Another year is upon us. It seems like they are just flying by! But I love the start of a new year. It feels like a new opportunity to recharge, refresh and renew everything. While I know that New Years Day it is just “another day” and that I can refresh & recharge ANYTIME of the year, there is just something to be said about a NEW day of a NEW month in a NEW year! Each new year brings in my overwhelming desire to recharge my batteries, refresh my surroundings, renew myself and CLEAN.
It has kind of become an obsession every new year. Out with the old and in with the new. Well, not really NEW everything, but you know- organizing, refreshing things, moving things around, getting rid of junk. I want to feel refreshed and renewed in the new year. While I am not a KonMarie junkie, I can definitely see the benefits of Marie Kondo’s style- keep the things that spark JOY! But I also want to DO more….
Every start of a new year I feel compelled to CLEAN:
- Put away the Christmas mess
- Clean out kids the toys
- Go through clothes and purge
- Rearrange furniture
- Swap out linens
- Toss old products
This year, I decided to take it to another level.
Here are a few ways you can refresh and renew things around the house this new year!
Swap your linens
Every few years we get new bathroom linens, but I never really pay attention to my kitchen towels all that much. And as much as we use them, I felt it was time for some new kitchen hand towels. We try to reduce our waste as much as possible in the kitchen by recycling, reusing glass jars and bottles, using lunchboxes, opting for linen hand towels over paper towels and shopping with reusable grocery bags.
Bring in the green
New plants always bring a fresh vibe to any room! We added some new air purifying plants to our family room/kitchen area. Snake plants and pothos are my favorite! You can snag them just about anywhere! Adding some greenery to your porch or balcony always livens up the space too.
I love having candles lit! The ambiance and the smell is the perfect touch to any room! My favorite is my my Fernweh Editions candle!
It is a soy candle that smells like heaven! I keep it in the kitchen/family room area.
Get a new cleaning gadget
I clean a lot. Well, more like tidying up…. constantly! I love having options for cleaning up, plus it allows for more of us to pitch in at the same time. Our cat LOVES to dig at all of my houseplants, so we recently got an Ayla Vacuum by Ayla & Co. and it has proven to be a lifesaver. I never thought I could love a vacuum, but here I am. It has 2 speeds, ANY kid can use it, it’s portable and perfect for small messes that need a quick clean up- like kitty and plants. This will be my new travel companion too. It is small enough to go in my “car bag” for road trips.
Hide the cords
I cannot stand it when the cords peak out from behind the TV. Not only is it unsightly, but it can be unsafe for little kids and crazy cats. I got my husband a couple Sleek Sockets for Christmas so he can cover up the inconvenient outlet in our bedroom. It is a practical gift for sure, but any man who likes techy stuff would appreciate it! The Sleek Socket has an ultra-thin design that’s about the thickness of a pencil, so it hides the cords well.
Swap out throw pillows
I love a good throw pillow, so after Christmas I put away the red holiday pillows and go back to my neutrals. I changed things up quite a bit in 2021 with pillows, so I think I will just go for my holiday swaps for now. BUT, I love to decorate for all of the little holidays, so I think I will add in these Valentine’s Day pillows just for fun.
Take up gardening
I love plants and love to garden, but I don’t have the best green thumb. One of my personal goals of 2022 is to plant a veggie garden (and keep it alive!) This is a new skill that I have been wanting to master for a long time. My mother in law is much better than I am, so I got her new gloves for her gardening.
These gloves are awesome because she can navigate her phone, listen to music (and change the song) and even Facetime with us while she is gardening without ever having to take off her gloves! I really hope that I can become a better gardener this year, so I am going to invest in a pair of Foxgloves’ eGloves for myself too so that I can listen to music, get Pinterest ideas and snap pictures along the way without having to take the gloves on and off!
Add healthier options to your pantry
We are very health conscious and are always looking for new options to add to our diet. We are about 90% plant-based. We consume fish occasionally (like wild caught salmon) and high quality cheese every once in a while. Recently we tried a new olive oil and Manuka Honey for the first time.
When we went plant-based we cut out ALL added oils and we were very strict about it for a year or so. But then I began to do research on healthy fats and brain development and cognitive function which led me to adding more healthy fats (avocado and coconut oil) and good olive oil from Olivo Amigo back into the mix. I really like Olivo Amigo olive oil because their olives are grown and produced at a small family owned farm in Jaen, Spain that has been passed down for generations. The olives are sustainably grown, produced in an organic mill and stored in an organic room. The products are then consciously shipped here to the United States.
As a plant-based family honey is not out of the question for us. Most strict vegans do not consume honey as it is an animal byproduct, but we are not vegans for animal welfare, we are plant-based for our health. To us, there is a difference.
Honey in moderation is a good replacement for sugar and we use it in our homemade elderberry syrup too because Manuka Honey contains over 200 compounds not found in other honeys. We like the Manuka Honey from Three Peaks because it is a premium UMF certified Manuka Honey from the central plateau of New Zealand and they have over 14,000 hives and have a completely transparent supply chain as they go straight from their own beehives to their extracting facility to jars. Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me!
We’ve been spending most of our time at home thanks to this pandemic, and with the current surge in cases, having a tidy house and things “in order” for 2022 makes me feel less stressed. Now, getting everyone on the same page has been a bit of a challenge, but a battle worth fighting for me. Science actually shows that a mess causes anxiety…and I have enough of that of my own, so if having things in my house in “order” can prevent more anxiety, I am here for it!