While January is drawing to an end some of us are still in shock that a new year has begun and we still haven’t implemented any life-altering changes. It’s not too late, now is the time to snap out of the January fog and get to work. While we make many resolutions for ourselves in the New Year we often neglect our homes. There are simple and easy ways to freshen up your family home to give it the new lease of life it deserves. Here are our top 5 fresh ideas for your home in 2015 that are also smart choices.
1 – Reduce your energy bills
There are many ways to cut down on your energy bills this year, such as:
- Shopping around different providers for a price comparison to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
- Install a smart thermometer which allows you more control over your heating system and can include remote access so you can check in when you’re not there.
- Reducing the temperature of your washing cycle from 60 degrees to 40 can save you money.
- Using the economy wash function on your dishwasher where you can.
- Only boiling enough water for how many cups of tea you need.
- Trying not to use the dryer too much and air drying instead.
- Turning off all electrical equipment when not in use.
- Switching to low energy CFL bulbs.
A hoarder’s work is never done it seems. Just when you manage to clear some space in a crowded room, you go and blow it all with a gratuitous trip to Ikea. De-cluttering often seem a daunting task but these handy tips will ease your pain:
- Just work at one small area at a time and then stop when done. Baby steps.
- Install a shelf here and there to showcase your best items. You don’t need to display every ornament or bowl you own as it can become too cluttered. Anything you don’t display, ask yourself if you really need it.
- Pick up an item and ask yourself is this useful or beautiful? If you answer no to both, bin it. (Unless it’s a gift from your in-laws, in that case hang on to it a little longer…)
3- Make a day of it
These days with work commitments and numerous household tasks awaiting it’s hard to find a good family/life balance. Combining chores and family time can be a great idea the trick is to sell it to the kids. Is there a room you keep meaning to paint? A cabinet in need of sanding down? The garden in need of a thorough weeding? Well, it’s the perfect excuse to get the whole family involved and tackle it together. Make it fun by incorporating a massive lunch or take away as a reward and be sure to give the kids jobs they can handle.
4 – Change your art
Do you ever take the time to discover what art really moves you? Have the same paintings/photographs/prints/sculpture been on display in your home for decades? Do you they speak to you anymore? Do you even have any art at all? Why not freshen up your home by browsing some local art galleries and shops and see what catches your eye, perhaps your taste has matured without you realising.
5 – Get a new kitchen
Let’s be honest, we probably spend most of our time in the kitchen gradually wearing down the floorboards between the cupboards and fridge. Installing a whole new kitchen can be pricey but there is a way to make an inexpensive change without breaking the bank. Painting your kitchen cabinets a different colour and adding new handles can make a dramatic difference. Simply remove the doors (take outside as can get messy), sand down, repaint and let dry before reattaching and changing the handles. Voila! It will feel like you’ve moved homes.