Preparing for a new year
‘Self-care’ isn’t just a millennial marketing buzzword devoid of meaning. It’s about bringing balance and wellness into your day-to-day life through sometimes small but nonetheless always meaningful actions, rituals, behaviours, and even items. And home care is one very important expression of it. Changing the way you interact with and perceive the space around you, and the things defining that space, can help improve your life, and sometimes mental health too, as Cait Munro observes in Refinery29. So to help you prepare for a calm and joyful new year, we’ve put together a list of our small but mighty changes you can make straightaway to elevate your home care routine and make the most of each day.
Invest in air-purifying plants
According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, some air-purifying plants can detoxify your home from airborne toxins, dusts and germs found in common household products, materials and even furniture. And there’s no time like the start of the year to improve the air quality in your living spaces, especially for asthmatics. The species you choose depends on the space you’re purifying. To reduce unwelcome whiffs in bathrooms, English Ivy works well, but to maximise oxygen in your bedroom and improve sleep, try the Snake Plant.
Refresh your home fabrics
Make a daily ritual of cleaning and deodorising all your home fabrics. From rugs to pillows to sofas, vacuum all soft surfaces, then spritz away any unsavoury smells or cooking odours with one of our Signature Finishing Sprays - they’re non-toxic and suitable for all surfaces and fabrics. We also recommend airing the rooms you’re not using by opening some windows. And why not light a scented candle too, to create a fresh, uplifting ambience (we particularly love this Narcissus Lime candle from Kew Gardens)?
Declutter your living spaces
Image source: Made
As tempting as it might be to shove stray socks, toys and other knick-knacks in the hall closet, or hide dirty laundry piles behind the utility room door, a tidy space = a tidy mind. A great way to organise smaller odds and ends as you go, as well as your laundry essentials, is to store them in easily accessible caddies, baskets and storage buckets (we particularly love this one from Garden Trading, which uses sustainable bamboo). They’ll not only look much tidier, but also be easier to move around the house.
Tidy your laundry piles
Image source: Damian Lugowski
Aside from using caddies, there are several other ways to make laundry in the new year loads easier (pun intended). The first is to designate labelled laundry baskets for each clothing type and/or colour. For example, darks, lights, colours and then delicates. We recommend wicker baskets when it comes to long-term storage (check out John Lewis’ Willow Round Laundry Basket from their ANYDAY range), as these will allow the air to circulate properly and so keep your fabrics as fresh as possible. To make the tidying (and folding away afterwards) more mindful, try to see it as a ritual rather than as a chore. Put on some tunes, and be sure to organise as you go, to help keep the work manageable.
Sort out your wardrobe
It’s easy to declutter your wardrobe if you know how (check out our article for the full details). Start by taking everything (and we mean everything) out of your wardrobe, so you can look at and assess the condition of each item individually. Then sort into piles: KEEP (items you’ll continue to wear); REPAIR (items which need some TLC); STORE (items you’ll set aside depending on the season); GIVE (items you’ll donate or sell). Organise the items you’re keeping in helpful categories (style, colour, occasion, season), and make sure they remain visible, so that you don’t fall into the rabbit hole rummage trap again, and store out-of-season items in vacuum bags or airtight containers.
Buy as you go
If you’re low on storage space, avoid stockpiling extra supplies. Instead simply keep a close eye on what you have, so you know what to replace when you start to run low. This is a very good way to engage in more mindful consumption, as you’ll only be buying exactly what you need and no more. Plus, clutter can reduce focus and increase stress levels, making your brain less effective at processing information, so it’s important for your mental wellbeing to create space where possible by not accumulating lots of things.
The key to each of these new home care rituals is to make a daily habit of them. Prevent a build-up of mess and stress by organising and tidying little and often (not once a year!).