Right around the month of August each year, I begin to crave change. I’m ready for a fresh start, a change of scenery, a new routine. And perhaps more than anything…I’m ready for a change on the thermostat. The great thing about this craving is that it is energizing. As the temperatures (finally!) begin to cool down, my energy level goes up. I’m ready to begin new projects and freshen up my home a bit. It’s my August version of New Year’s resolutions!
If you’re craving a fresh start, too, just ahead are 10 ideas to satisfy your craving by reenergizing your home, your schedule and your life.
- Declutter your flat surfaces. Nothing energizes a space like some quick and simple surface decluttering. Clear your flat surfaces by grabbing a timer and an empty container. Set your timer for seven minutes and spend this time filling your container with anything you see that doesn’t belong in the room you are in. When the timer dings, reset it for eight minutes and return the items to the place where they belong. You might be amazed at what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes!
- Declutter your dish towels and pot holders. Unless you’re particularly attached to your dish towels and pot holders, this is a simple project that will freshen up your kitchen and create some breathing room in your drawers. Discard any towels that are torn, stained or faded. Replace them with new towels and pot holders in a color or pattern the makes you happy.
- Pot some herbs for your kitchen window sill. While your herb garden is still growing strong, take a few cuttings and place them in a vase of water. After a few weeks, when you see roots, transfer your little herb plants into brightly colored pots. Place your pots on a sunny window sill in your kitchen. Not only will your home feel fresh and invigorated, but you will, too, when you enjoy fresh herbs all year long.
- Rearrange the furniture. One of my favorite things to do when I was a child was rearrange the furniture in my bedroom, and now years later, I find myself going into my son’s bedroom only to see that he has done the same thing! Rearranging furniture is a free and simple way to energize your home. And if you find the new arrangement doesn’t work as well as the old one, it’s simple enough to move it back next time you’re ready for a change.
- Declutter + rearrange your home accessories. If you’re not up for rearranging the furniture, a simpler alternative is to change up your home accessories. Pick a room and give each item in that space a second look to make sure you still love it enough to have it out on display. Put any items you no longer want into a donation box and place items you’d like to put away for now in a storage area in your home. Then, sit back and enjoy the fresh new view.
- Try a new dish. Are you tired of the same old thing for dinner? Spend a few minutes browsing through a favorite cookbook or recipe website picking out a new dish or two to try. Add the needed ingredients to your grocery list and then give yourself permission to enjoy the process of creating and tasting something new to eat.
- Get a new calendar. While January is the traditional new calendar month, if your current calendar isn’t working for you or you’re simply ready for a new view on your appointments and to-dos, consider getting a new calendar this month. Look for academic calendars which could get you through the rest of this year and well into the next.
- Create fresh routines. If you have kids getting ready to go back to school, your routine is about to change soon. So why not decide to intentionally freshen up your daily or weekly routine? What things could you create time for that would keep you energized in the weeks and months ahead? Would you like to schedule in regular exercise, time to make progress on your goals, reading time or time to spend enjoying a long-lost hobby? Next time your schedule changes, use it as an opportunity to add something just for you into your new routine.
- Incorporate weekly planning into your routine. A terrific way to keep your schedule (and you!) energized is to establish a specific time each week to plan the week ahead. My favorite time for weekly planning is Sunday afternoon…but pick a time that suits you. Then, find a quiet place to escape with your to-do list and calendar, and create a simple plan that prioritizes the items on your to-do list. It’s likely your week won’t go exactly as planned, but with a bit of preplanning you’ll be sure that your top priority items get their fair share of your time and attention.
- Listen to your own voice. If you are craving a fresh start, change of scenery or shift in your energy, chances are that deep down you know what you want and need. Listen to that voice. Maybe one of the ideas on the list above resonated with you or maybe you have your own ideas for creating a fresh start. Either way, listen to your voice…and then, go make it happen.