Eat meals that are more balanced, go to the gym more often, stop smoking…people tend to make new year’s resolutions that focus on themselves. That’s not a bad thing – your new year’s resolutions are a great way to motivate yourself to do better.
However, making a few changes around your home will also indirectly lead to a healthier life for you. Here are 11 new year’s resolutions to make for your home:
Treat Your Home to Fresh Flowers Each Week
Fresh flowers around your house don’t just look nice…they actually have a surprising array of physical and mental health benefits too:
- They lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as levels of pain
- Certain floral scents, such as lavender, can improve short term memory
- They reduce feelings of stress
- They boost the mood and improve overall wellbeing
- Some flowers help to filter toxins from the air (more on this further down)
Fresh cut flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. Many stores sell bargain bouquets, or take a stroll over to your local flower market at the end of the day to enjoy some great deals.
Ditch the Disposables
We all know how damaging single-use items are to the environment, yet we still continue to use them.
Instead of hating yourself for this, make 2021 the year that you change your ways. There are so many sustainable alternatives available now to many of the common single-use items you have lying around your home. Yes, they may be more of an initial investment, but you’ll be able to use them time and time again, saving yourself so much money in the long run.
Here are a few ideas:
- Swap plastic bottles for reusable bottles
- Invest in quality tote bags to replace your plastic bags
- Use wax wraps for food instead of plastic wraps, or go for glass Tupperware instead
- Look for bamboo or recycled fiber toilet paper
Implement the One-in, One-Out Rule
Never heard of the one-in, one-out rule?
It’s a great way to keep clutter around your home to a minimum.
All it means is that every time you bring a new item home, you need to remove an old item. This doesn’t mean that you need to throw it away – you could sell it or donate it instead.
The easiest way to do this is with like-for-like items. For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, sell one of your older pairs.
It’s tempting to sometimes cheat the system, but if you manage to stick to it, you’ll have so much less de-cluttering to do in the future!
Trying to do more for the planet?
There are several ways in which you can “go green” around your home.
Start off small by:
- Cutting back on energy usage – leave yourself reminders to turn off the lights or the taps
- Learning how to recycle properly
- Buying a compost bin
- Installing LED light bulbs
- Fitting a low-flow shower head
You can then move on to making changes that are even more significant, such as installing solar panels, insulating your home, or even buying a hybrid car.
Create a Cleaning Schedule
There are some people who genuinely enjoy cleaning. Chances are, they won’t need a cleaning schedule. However, for everyone else who tries to put the cleaning off for as long as possible, a cleaning schedule can be a gamechanger.
Thinking that you won’t ever stick to a cleaning schedule?
The secret is to make it flexible, and not too demanding. Don’t set yourself up to have to clean every single day because, let’s face it, this probably won’t end up actually happening.
Instead, give yourself more time to accomplish different cleaning tasks. For example, tackle your kitchen and your bathroom on weekdays, and then the rest of the rooms in your house on weekends.
Keeping a small cleaning kit in each room of the house can also help to make cleaning more convenient. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, you can do a quick clean, rather than wasting time gathering all of your cleaning supplies together from around the house.
Set Up a Proper Home Office
Have you found yourself working from home a lot this year?
Chances are that this is going to continue well into 2021. If you haven’t set up a home office yet, now is the time to do so.
What’s wrong with working from your sofa?
It blurs the line between work and home life. This not only limits productivity while you’re working, but will also make it much harder for you to relax once you’re done for the day.
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room to your new home office – even a corner of your living room will do, so long as there is plenty of natural light there. The key is to make the area you choose easily distinguishable as a workspace.
Start by investing in some office-like furniture. A comfortable, ergonomic seat is a must – posture problems are so common with people who work from home.
Painting your new workspace can help too. Look for either bright and vibrant colors, or stick to neutrals but go for bolder shades when it comes to your furniture, or even just wall art. Those bright colors help to boost the mood and reduce stress, with yellows, oranges, blues, and greens being the most beneficial.
Finally, add in a few houseplants. This may seem like an unimportant luxury, but research has found that people who work with plants around them are 12% more productive than those who are plant-free.
Invest in Some Air-Purifying Houseplants
While we’re on the topic of plants making people more productive, did you know that some plants are also able to effectively filter out toxins from the air?
Even if you keep your home extremely clean (which you’ll soon be able to do with ease with the cleaning schedule mentioned earlier), everything from dust to germs to airborne toxins will still settle into your furniture and other items around your home. Fortunately, the right plants are able to remove high amounts of this.
