a while first.
6. Give your pantry and spices a fresh start. Most of us have some canned goods and spice jars that have been hanging around a little (or, let’s face it: a lot) too long. Go through the cupboards and toss anything past its expiration date.
7. Tackle your emergency kit. If you already have an emergency preparedness kit, bravo! Just do a quick check of your supplies to make sure that emergency foods and medications haven’t expired. Don’t have a kit yet? The American Red Cross has checklists of what to include, plus ready-made kits for sale.
8. Upgrade linens and towels. January is a big month for white sales, so if you could use a fresh set of sheets or bath towels, this is a good time to restock. Just remember to donate your old set when you bring in a new one to avoid clutter build up.
9. Bring in a bit of nature. Healthy green plants are fantastic, but even a small vase of flowers or foliage will do the trick. Place a mini bouquet on your bedside table, in the powder room and anywhere else you could use a hit of nature. Nature-themed artwork also has a calming effect, especially in winter when the world outside is cold and gray.
10. Clear the sofa and coffee table. Put away unfolded laundry, old coffee cups and unopened mail. Your living space should be an area of your home that you can go to recharge, not a dumping station! When the space has been cleared, make yourself a big cup of something hot to drink, grab a good book or magazine, light a few candles and relax — you deserve it.
Door Mat Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Nourison Elegant Entry personalized area rug; Nourison Waverly Greetings in navy; Erin Gates for Momeni Park Mats Pineapple area rug in navy; Nourison Waverly Greetings in blue bell.
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