A new year is upon us, and there is no better time for household tasks to help invigorate you for a brand new year. These tasks are small, achievable, and can help your home feel refreshed, meaning you're more prepared to take on this new year with gusto.
Clean Out Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer
The kitchen is one of the most highly used areas in a home. It's easy for things to go unchecked when the house is busy (especially during and after the holidays). The beginning of the month is a great time to go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry and clean them out. Look for items that are near their expiration date and plan on using or donating them. If it's already expired, throw it out. Focus on keeping items you know you'll use. For freezer items, pay attention to "Use By" dates - items that are not properly stored in a freezer can become susceptible to "freezer burn," or where frozen food is exposed to air and oxidizes. While it's safe to eat food with freezer burn, it tends to negatively alter the taste.
New Pillows, Towels, and Bedding
If there's anything that receives a lot of wear and tear in a home, it's pillows, towels, and bedding. All three items are used daily, and all three can harbor dirt and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Starting the new year with fresh or clean belongings can be a real treat. For pillows, experts suggest replacing them every 12 - 24 months. For towels, it's suggested to wash them every two days; for bed sheets, it's once a week. All three items can break down over time - pillows will flatten, towels will become scratchy, and sheets can thin and eventually rip. If your towels, pillows, and bed sheets haven't been replaced in a while, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to treat yourself to some new linens.
Keep Work Away
For many of us across North America, our jobs have moved from an office to our homes during the pandemic. While we may be working from home for nearly two years, it's still so easy for work items to overtake our living areas (especially for those that don't have dedicated home offices). For the new year, take some time to keep your work away from your living area (if possible). If your work items are overtaking your home, dedicate a space specifically to work items and make a point to leave items there. If your budget affords it, invest in space saving furniture to cut down on clutter or keep work items out of sight. It's a new year - use this time to relax in your lounge area, not work in it.
Add Some Greenery
Plants have a way of lifting moods, and adding one to your home is a fine way to boost your spirits and prepare for a new year. Plants have also been shown to help clean the air, and NASA has done extensive studies to find the ones best suited for improving air quality. While NASA suggests 15-18 plants for an 1,800 sq ft house, even adding one to your home is a great start. Whether you have a ton of natural light or little, there are plants suited for all homes and owners.
While a new year generally motivates people to make resolutions, researchers have found that small achievable improvements are more approachable and easier to complete. For this new year, focus on small items that can help refresh your home and bring a lively start to 2022. Once those are done, focus on those small household tasks you may have been putting off in 2021.