The fireworks have burst into the sky to welcome the New Year, and the Christmas decorations are coming down. Most of us are returning to work after vacation.
As you return home from holiday travels or finish the last of that leftover turkey, it’s time to mull over what you hope to create in 2018. As a Texan, your dreams can be as large as the state itself.
New Year’s resolutions are easiest to fulfill when your home fosters an environment that pushes you toward those goals. Here are some ways to prepare your home for making the most of 2018:
1. Robust kitchen = healthy family
Healthy eating begins in your home kitchen. As you prepare to live more intentionally in the new year, giving yourself real energy through healthy meals and snacks will be the fuel to knock all those big resolutions out of the park!
Organize your kitchen with convenience in mind. Remember that when you are hungry, it’s easiest to forgo preparing a meal and go with cheaper, less healthy eating options. Instead of hiding pots and pans under one another in hard to reach areas, make your cookery more accessible. You want the process of preparing a meal or a healthy snack to be the easiest solution when hunger growls.
As far as healthy snacks are concerned, set aside a bowl in your kitchen or dining area where fruit is always fresh and on display. Peel an orange instead of digging through the pantry. Keep almonds and cheese sticks readily available.
When shopping at the supermarket, try to avoid the center aisles. If you stay around the edges of the supermarket, you’ll load up in the healthy areas—produce, meats, dairy—and miss out on all the boxes and bags of processed food at the center of the store. The goal is to always keep your Texas home stocked with healthy eating options.
2. Mindful living room
A television does not have to be the focal point of your living room. In fact, lining your walls with books and pictures can lead to more meaningful conversations, connections, and opportunities to reminisce and read.
Books are conversation starters. Put your favorites on proud display. As far as the television is concerned, mount it in a room where you must be intentional about watching a show or film. If televisions are the central point of your main living room, it’s easy to fall into habits of watching too much. Make watching television an intentional experience, not a passive one.
Consider the goals of your living room. Do you host parties? Face couches toward one another to emphasize conversation. Do you love to read? Put a bright reading light beside your most comfortable chair.
When it comes to travel, make sure you are in the pictures that you take. Sites are beautiful, but it’s the memories and the people that make those times special. As you decorate your home with pictures, make sure your walls contain the many smiling faces of those you love.
Make your living room your own by designing it with your priorities in mind.
3. Save money
Preparing your home for the new year can mean finding ways to save money at home. The holidays have a tendency of running many of our bank accounts dry with gift and travel purchases. Here are some ways to set up your Texas home to make you more money-conscious and a better saver in 2018:
Maintain shopping lists: Whether it is on your fridge, calendar, or phone, make it easy to fill out. Maintaining a shopping list ensures that you don’t take trips to the store while forgetting to purchase some of your depleted essentials. This can also help you eat out less insofar as it gives more organization and options to your home pantry.
Drink more water: This is in the same vein as maintaining a robust kitchen. Instead of spending money on sodas at the grocery store or when you are out to eat, stick to the beverage that hydrates you AND saves you money.
Spend time to save money: Solving problems around your home shouldn’t always demand a checkbook or credit card. Do it yourself! One of the many benefits of living in the time of YouTube and blogs is our easy-access to information. Much of that information is laid out in simple how-to fashion to help homeowners save time, money, and energy on tasks that used to more challenging to find.
Browse thrift stores before making big purchases: You never know where you’ll find a lightly used couch or kitchen table, but the discovery can save you thousands of dollars. Turn furnishing your home into an adventure. Don’t rush yourself—wait for the deals that are too good to turn down.
4. Set up your home workspace for maximum productivity
2018 will be a productive year. That dream you’ve been trying to achieve, that goal you’ve been thrilled to check off your to-do list—it all gets done one little step at a time. The best way to stay focused is to set up a home workspace where it is easy to focus and complete everything you need to get done.
A productive home office requires privacy. If you can, position your office in an area of the house where you won’t be distracted by other people or events going on throughout the home. Distinguishing your workspace also can help you develop a comfortable work-life balance.
Maximize your home office space with the technology and information you need to get work done. Make your calendar easy to read and update. Store important documents near your workspace so you do not have to leave the room every time bills or taxes need to be paid.
5. Design with utility and safety in mind
Technology is evolving faster than ever. That means home tech is more available than ever to provide safety and utility to your Texas home. Invest in the devices you know will be best for your house. If greater security is your priority, consider installing a camera that offers surveillance straight to your smartphone!
There’s some technology that seems exciting but doesn’t necessarily bring much help to your home. Instead of wasting money, think critically about how much utility any new technology will have in your home. For some families, purchasing a Roomba to vacuum certain rooms is an awesome time-saver, and to others, a technology that’s seldom used.