By Heidi Greeson
Every year, lots of people make New Year’s resolutions to get themselves in shape, but have you ever considered making a resolution to get your home in shape? It may be a strange concept to compare getting your home in shape to getting in physical shape, but making some major adjustments (or even just some minor ones) to your home can really improve your overall mood and mind-set. Personalizing those places that you spend a majority of your time, like the living room or master bedroom, really can create lasting impacts through design. In an effort to help you create that perfect space, here are some guidelines that are sure to keep you on track!
- Start with getting rid of stuff. I know it’s that burden we all dread, but when your space is so cluttered that it interferes with daily activities like getting dressed or finding your keys, minimizing these inconveniences will be sure to reduce stress and save you loads of time in the future! If you feel like you have just too much de-junking to do, then start small and work your way up to the bigger items. For example, try cleaning up a little during every TV commercial. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish! For larger de-cluttering projects, start with sorting things into piles based on whether you use it all the time, whether you use it seasonally, or whether or not you have used (or even seen it) in the last year. Chances are, if you haven’t even noticed it being there in the last year then you probably won’t need it.
- Make a goal. Envision a room that you feel could use some improvement- what is your goal for that room? Is it to be more comfortable, more beautiful, or even more functional? How do you like to use the room? This is an important step, as it is easy to get side tracked when you don’t have a goal in place!
- Ask for help! Most people who are successful at getting in shape hire a personal trainer or use the buddy system. Consider working with an interior designer. Or, use the buddy system and have a friend whose style you admire work with you. Sometimes it’s good to have a second opinion.
- Remember- it’s YOUR home! Most people that are on their weight loss journey will tell you that they are not doing it for someone else, but for their own happiness. This is important to remember if you are working with a friend. Don’t let someone else talk you out of what you really love! Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean you have to like it. If you stick with colors and styles that make you happy, then that’s all that matters.
- Set a budget! You can think of this the same way that someone “budgets” their calorie intake and amount of exercise. This can be one of the more difficult things to do when redesigning a space, especially when you are trying to set a realistic budget. First, it’s good to make a “ballpark” estimate of what it would take to make your home how you envisioned it. Then, do your homework and start getting quotes on everything you want to incorporate into your new space. Once you have figured out just how much everything is going to cost, prioritize those items that you want the most. Sometimes your taste exceeds your budget (just like that piece of chocolate cake may exceed your calorie budget), so you may need spend a little less on a few items in order to afford the really amazing piece. For example, if you want the brand new custom upholstered sofa, then you might have to settle for less expensive lamps and accessories. Whatever the case, you will most likely end up satisfied in the end! And if there is an item you just can’t live without, consider saving up for it. Some stores even offer layaway plans or special financing options so that you can afford that perfect piece!
- Be flexible. You don’t give up on your workout at the gym if your favorite treadmill is taken. You try a different machine, and who knows, you may just love it! Finding the perfect piece that you have envisioned in your mind or saw on your favorite television show can be nearly impossible to find. If you are trying to recreate that gorgeous living room from your favorite movie, it won’t really be your room if you copy it exactly. If you can’t find that exact rug, something similar may work out even better for you. And that sofa that looks so fabulous on Pinterest may be impractical or uncomfortable for you. Be open to similar options, and you will be able to create the perfect space for you.
- Celebrate your success – big or small! Just like with diet and exercise, small successes help inspire you to take on bigger projects. It’s a good idea to start small. If designing your living room is overwhelming to you, start with another room. Start with a space that you see every day. If you always come and go through your front door, the entry will have the biggest impact because you see it every time you come home. Do your kids pile all their stuff there, making you grumpy every time you come home? Try working in storage for all those shoes, coats and backpacks. Can’t ever seem to find your keys? Add a special key hook or bowl and make a point to keep them there.
- Stay focused! Remember to think about your end goal. If you buy a chair or a lamp to match the room you have now, rather than the room you want to have, you’ll end up with a room full of stuff that you don’t really like. It’s better to think about what you want to have in the future than to match to something you don’t love. Post a picture of your goal if you have an inspiration photo. When you are making decisions, think about how each item would work with that room. Remember that an inspiration photo is for inspiration; it doesn’t mean you have to copy each detail exactly.
- Stop procrastinating. Most people have at least one room in their homes that they don’t really like. Maybe it’s the mismatched furniture they don’t like looking at, or maybe the room has become a dumping ground for clutter. Sometimes they just close the door and stop using the room, making it on giant closet. It’s time to conquer the clutter and take back your home!
If you follow these steps, getting your home in shape can be fun and easy. Start with that by picking out a room and make a commitment to follow through with it. After that, the remaining steps will start to fall into place. Stop making excuses and fulfill your New Year’s resolution of creating your dream home!