Which plants are best for purifying the air?
Here are the ones to go for:
- Barberton Daisy
- Snake Plant
- Spider Plant
- Dragon Tree
- Weeping Fig
Add in Some Fitness-Friendly Items
Wish you had the time to work out more?
You maybe don’t need it – many people successfully exercise in their homes, simply by adding in a few fitness-friendly items.
No, this doesn’t mean that you need a home gym – think smaller!
For example, if you work from home at a desk, try swapping your desk for one that requires you to stand instead of sit.
Alternatively, treat yourself to an exercise ball. Whenever you find yourself sitting down at home, whether this may be while you’re watching TV, chatting on the phone, or scrolling through social media, do this on your exercise ball instead. It will keep you active while helping to improve your balance.
Make Your Home Cozier
Many people have trouble relaxing after a day of work, but this is something that you can change by making your home a little cozier. This makes it much easier to unwind and turn off from your day, which will therefore make you even more productive the next day.
How do you make your home more cozy?
Here are a few tips:
- Scatter some comfortable throw pillows around
- Add warm and fluffy rugs to bare floors
- Swap harsh lighting for softer alternatives
- Invest in thicker and heavier curtains
- Place a soft, jewel-toned sofa cover over your sofa
- Place photos and artwork on your walls
Batch Make Healthy Snacks
If your house is stocked with processed, packaged snacks, one way that you can really turn things around is by swapping these for healthier, homemade alternatives.
You’re probably thinking…
That sounds like a lot of extra work!
It is if you spend each day making new snacks. However, if you dedicate one day a month to this and batch prepare a tasty selection of snacks, the amount of work involved is kept to a minimum. You’ll also then have a delicious array of healthy snacks to enjoy for the rest of the month.
Dehydrated snacks will store for months, if not years, in an air-tight container. Other snacks can be frozen, so that you always have some to hand when you’re feeling peckish.
Not sure which snacks to make?
Some of the easiest snacks to batch prepare are:
- Banana muffins
- Yogurt tubes made with real fruit
- Healthy cookies
- Fruit leather
- Granola/energy bars
- Spiced nuts and seeds
- Trail mix
Spend 5 to 10 Minutes a Day Tidying
Think you don’t have the time to keep your house tidy?
It only takes about five minutes a day!
Let’s be real – you probably spend a lot more than five minutes scrolling through social media feeds each day, so dedicate a few of those minutes to tidying your home instead.
Try to do this at around the same time each day – establishing a routine will make this habit much easier to stick to in the long term.
So, say you pick evenings. Each evening, perhaps after you’ve eaten your dinner or before you go to bed, spend five minutes tidying up. Whether this may be hanging up your clothes, taking out the trash, wiping down kitchen counters – five minutes may not seem like much, but it really does all add up. It won’t be long before your home is as tidy as those you see in interior magazines!
Stop Using Chemical Air Fresheners
Everyone loves a home that smells nice, but most of the commercial air freshening products out there are filled with harmful chemicals. Aerosol air fresheners are the worst – studies show that women who use these products as little as once a week could still experience lung damage as a result of this.
So, what should you use instead?
Essential oils! Not only will these make your home smell absolutely gorgeous, but many scents also have additional benefits for your mental health. Plus, if you go for natural essential oils, you’ll have so many more scents to choose from compared to commercial air fresheners.
Ready to invest in some new scents?
The most beneficial would be:
Wondering how to actually fill your home with the scent from these oils?
All you need is an aromatherapy diffuser. These are so easy to use – simply fill them with water, add a few drops of your chosen oil, and then turn the device on. The vapor released by the device will be scented with your oil, filling that room with a beautiful natural fragrance.
One thing to keep in mind if you have pets is…
Some essential oils can actually be quite toxic to pets. Many companies now produce pet-safe oils, but it’s always worth doing a bit of online research if you plan on diffusing oils around animals.
What about using candles instead?
These are another great way to keep your home smelling sweet. However, many of the cheaper candles out there are made from paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based. These candles emit chemicals that can cause:
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you need to stop using candles altogether. Instead, go for vegetable-based candles. These are usually made from soy or beeswax, which doesn’t emit harmful chemicals. Try to pick one that has a cotton wick too.
You still have a couple of weeks to go before you need to decide on some new year’s resolutions. While it’s still important to make resolutions that encourage you to better yourself in a variety of ways, try making a few resolutions for your home too. Just a handful of small changes can really alter the way you live, resulting in a much healthier and happier lifestyle.