New Year New Home? Well, not quite. We always talk about freshening things up for Spring, but really, it’s after the fog of Christmas that our home’s energy needs to be cleansed. It’s now, when we’ve still got a whole lot of winter still to go, that we need to make some minor adjustments that can have a major, positive impact on our home. More than any other time of year, January is probably the most house-bound month of all (on account of it being baltic outside, a permanent shade of grey AND the fact that we have about two euro in our bank account) so it’s important to enjoy the idea of getting cosy. Here are 10 easy ways we’re sprucing up our GAFF, this side of Christmas.
1. Open your windows for a while
Now, this may seem very unglamorous but a lot of that feeling of freshness in a house is down to what you can’t see. So few of us realise it, but it’s often said that the air inside your GAFF can be three times more polluted than what’s outside. Gross. So while you don’t want to go to sleep with a gale force wind in your face, it is a good idea to open the windows upstairs while you’re downstairs for a while and vice versa. Start with these kinds of tasks and your house will feel fresher before you’ve even spent a penny.
2. Replace your cushion covers
If you’re a cushion obsessive, you’ll probably have cracked the idea of buying decent filler, so that you’re free to chop and change your covers without spending too much. Once the squishy stuff inside is good quality – Meadows & Byrne, for example, would feel a lot nicer than IKEA’s offering – then it doesn’t really matter if you go cheap and cheerful when it comes to covers. Consider adding a new accent colour – something that moves your space away from Christmas. H&M Home – which you can only shop online from Ireland but it’s still fab – is our favourite for a cushion cover switcharoo. If your budget can stretch to a new rug – even if it’s just in the hallway – that will make a big difference as well.
3. Treat yourself to a new wall print
A simple print can transform a room, creating a new point of interest. If you feel that there’s a massive void where the tree used to be, make a point of styling this area. A vibrant print on the wall will make a huge difference and with handy IKEA frames costing less than a tenner, this needn’t be a huge splurge. As always, Jando is our favourites for an Irish option, but if you’re shopping online, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better choices than what you’ll see on iamfy.com (and for what it’s worth, the prints are very high quality too when you receive them in the post).
4. Houseplants to the rescue
Houseplants not only look good – provided you can keep them alive – they’re also massively beneficial for your health and the general energy in your home. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, working in the opposite way to how we humans breathe. Really, you should have a little touch of greenery in every room which will lift the atmosphere. Stay tuned for our guide on what plants are best in what part of the house, however. For example, a heat-loving plant won’t love being in a cold corner.
5. Get industrial with your cleaning
Again, it’s the dust and things that will keep your home feeling stale. Sort out the drawers that you haven’t looked through in years, vacuum under couches and in all of the awkward corners you pretend aren’t there. Wash your sofa covers if they’re removable. If the endorphins we get from sitting down in a sparkling clean house could be bottled and sold, they would be gold dust. Sharpen your knives in the kitchen.
6. Toss ruthlessly
Anything you haven’t worn in six months and aren’t keeping for special occasions. Anything gone past its sell-by date in the bowels of the fridge and pantry. Almost empty bottles in the bathroom. Toss toss toss. It will either be charity friendly or bin appropriate.
7. Go book shopping
Tidy your bedside table and your coffee table and treat yourself to a meaty new read as well as some gorgeous coffee table tomes. While you’re at it, get yourself a decent 2018 diary and above all else, a set of house pens (why, oh why, do they always go missing?)
8. Chalkboard paint
If you’ve made a resolution to be more organised, make it easier on yourself by picking one press door and spraying the inside of it with chalkboard paint – or even a portion of the wall if you’re happy to have it be visible. Use this as your ‘things to remember’ for the family from shopping lists to daily mantras. Or if there are kiddies in the house, let their creative imaginations run wild.
9. Hide wires
Wires from TVs and routers and Nintendos and God knows what else is under there are unsightly. You can pick up wire organising accoutrements for almost nothing but for a clever hack, get yourself a hollowed-out book in which your wifi router can live.
10. Add to basket online
But don’t check out. We freak out about how much the internet knows about us, but this part is kind of ideal. If you gather your favourite interiors finds online and take it as far as the basket, there’s a high chance the same company will email you in the coming days with a discount code or notify you of a sale where your beloved items are now reduced. January is the perfect time to make some wish lists. And while you save up your pennies to buy yourself a treat – after treating everybody else all Christmas – you might as well give yourself the best chance of saving some cash in the process.
Main pic – Penneys