If there’s one thing the pandemic has shown us, we now know the importance of creating a functional and comfortable abode for ourselves. You may be thinking of sprucing up your home after spending so much time homebound over the past two years.
A well-planned home improvement project can help raise the quality of our day-to-day life without breaking the bank. Any property management professional will also agree that it can make our home a more attractive option if we decide to rent or sell it someday.
Start by asking these three questions about your home:
What poses a danger to me in the house? Examples: fire, fall, cuts, etc.
- What creates hindrances to my daily life?
- What prevents me from sustaining meaningful habits?
Here are two simple ways to make your living space more functional and inviting without spending any money:
Whether we have just moved into a new place or stayed at our family home for years, we would have accumulated a vast amount of belongings. Think clothes, books, kitchenware, electronic spare parts, and… We may realize that some of them have been left unused or unseen for a long time.
But we may find it difficult to let go of these possessions because 1) we are emotionally attached to the memories behind these items, and 2) we worry that we might need them someday. But if they pose potential hazards to you, it may be wiser to let them go.
Give these items a second lease of life. For items in good condition, you can either donate them to your local charity or give them away to friends or family. Otherwise, consider repurposing them. Doing this will not void or change the memories associated with them. Instead, upcycling them will create more meaning when others and yourself benefit from the creative DIY process and their renewed purposes.
Letting go of or repurposing your possessions can help reset not just your living space, but your perspective on life too. It can prompt us to reflect on our growth, make peace with our past, and most importantly, consider who we want to be now.
If the process of decluttering scares you, find one to two belongings to get rid of or repurpose every week. Instead of doing a mass spring cleaning session every year, decluttering in a small quantity weekly can help make the seemingly arduous task more manageable. Decluttering regularly can also remind you to be more intentional in future purchases and boost your mood.
Rearrange Your Furniture
Before changing the layout of your home, consider the function of each space, traffic flow (i.e., how you move around a particular space), and lighting (natural and artificial). Chances are, you may find some inconveniences and shortcomings that you have gotten used to them over time.
For instance, you may be hitting against your coffee table or display cabinet while exercising in your living room. You may be waking up at the slightest hint of light or sounds from your bedroom window. Working in the same room as your partner, children, or other family members is often more distracting than productive. Using another space may not always be an option— rearranging your existing furniture can help you use any given space better.
Repositioning your furniture in the living room can help protect you against injuries during your workouts. You can also explore a wider range of workouts since space is no longer a limitation. Shifting your bed away from the windows may help you achieve a deeper and more restful sleep. Likewise, rearranging your shared workspace can help create more privacy for each of you, reducing interruptions to your workflow and disagreements within the family.
Optimizing your living space can also help you keep up with healthy habits you struggle to sustain. Case in point: you may find it difficult to commit to your workout routine if your go-to spot in the house is often cluttered. Instead of chiding yourself for your lack of self-discipline, consider how you have to exert extra effort to clear the space, adding to the inertia of starting altogether and sustaining your workouts.
Your inability to sustain a habit is closely related to where you practice it. Unless you change or make changes to your environment, you will continue to struggle to make a habit last. Rearranging your furniture introduces that change; it allows you to rewire your associations even if you use the same location, disrupting the unconscious thought pattern that causes you to forgo your workouts when it is messy.
The best home is optimized to stay true to your most present needs. Finding the most fitting arrangement will take trial and error, but don’t let this laborious one-time effort stop you from reclaiming control over your home—and your life.