Get your home ready for the New Year

The season for spring-cleaning may be months away, but nothing beats starting a brand new year with a clean, clutter-free home. It may be hard to imagine getting rid of junk at a time when everyone is busy hanging Christmas lights, decorating trees with tinsel, and bringing out cartons of holiday accessories stored in the attic, but emptying your space of unnecessary items while making room for the season’s festivities can recharge you and give you more gumption to get your house holiday-ready.
Cleaning house is not the only way you can prepare your home for the coming new year. Redecoration and renovation may be out of the question at such a busy time of year, but simple and easy décor and design solutions here and there can give your spirit a boost and get you (and your home) ready to celebrate the coming festivities with a bang.

1. Inspiration area. What do you want the New Year to be? Each member of your family may have his or her own interpretation—the kids might be looking forward to a year of accomplishing goals in school or in their extracurricular activities. You may want to spend more time making healthy homemade meals in the kitchen. Find a blank wall in your home (or even just a small portion of a wall) and cover it in cork or blackboard paint—have everyone write down, pin up, draw, or doodle what they want 2013 to be. Not only will your space be an inspiration to everyone all year through, decorating it with the whole family can make for a fun, year-end activity that you all can reminisce come next New Year’s Eve.

2. Clean-up counter. If you’re finding it challenging to figure out what, among the junk you’ve hoarded over the last few months, to throw out at the end of the year, go easy on yourself and set up a small clean-up counter on your desk, breakfast nook, or in the living room. Put out a basket or a pretty catchall and pair it off with a small notepad. At least once a day, when you pass that area of your home, write down one thing that you would like to rid yourself of but haven’t had the chance to. At the end of the year, go through all the notes you’ve collected and start your clean-up! Families can take it one step further and write notes dedicated to other family members—daring each other to let go of things you don’t need can actually keep you motivated.

3. Start with one corner. Ever wanted to completely redecorate but have always found the task to be too daunting? Select a tiny part of your space now and decorate only that. It could be your vanity, your bedroom side table, or even the landing of your stairs. Do with it what you’ve always wanted to do—regardless of how the rest of your home looks like. Even just a square foot space, when decorated the way you’ve always wanted, can spark inspiration for the rest of the year.


Have any home and organizing questions for the author? Email her at

Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.


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