Some may feel disappointed as the holidays wind down, while others may feel relieved. Undoubtedly, this time of year marks a definitive shift in time. We have now passed the official start of winter, and we have reached the shortest day of the year. This means that slowly, bit by bit, seconds by seconds, the days will start to lengthen back out.
I view this as a turning point. Although there is still a whole season of winter ahead of us, a new beginning has emerged. This time of year evokes a sense of renewal and a time for a fresh start. This can be manifested in many different ways. Some may approach this as a perfect time to make resolutions for the upcoming year with new goals and aspirations. And others, like myself, may take this opportunity for a literal fresh start. After the holidays have concluded, I jump on the overwhelming feeling to cleanse. This leads to a refresh of my environment and surroundings.
Do you have a similar outlook? Are you looking for inspiration to start the process? For me, this involves a three-step program that enables me to restore tranquility to my space, as well as encourage renewed motivation for the new year.
Step 1: Clean
The first stage is to embark on a comprehensive deep cleaning of my home. This starts with simply organizing and storing all the holiday decorations that have so joyously enhanced my space for the past month. Although there is a twinge of sadness at this process every year, I find solace in knowing that next year will bring all the excitement flooding back again. Now, I can set about topically cleaning all those surfaces that are easy to overlook – baseboards, ceiling fans, underneath couches, etc. It is amazing how dust can go unnoticed until we really start looking for it.
Step 2: Evaluate
Now that we have a clear vision of what our home looked like pre-holidays and post-cleaning, we can really take a step back and reevaluate the space. Try to look at it as if you are walking into the home for the very first time. Is there a piece of furniture that seems slightly out of place? Could the flow of the space be improved? Are your decorations and décor faded and worn?
Step 3: Rejuvenate
Sometimes it is as simple as rearranging the furnishings to achieve a better layout that will satisfy your craving for a change. And sometimes, a new piece of furniture is exactly what the space needs to reenergize your home, and your mind. But this doesn’t mean you have to drop all of your gift money on one thing. Try to think creatively and outside of the box. Do you have something in storage that you could bring back into the mix? Is there something that you already own that you could paint or refinish? And don’t forget, many others have this same idea and might be getting rid of a few pieces of their own. As the saying goes…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
A new year signifies so many things – a closing of one chapter, and the opening of another. I think that we all take this time to look at our lives and focus on what we can do to increase our happiness. This should permeate into all areas, including (and maybe most importantly) our environment. We hope that the new year brings lots of joy and new beginnings for you and your loved ones.