If I hear someone asking one more time if I have made my list of resolutions for 2016 I might start biting... Am I the only one cringing every time someone mentions their new year's resolutions...? I can feel my hackles rise as I read the countless blog posts, magazine articles and social media feeds all detailing lists of self-improvement promises that are sometimes so unrealistic I want to shake the author's body and bring them back to earth with a gentle yet strong-handed slap in the face. Meditating every day, going to the gym 5 times a week, stop drinking, reading 10 books a month, start volunteering, etc. And don't get me started on Mark Zuckerberg, who, this year has decided to make us all feel like total losers by announcing his 'personal challenges' for 2016... Weep...
Don't get me wrong, all these are obviously highly worthy and rewarding resolutions and totally realistic to achieve. One. At. A.Time. (Not Zuckerberg's obvs). And, more importantly, with no silly deadline attached to them. If I make a list of stuff like this to achieve in just a few months, the anxiety I get from not ticking any boxes by the end of January usually makes me paralysed and unable to actually achieve anything at all. So, I don't have resolutions for January, instead I try to be moderate and set myself realistic goals with pretty much everything, throughout the year. Yes I'd love to start yoga again, and read more books, and blog more often and do my bit to bring peace to the world. But all I can manage is one thing this month or even this year, well, there are another few decades left (hopefully!) to get shit done, so I try not to sweat too much about it. Life's too short to get your knickers in a twist over a missed Zumba class or too much time scrolling down your insta feed (guilty as charged...)
But... You know there is always a 'but' with me. There is one thing I try to do every year over the Christmas period is to give the house a little refresh. And THAT is my resolution for the year ahead. It sets the one for the new year - you know, start with a clean slate and all that - plus I feel highly satisfied when the house is tidy and everything is in order, and it makes my brain feel less foggy after the excesses of the Christmas holiday. "But I am totally bankrupt as all my money has been swallowed by the Christmas madness", I hear you cry? No probs. This is all under £50 peeps so no credit cards need to be harmed in the process. Here are 5 tips on how to refresh your pad after the holiday without having to fork out the big bucks.
1. Declutter (Budget: 0£)
An obvious and simple idea that needs a budget of exactly zero is to have a little declutter session. Just look at existing decor items like you would Facebook friends. If you haven't interacted with them for, say, over a year or 18 months, maybe it's time to say aurevoir? Or for a less drastic way of thinking, maybe it just needs to be stored away, which would be the equivalent of the 'see less of' someone button on Facebook, your choice. There are lots of online sites that can help you declutter, and make a few bucks in the process. Music Magpie offers an easy way to sell your old CDs and DVDs for example. Again, it doesn't sound like much but decluttering your pad will give it a new lease of life, and make it look so much more spacious and inviting...
2. Swap things around (Budget: 0£)
Swap and rearrange furniture and accessories around. If you don't know where to start, try with the big bulky furniture first. Just try moving your sofa away from the wall for example, or reorganise a book shelf with accessories from another room. Swap cushions around, move picture frames from your bedroom to your living room... The possibilities are endless, it's totally free and you'll be amazed how much you can do by simply shopping your own home...
3. Hide the ugly (Budget: £30)
I am allergic to clutter. I suffer from mild OCD so usually end up clearing things out before I can get any work done so having a clutter-free environment is top of the priority list. Storage wise, think outside the box (pun intended). Shelves, cabinets, chests of drawers, there are so many ways to hide anything that doesn't look good. And in my book, it's very simple: if it ain't pretty, I don't want to see it. H&M Home have THE BEST affordable storage collection in the universe (well, on the high street at least).
4. Show off your art (Budget: £17)
Framed art, pictures, decorative items, fun posters, personal mementos, or anything that shows a little bit of your personality is worth showing off and can potentially transform your space. If you like me are addicted to buying postcards and posters in museum shops after every single exhibition, you should have a stash of cool artwork ready to be displayed. Those cheap wooden ledges from Ikea are a great solution to display lots of different frames and trinkets.
5. Update cushions and throws (budget: £25)
Another great way to give a quick and easy revamp to your home and your living room in particular, is by replacing sofa cushions and throws. It instantly updates the look of the room and more importantly it doesn't have to cost the earth if you just want a short-term little update rather than investment pieces. Again, H&M Home have a fabulous range of cushion covers all under £15. For affordable throws, check out my two favourites from IKEA: The EIVOR stripy one and the GURLI throw is simply timeless and also cheap as chips.
Happy New Year and all that.