Your house is an extension of you, so give it a reboot this month to ensure that it’s fit, happy and ready for the year ahead
After the overconsumption of the holidays comes the quiet reflection of January. A new year prompts many of us to adopt a healthier regime to wipe the slate clean and set us on the road to a fitter life. But how about extending the health kick to your home too?
From a deep cleanse to a weight-loss plan (decluttering), here’s how you can help your pad lose the Christmas bloat and get ready for spring. A healthy home environment will give back too, supporting you so you can achieve your January goals more easily.
Catch some rays. Daylight is in short supply at this time of year, but exposure to sunshine will improve your home’s mood — as well as your own. Make the most of any rays by fitting minimal, non-bulky window treatments in well-insulated rooms. These will provide privacy by night but won’t block precious natural light on short winter days.
Control stress. Help your home take a calm and mindful approach to daily life by creating pockets of pure and simple style. Pale, natural colors and simple, honest accessories will keep the feel authentic and grounded, providing tiny stress-free corners within a busy environment.
Cleanse consciously. If your New Year’s resolution is to floss your teeth each day or treat yourself to a facial every month, think about how you can pamper and cleanse your home too. One easy option involves good old-fashioned baking soda.
Scatter a little into garbage bins to improve their odor. Deodorize your carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them liberally and leaving it overnight before vacuuming it up. And leave a bowl of it hidden in each room and inside your closet to help eliminate nasty odors.
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Stay hydrated. Drinking water is a healthy habit for humans, and a house can also benefit from being rehydrated. Central heating can dry out the atmosphere of a home, reducing its air quality, and causing dry skin and eyes for its inhabitants. So bring in lots of lush houseplants to cleanse and humidify the air. They look great too.
Raise the heart rate. Zingy colors and original designs are bound to set your pulse racing and raise your home’s heart rate, which is just the job for boosting health and well-being. Work in thrilling fabrics, wacky designs or unexpected pieces and watch your home spring to life.
Consume a little color. Just as we should eat a rainbow of different-colored foods to stay healthy, so can our homes benefit from a blast of mood-boosting brights. Start small by introducing colorful china to your table, or scatter a few zippy cushions around, then see how much brighter and cheerier your home (and you) feels.
Breathe easily. A blast of fresh air every day will boost your mood, but depending on where you live, it can be impractical to open the windows for too long during the winter. However, you can improve the feel of your home’s atmosphere and freshen it up by lighting naturally scented candles or dotting a few essential-oil diffusers around the place.
Lose weight. Our homes, just like us, often carry a little excess baggage. Losing this starts with a targeted declutter. Whether it’s your wardrobe, a crazily jumbled kitchen drawer or your children’s toy cupboard, carefully sort through everything, arranging items in piles according to whether you’re keeping them, tossing them or giving them away to charity. Be ruthless and watch the weight fall off.
Watch your intake. Once you’ve shed weight in your home through decluttering, be careful not to let the excess creep back. Think carefully before buying new pieces. Try the one in, one out approach, or limit purchases to things intended to replace broken or damaged items.
Cut down on sweets. In human terms, this could be chocolate, cake or wine. In domestic terms, we’re talking cute objects that take up valuable space. That means editing children’s teddy bears and toys, losing a holiday souvenir or whimsical knickknack here and there, and ditching items you cling to because they were gifts even though they’re not your style.