As 2020 fades, you may have made some big adjustments in your home. For example, you may have an office in a bedroom or closet, or you might have a schoolroom in your basement. Changing things up in 2021 can utilize those locations in new ways.
Brighten Things Up
Breakaway from the stark minimalist whites and plain black hardware to achieve a brighter feel. For example, consider adding a soffit light above your kitchen cabinets or a frosted pendant globe over an island to create ambient light. Such electrical and lighting solutions may require learning some new skills.
Whenever you work with electricity, shut things off at the source. If you’re on your own, plug-in a radio with no batteries near the switch you’re working on and turn up the sound. Go to your breaker box and flip the switch to turn off the radio, then test the light. It should be dark. If you’re working with a renovation partner, use the words “heat” and “cold” to share information about the status of the light as you switch breakers, rather than trying to shout “on” or “off” across the house. Finally, be careful once you’re inside the switch; just because the power to that particular light is off doesn’t mean that there isn’t a hot wire inside the switch.
Many homes have a lot of electrical gear, games, televisions, and tablets. While these can make for fun family nights, make sure you also have a spot for quiet and calm. This can be as simple as setting up a swing or hammock chair near a window and loading the space with plants.
As possible, make this a low-noise area. If you have small children and struggle to find a little privacy, you may need to block out time to enjoy this chair before they’re up or after you get everyone into bed. Put on your headphones and enjoy an audiobook or a favorite musician as you use this spot to focus, meditate or just wind down.
Pick the part of your hours that makes you crazy, turn on some energizing music, and put things right. Sort through the space. Decide:
- What belongs here?
- How much space do I have to work with?
- Do I need to be able to see everything I need to store, or can I bin it?
- What’s my budget?
High end wood shelves with pretty baskets can be lovely, but if your budget is more Dollar Store, you can still get on top of your organizational needs. For example, you can mark the studs and hang heavy duty screw-in hooks. Once the hooks are in, you can hang plastic baskets in your laundry room to make sorting things easier. You can hang a shoe organizer to hold your cleaning products. These simple changes can make your life much easier to manage in just an afternoon of work.
Combine Work and Fun
If you need an office for a side hustle or a new job but just don’t have the space, create a corner for yourself in your TV space. A small table can serve as a desk, and a standing screen can give you an office door.
Once your computer is up and running, make sure you invest in a good office chair that suits your size. Additionally, treat yourself to a pair of noise-canceling headphones and invite your family members to wear theirs while you’re working and they’re watching TV.
Pair Landscape and Food
Outdoors, consider adding edibles into your landscape. For example, zucchini plants are beautiful in the landscape. An apple tree will take time to get established, and you may need to pair it with a pollinator, but it will increase your self-sufficiency in the future.
If your yard is small, consider putting in pots for veggies or adding a plant shelf just inside a window. There are many tools for growing your own indoor garden that can improve your diet and expand your community.
Temporary changes to your home, such as building a small office or hanging some plants, can greatly improve your satisfaction with your space. If you’re ready for more light in your kitchen or really need a relaxation spot, you can increase your skill set and learn to make small improvements to customize your home.