The start of a new year often comes with good intentions to declutter, reorganize or revamp your home. These goals can be overwhelming and hard to quantify if they’re left broad and vague. Instead, try some specific and achievable tasks that will help refresh your home and give you a sense of renewal. Simple things like organizing your pantry or framing some art can have a surprisingly big effect on how you feel in your space. Here are 15 mini makeovers to try.
1. Reposition your art
When your artwork has been in the same spot for years, you can become blind to its beauty. By repositioning it, you bring it to your attention again. Before you move pieces, get someone to help hold them up in the desired spot so you can get a feel for how they look. You might be surprised by which artwork combos look good and which don’t.
2. Get new pillow covers
I’m always amazed at the impact new pillow covers can have on a space. They don’t need to be matching — contrasting colors and patterns often look great together. If you’re looking for more calm and clarity, go for more subdued tones like pastels and neutrals. If vibrancy is what you’re after, choose bright patterns. If the pillows themselves are getting a bit lumpy or old, think about replacing those too.
3. Hang mirrors
Mirrors make the most of a room’s natural light, open up a small space and add visual interest to a room. If you already have mirrors up, you could try repositioning them along with your art. If you don’t, you could source mirrors in different shapes from thrift shops and hang them in creative clusters, as seen here.
4. Put down a colorful rug
Stripes (especially black and white) can give the illusion of a larger room, while other patterns inject life into a space. Take the room’s function into consideration. If you’ll be walking on the rug or eating over it, then lighter colors may show spills and footprints. In general, I tend to go for a slightly oversized rug rather than one that’s too small for the space.
5. String up some indoor plants
Indoor plants help you connect to nature even if you don’t have an outdoor space. They can also be good for your health, and they just look good. You can buy macramé hangers, such as the ones seen here from Warp & Weft, or you can make your own.
6. Change your duvet cover
A duvet cover is often the first thing the eye is drawn to in a bedroom. If you want the focus of the room to be on the walls, art or furniture, go for a white or neutral cover. If the rest of the room is simple, then you might opt for a bright or patterned cover. I also love buying new sheets at the start of the year. Choose good-quality ones — you spend so much time in bed that it’s worth the investment. If possible, feel the sheets before you buy them to test their softness and texture.
7. Freshen up your front door
Choosing a color can feel like a way of setting an intention for what’s to come. Want more energy? Try yellow or red. How about more calm and simplicity? Maybe blue or green. Paint your front door in a hue that will be pleasing for the new year. A striking front entrance welcomes guests and is a budget-friendly way to transform your home.
8. Paint old furniture
Turn a tired chest of drawers, cabinet or desk into a unique treasure with paint. It’s much more cost-effective than buying new furniture, and it helps you put your stamp on your home.
9. Finally frame those prints
Do you have a whole bunch of special photos you haven’t gotten around to printing and framing? When we take photos mostly on our phones, it’s easy to lose your favorites in a sea of selfies. You can print photos relatively cheaply, then find frames from discount stores if you’re on a tight budget.
Tip: Buy Velcro hanging strips to make hanging prints as easy as can be.
10. Get new bedroom or shower curtains
If you’re renting or have just moved into a place, there’s a good chance the existing curtains are cheap and unappealing. If you’re after a dark sleeping space, go for curtains with heavier fabric and blackout lining.
Readymade curtains are ideal if you have a smaller budget; just make sure to measure the windows or shower first and be sure they aren’t too difficult to put up. Oh, and if you’re renting, make sure you check with your landlord before adding a new rod.
11. Refresh your bedside table
A well-styled nightstand can set the tone for your bedroom, but it can also be a practical addition for sleep. Assess your needs: Maybe they include things like earplugs, an eye mask, easy access to painkillers, water and a book. Having everything you need within reach can make your nights and mornings so much easier. Bedside tables also have a tendency to accumulate useless items, so throw out everything you no longer need.
12. Organize your pantry
With such regular use, it’s easy for pantries to become messy and disorganized. Putting dry food (such as cereal, cookies, flour and sugar) in containers helps it stay fresh longer. If you display foods in clear plastic or glass containers, you’ll be able to see exactly what you have and know when you’re about to run out of something. Check expiration dates to make sure you’re not storing items you should discard.
13. Change the scent
People have signature scents, so why shouldn’t a home? You can change the scent according to the season or your mood. While candles are a more frequently used option, room sprays can be a wonderful way to reinvigorate a space. Using an eyedropper, mix an essential oil (such as lemon or eucalyptus) with alcohol or witch hazel and distilled water in a spray bottle. Spritz in each room for an instant refresh.
14. Go through your book collection
It’s so easy to accumulate books that are bulky, heavy and hard to lug around in a move. Pick up each book and be realistic. Will you actually read it ever or again? Is it a favorite? Does having it give you pleasure? If not, give it to a friend or donate it. If you want to go a step further, you could then organize your books alphabetically or by color.
15. Declutter your desk
A tidy workspace can make all the difference in how productive you are. Eliminate any nonessential paperwork and other items. Give the desk a good wiping and place an inspiring quote on the wall and some fresh flowers in a vase. Consider getting a cable organizer to prevent a tangle of cords.