Best of the Web: Easy Tips to Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is just around the corner, and with it come resolutions to make 2014 an even better, brighter year than the previous one. The holiday has its own customs, many of which revolve around the home. It’s said that the first person to step into your home after midnight predicts the kind of year you’ll have, and a visitor bearing lucky gifts for the household guarantees good fortune. Some say that nothing should leave the house on New Year’s Day to prevent the luck of the household from leaving along with it, but others believe it’s the perfect day to take out old items and bring in something new. This week’s collection of bloggers have suggestions that guarantee success for your home organizing and decorating resolutions – no luck required.

Joshua Becker

After the holiday whirl, the simplicity of minimalism has undeniable appeal. Joshua with Becoming Minimalist has a list of suggestions for making 2014 simple yet fulfilling by banishing clutter, reducing stress and embracing new experiences. He’s teamed up with other bloggers and authors who have streamlined their lives and welcomes readers to join the conversation about ways to move toward minimalism in the new year. The year-long series is also available as a guided course with e-books and feature articles, but if you’re looking for ways to pare down before a move or simplify your life, Joshua’s circle of bloggers is an excellent place to start.

Personal To-Do List

When it’s time to get organized, many people start with the to-do list. Too often, that’s where organizational efforts end; a lengthy list can seem overwhelming and defy your efforts to work your way through it. At Lifehacker, Belle Beth Cooper delves into the history of the to-do list and offers some suggestions for writing more useful versions yourself. It isn’t always enough to write down your resolutions. A prioritized, linear to-do list that includes next steps instead of a jumbled bunch of things you need to accomplish reduces stress and provides a relevant road map for finding your way through a project. With nods to David Allen’s GTD method of prioritizing and to Benjamin Franklin as the possible creator of the modern to-do list, the article is filled with advice you can implement today.

Colleen Madsen

One of the greatest challenges facing anyone who embarks on an organizing or decluttering project is deciding what to keep. Colleen Madsen, the author of 365 Less Things, has a great list of guidelines to steer you through the decision-making process. By asking questions of yourself as you sort, you’ll arrive at your own answer about whether to keep or donate an item, suggests the organization expert. Her tips address the emotions attached to items and offers ways to maintain the memories while reclaiming more living space in your home. By going beyond the usual recommendations to create stacks for keeping and giving away, Colleen creates a more nuanced organizing process.

Home Staging Design Idea

Sometimes, pictures are far better inspiration than words. Amber Lewis with Amber Interior Design has a great picture-heavy feature post this month called “Take It or Leave It” that showcases some unusual design ideas. While some home staging experts aim for neutral hues and subdued designs, these rooms make boldly declarative decor statements. Whether you love them or hate them, the rooms Amber features will provoke plenty of discussion for families considering a change. Her timely post is perfect for a new year’s resolution to create a fresh look that puts your personality into every room of your home.

Barn Door Design

For many home owners, the New Year is a time for transformations both large and small. You don’t need to outfit every room in the home with new furniture and paint to enjoy a makeover; small, thrifty changes can also make a tremendous difference. For proof, see what Kristine at The Painted Hive has done with a conventional pair of white folding doors to turn them into barn doors that add architectural interest. She’s illustrated her blog with pictures of the plain doors before their makeover, the virtual conceptualization and the finished piece in all its rustic charm. Her step-by-step instructions make this a fantastic weekend project for homeowners who want to add character to an often forgotten space.

Perfect Kitchen Shelf

For another small change that makes a big impact, visit Brooke at All Things Thrifty to discover how she found the one thing her kitchen was missing: the perfect shelf. For her eclectic kitchen with farmhouse charm, she sought something equally rustic to showcase her vintage accessories and homemade jams. Your own kitchen may have cool contemporary style or a sleek professional look, but the spirit of finding just the right thing for a space remains the same. It took Brooke four years to find the right mix of practicality and beauty for her kitchen shelf, but it’s never too early to start searching for the little things that add up to big style.

Winter Wonderland Mantel

If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to embark on more home improvement projects, you aren’t alone. Roeshel at DIY Show Off has been busy redoing her family room throughout the holiday season, and she has a step-by-step plan for turning an ordinary decorative mirror into something unique with frosted glass paint, stencils and tape. Mirrors are favorite accents for home staging because they open up a room, and adding a frosted design to mirrors lends the light they reflect a beautiful soft-focus quality. Roeshel’s example features a stag that fits with her room’s colorful woodland-inspired theme, but the concept can be adapted to suit any decor.

Unclutterer Logo

Organizing experts often focus on how to tame clutter without delving too deeply into why clutter happens. The emotional side of dealing with disorganization is the subject of Jeri Dansky’s post at Unclutterer. She suggests ways to rid your home of the things that weigh you down. Whether it’s a memento of an unpleasant time in your past, a project you never quite finished or a holdover from previous homes that no longer fits into your current lifestyle, clearing your home of items with negative associations can free you of more than clutter, she writes. What better time than the new year to fill your home with beauty and inspiration?

Whether you’re planning a New Year’s Eve bash or a quiet evening at home, ring in 2014 by welcoming change. Turning over a new calendar page gives you an opportunity to transform your home, simplify your life and accomplish new goals.

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The Storage Queens

We know a thing or two about moving. Together, we share the best tips in organizing, storage, navigating your city, and more!

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