Happy New Year from Tumbleweed Tidings! I realize that one week has already gone by, but here comes 2018, and it all begins with January. The first month of the year is traditionally a time of reflection and a sense of “starting over” with a somewhat empty calendar in front of us. Typically, I am more prone to goal setting than resolution making, but January is the perfect month for many other things as well. Here are a few of the items I like to tackle in January.
- Refresh our home decor. When removing Christmas decorations, it is the perfect opportunity to hit the reboot on stale decorating. I know I get “stuck” and tend to leave things in the same place, sometimes for years on end. So, If you put away year-round décor to make way for Christmas, try putting it back in a new location or in a new, creative way. Just because that tray is always on the coffee table doesn’t mean it has to stay there forever. Move it to the dining room table and find something interesting to replace it with. January is the perfect time to shake things up a bit and change not only tabletop displays, but furniture arrangement, as well. Moving furniture is free and can really change the look and feel of your environment. You can even, *gasp*, move furniture from one room to another to freshen things up. That pretty chair in the guest room that no one sees could come into the living room or entry and become the star that it was meant to be. Even just a small change can make a room feel fresh.
- January is a great time to change your color palette. If you have fairly neutral furniture pieces like I do, it is easy to alter the entire personality of a room just by changing out the pillows, candles, vases, or wall art. With so many reasonable options out there to purchase these items, it is the most cost effective and impactful way to make your space look entirely different. Maybe you are just dying to try a little eggplant. Get a couple of pillows and give it a try. For very little investment, you can experiment with the wide array of color combinations available today.
- January is a great time to anchor your space with a new area rug. Large box stores and discounted home décor retailers sell area rugs for reasonable prices. If you live in an area that is cold in the winter, you will appreciate the warmth of having an area rug underfoot. In the summer, it can be rolled up and saved for the next year. An area rug is a great way to reinforce a color scheme or add interesting texture and functionality to a room.
- January is a great time to purge. Go through your clothes closets and see if there are items that can be either donated or sold at a consignment shop. The kitchen cupboards and décor closets can also be a target rich environment for purging. We had a stand mixer that we rarely used, and it was taking up valuable real estate in the kitchen cupboard. We listed it for sale on an online site and a husband came and bought it for his wife within one day of us listing it. We were $100 richer and it went to a home of someone who really wanted it. The same for my food sealer machine. When I purchased it, I had high hopes and fancy plans for all of the money I would save sealing up our bulk foods and leftovers. For me, it was just more of a hassle to get it out and warmed up than to just put the items in either a zip lock freezer bag or a snap and seal container. Again, we sold it for almost full price to a woman who had wanted one “forever.” I hope she is enjoying it, because I sure enjoy the extra cupboard space!
- With tax season looming ahead, January is when I reserve an afternoon to get all of our tax records in order. If you don’t itemize deductions, you can skip this bullet. But if you do, January is a good time to organize your all of the tax deductible items. Whether you do your taxes yourself or take them to a CPA or other tax preparer, organization of these records will make the process a lot smoother. Don’t ask me how I know this.
- For some, January is a good time for goal setting and making lists. Where do you want to travel or spend vacation time in the next year? Are there changes you want to make to benefit your health or finances? My husband and I are going to make a concerted effort to go out to eat less often. Since he retired and has been home for the past two years, we have slipped into the habit of running errands and going out to lunch a couple of times a week. Then there are the occasional dinners out, either alone or with friends, and lunch after church some weeks. When you add this all up, it is not only expensive, but has not been kind to our waistlines. January can also be the right time to evaluate any career or personal goals regarding advancement opportunities, educational endeavors, or hobbies. Maybe it’s time to take some photography or cooking classes, learn to quilt, read more, volunteer at the hospital, or finish your MBA. Whatever it is, write down the steps to get started and take action. NOTE: Goals work best when they are quantifiable. Read two books per month, take one Intro to Photography class, or volunteer 4 hours per week are good, measurable goals. Using less technology or going out to eat less are pretty hard to measure. In our case, we set up a reasonable dollar limit on dining out each month, which will make it an achievable and measurable goal.
- Finally, January can be a wonderful month to hunker down at home and enjoy a slower pace. After what, for some of us, can be the hectic months of November and December, January is the perfect month to watch movies, catch up on reading, or tackle some of the other projects mentioned above. If you are not lucky enough to fly off to a warm tropical locale, winter can be a lovely time of reflecting on past accomplishments and looking forward to what the next year will bring. All while cleaning out your closets and purging, of course:)
Personally, I am looking forward to bringing you more useful, and I hope inspiring, content on the blog this year, full of decorating ideas, recipes, and projects that I think you will enjoy.
It is my hope and prayer that 2018 will bring you peace, happiness, good health, and many, many good tidings!