13 Ways to Restart Your Home for the New Year

If you're as weary of your home as you are of 2014, it might be time to shake up your space. Let's be honest: If we want changes to stick, we have to know ourselves. Be realistic about what you can reasonably do in the time you have, and pace yourself. Complete just one improvement a day, and watch your love for your space—and your brand-new herb garden—take root.

Expanded View >
  1. Plant an Indoor Herb Garden

    78865864a4732dd91a224cab8b51020c

    In winter, when everything green goes dormant, it's a good idea to focus on something to nurture. Adding plants isn't just an aesthetic practice: Studies cited by Psychology Today show that houseplants can help us improve reaction times, reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure levels. 


    Related:  10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere

    shutterstock.com

  2. Organize Your Closet

    0d618949ffe1a825578777099391f4e1

    That's right: It's finally time to clean out your closet! Your first challenge? Thinning the hoard of clothes you've accumulated over the years. Once that's done, sort through all the miscellany you may have also stashed in the closet: all your mementos, photos, and old letters. Pare down the collection, but take your time so you won't have any regrets when you take out the trash. 

    shutterstock.com

  3. Make Your Own Rug

    4fc243eeaa1b1ced1a89fdf3bd850fbd

    On these frigid winter mornings, your tender little tootsies take a real beating, especially when you forget to wear socks to bed and you wince in anticipation as you lower your feet to the cold, bare floor. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to remedy. Make your own rug, and you can even customize it to suit your bedroom's dimensions and colors.

    etsy.com/shop/OmaniStudio

  4. Spray-Paint Something

    31188fa9f8ef1ae66ea8c89c54056c07

    You know that one piece of furniture that's always looked out of place? You snatched it off the sidewalk or plucked it from your grandmother's house, and now it just sits there all alone like the new girl in a middle school cafeteria. If it's bothering you, don't stop to figure out why. Grab the furniture and a can of spray paint, head out to the backyard, and give the piece a thorough coat. Let it dry completely before bringing it back inside.


    Related:  Sitting Pretty—11 Amazing Chair Makeovers

    shutterstock.com

  5. Frame Anything

    83f47d61ca27b0599b10124ea779e27b

    There are no rules when it comes to what to frame—and that's a good thing! Sure, some people don't like living without boundaries or interior design dictates, but you're adventurous. Who really needs guidelines? Hang up old albums, dried flowers, or plates for a touch of the unexpected. 

    urbanoutfitters.com

  6. Fix Your Lighting

    50b7afd0646eef3b1333e2adcdf47988

    Lighting is all about degrees: too bright and you feel like you're being prepped for surgery; too dark, and you're like Indiana Jones stumbling through a cave. You need multiple light sources—floor lamp, desk lamp, pendant light, and more—to create a balanced effect. And don't neglect the closet! If yours lacks light, consider adding LED strips around the door frame. You'll thank yourself in the morning when you actually make it to work on time.  


    Related:  10 Classic Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

    etsy.com

  7. Mix Up Your Furniture

    23aa0fc3f7625ffec5fb721aec6318b0

    Moving the big stuff around is fun and instantly gratifying. In fact, rearranging the furniture is the perfect zero dollar upgrade. Focus on your largest freestanding pieces first: your media console, bookcase, couch, or coffee table. Are you moving furniture in a small space? Pull everything a few inches away from the wall, take a seat, and see how the new arrangement feels. Practice trusting yourself in the New Year—you'll know if it's right. 

    shutterstock.com

  8. Update Hardware

    72f15e4d12d710db586c2ece4142338e

    Are you a renter who hates your kitchen? Are you dealing with outdated cabinets, perma-stained walls, and depressing linoleum floors? Welcome to the club. Switching out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets, dresser, or desk doesn't seem like a whole lot of change, but it will update your space. Just trust us on this one. 

    wikihow.com

  9. Refresh Your Shower

    A18e7610f6f8e787467f8cb88ea481b3

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American takes an eight minute shower. That seems like plenty of time to get clean, but if you've ever trekked five blocks in a snowstorm, you know that a shower's purpose goes beyond good hygiene. The shower is an antidote to the cold, a standing sauna, and a place to think and make plans. So go ahead and replace that worn-out shower head. While you're at it, treat yourself to new shower curtains that amp up the style—and your mood.

    urbanoutfitters.com

  10. Organize the Office

    B7892c3a54479ed2ef4441f4d120dde1

    Clutter will always congregate where you spend the most time. The first step toward organizing a work space at home is to make sure you have some kind of system for incoming paperwork, even if that system just consists of shredding everything. Designate areas for writing utensils, create a management system for cords, and add a plant to liven up the joint. 


    Related:  11 Ways to Keep Your REAL Desktop Organized

    shutterstock.com

  11. Paint the Front Door

    Paint_front_door_red

    Nothing makes you re-evaluate your place in this universe quicker than a chipped and peeling front door. As the daily divider between your private space and the outside world, your door makes a statement about what kind of homeowner you are—and you might not like what it has to say. A fresh coat of paint creates a major impact with minimal work. And really, isn't that the best kind of DIY?

    Zillow Digs home in Atlanta, GA

  12. Empty the Medicine Cabinet

    Ecce91059c68d137613edb07e62db8f3

    If you haven't examined your medicine cabinet in months, this one's for you. Like closets, medicine cabinets benefit from a good purge every once in a while. Check the labels on your medications and dispose of anything that's expired. Did you find blue eyeshadow you haven't worn since the '80s? Chuck it. Once everything has been cleared out, scrub the shelves and neatly replace the contents. Consider magnetic paint to gain more storage on the inside door.

    shutterstock.com

  13. Buy New Bedding

    Cf50649ce6d28bdf9062a9739f9ba05c

    You can't wait to get there, and you never really want to leave. Am I describing a a Caribbean getaway in January, or your bed on any given winter morning? And does it really matter? If we're talking about winter beds, flannel sheets are the standard for good reason. A new pillow wouldn't hurt either. 

    shutterstock.com

  14. For More...

  • Favorites Flipboard Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email AddThis
SEE MORE IN
Interior Design

WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP WITH?

Don't Miss

x