So long, 2020! The beginning of a new year is a great time to reset and refresh — and your home is a wonderful place to get started.
Studies show that people tend to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer when the environment is set up for their success. Moving into 2021, take some time to make your home a place that inspires you to be your best, and a spot where you can be truly comfortable throughout the day.
Ready to let go of the old and welcome in the new? Here are some ideas for refreshing your home as we move forward into 2021:
Add Some New Storage Space
If your New Year’s Resolution is to become more organized, make it easier on yourself by adding additional storage solutions throughout your home.
For instance, consider maximizing your walls by adding shelving units, peg boards, or hanging baskets in your high-use rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, or living room. Adding wall storage can make these rooms feel fresh, while helping you keep those high-traffic areas organized down the road.
If you’re out of extra space on the walls, consider swapping your current furniture for pieces with built-in storage. Sofas, bed frames, and dining tables with built in storage are all great pieces that can help you increase your storage capacity when you don’t have any extra space.
Finally, upgrading your entryway with additional storage can make you feel like you’re ready to take on anything the year brings. Add a coat-rack, cubbies, or a slim table with lower shelves to house any items you need when you run out the door — such as reusable bags, umbrellas, and face masks.
Brighten Up with New Lighting
Wintertime in Chicagoland is known for a lot of things, including short days. Good lighting is especially important right now, with many people working from home.
To refresh your space for the new year, consider swapping out your current bulbs for halogen daytime white light bulbs, which mimic the natural light seen during the day.
Want to make sure your room is Zoom-ready? An interior lighting rule of thumb is to have three different sources of light at different levels, including one on the ceiling. This type of layering provides flexibility based on what the weather is like outside, and what you’re doing indoors. Consider adding additional task lighting in your kitchen or at your preferred workspace, and look into ways to maximize natural light in your most-used rooms.
Do a Winter Deep Clean
Move over, spring cleaning! Winter deep cleaning is taking over. If we have to stay indoors anyway, why not spend the time making your home feel as clean and fresh as possible?
At the start of the year, consider making some time to clean those places that usually go overlooked — like the tops of your cabinets, or the floors underneath your furniture and appliances. Meanwhile, help your home bounce back after the holiday season by cleaning out the spaces you use most during the winter months, such as your kitchen and bathrooms.
For a truly deep clean, wipe down the insides of your fridge, pantry, and cabinets. Do a deep clean of your oven, and scrub the grout in your bathroom and kitchen tile. In the hallways and living room, knock the dust off of your ceiling fans and vents, and give your crown moldings and baseboards a polish. Clean your floors throughout the home, change out your bedding and other linens in the bedrooms, and take out the trash.
Get Rid of Clutter
While you’re at it, winter is a good time to remove the things you no longer want or need from your home. If you received gifts over the winter holidays, you may have already considered that it’s time to let go of things you no longer use.
This type of project is best done one room at a time. Organization experts like Marie Kondo suggests working through one specific place, such as a dresser or desk, or one whole room until it’s finished. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of a good purge without feeling overwhelmed by the whole experience.
Doing this in the wintertime can offer some additional advantages. Many organizations are in need of donations at this time of year; by bringing gently used items to a donation center or nonprofit near you, you can support local organizations that are doing good work in your community.
After you’ve cut down on clutter, you can also take some time to organize and clean out your closets and junk rooms, such as the garage and attic. When you’re finished, you’ll feel like you’re living in a brand new space!
Switch Up Your Interior Decor
If the first months of a new year bring anything to mind, it’s the phrase, “out with the old, in with the new.”
There’s no better way to bring this mantra to life than by taking some simple steps to refresh your interior decor. This doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of your space; instead, look for little additions or changes that can help reinvigorate your most-used rooms. There are plenty of ways to bring in a new style without breaking down your walls or busting your budget.
For a quick and easy switch, consider playing around with the color palette you already have in place. Look for some complementary colors to the large pieces in your home such as your sofa or bed spread, and purchase new pillows, throw blankets, or a new rug to draw those shades out.
If you’re looking for a weekend project, a fresh coat of paint in one of the year’s trending colors could help you refresh your space. Or, spend the weekend searching for and putting together a thrifted art gallery wall. Spruce up your winter curb appeal by changing out your welcome mat or hang a new wreath on your front door.
Making the Most of a New Year In Chicagoland
As we hunker down for another Chicagoland winter, now is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, home, and the bonds that tie us all together. We are here for you, no matter what.
At Baird & Warner, we believe that buying or selling a home should be easier — even in the middle of an ice cold Chicagoland winter. While it’s hardly business as usual, we know that the Chicagoland real estate market is still strong. The market is moving — and if you’re ready, you can too.