Habits are like snowballs. They start out small but with time they roll along, gathering more snow and mud, and before you know it they're the size of boulders. When it comes to maintaining a home, our habits are what determine how the house looks and the vibe it gives off. For example, if you do not have a habit of clearing dishes after dinner, your home will soon start to smell of stale food. On the other hand, a habit like making the bed as soon as you wake up will charge you with positive energy for the day and give you an organized bedroom.
But breaking a habit is easier said than done. Changing a habit requires a determined effort to change the way you do something you have been doing for years. Psychologists say an activity needs to be done the same way for 15-21 days continuously for it to become a habit. The first step to changing a habit is to recognize bad habits. Often a bad habit goes unrecognized until someone else points it out. This can get embarrassing so here are a few habits to check and change.
With the number of dead skin cells we shed as we sleep, not to mention the drool and sweat and dust that is trapped in the sheet fibers, bed sheets can become breeding grounds for germs if not cleaned regularly. Don’t wait to see visible dirt before changing the bed linen. Make changing the bed linen once a week part of your routine while making the bed.
This includes fresh bed sheets, pillow cases, bed covers, duvet covers and pillows that dress your bed. Between taking off the old covers and putting on fresh ones, dust out pillows and duvets to air them. To make this task easier for yourself, simplify your bedding and get rid of extra cushions and pillows. With fresh linen, your bedroom will have a new look every week and will smell fresher too.
Buying matching bed sheets and pillows are boring and limit your creativity. Not only this, you’ll also end up buying a whole new bed linen set even if just one pillow case from your existing set goes missing or gets torn. Instead, express yourself by mixing and matching cushion covers, pillow cases and bed sheets that reflect your personality.
When putting together bed linen, using a common color to bind the elements while varying patterns and trims will help create a harmonious look.
The upholstery shown here is available from Bemz based in Stockholm.
Toiletries like shampoo bottles picked up from the hotel and half used cans of hairspray can create clutter before you know it. Buying toiletries in bulk may seem like a good idea to begin with but given their shelf life they often expire before they can be used.
Make it a habit to only buy as much as you need. This habit is one that can be followed not only for toiletries but for all your shopping. Begin the change by decluttering your toiletry drawer and getting rid of all the products that are past their expiry date.
You can’t go wrong by painting a ceiling white, but what’s interesting about a white ceiling? Instead, add character to your ceilings by painting them in unexpected colours. When used correctly, there is no colour that isn’t suited to a ceiling.
Painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls is suitable for large rooms and can make the space seem cozy while for a smaller room you could choose a lighter hue of the wall colour. You could even use wallpaper to decorate your ceiling. False ceilings with cove lighting and POP moldings are other out-there ways to ornament an otherwise lacklustre ceiling.
Have you ever opened a bottle of jam in the pantry only to find out that it had expired months ago? If you have a habit of buying food in large amounts and storing it this is a likely possibility. Not only is it wasteful, it is also an expensive habit and therefore a necessary one to break.
Make a change by shopping only with lists and not buying more than what you need. Schedule a day in the month to check your pantry inventory and get rid of food that has expired. Do the same for your refrigerator once a fortnight.
We all have a tendency to hoard, but hoarding is equivalent to collecting clutter. How many of those plastic spoons that come with takeout food have you really used? Make it a habit to not collect things just because you think they may come in use later. On a daily basis, set aside a few minutes to go through your mail so that it does not form a pile on the table. Unsubscribe to mailers that you no longer need.
Once a week, empty your drawers of all the clutter you have hoarded over the years and throw it out or give it to someone who actually needs it. The only things you should hold on to are things that you are emotionally invested in and family heirlooms.
With home décor there are no rules so why does a girl’s bedroom have to be pink? Break away from gender stereotypes and express yourself freely. Home chores should be equally divided between all the members of the family so that no one person is burdened with it. Balance floral prints with leather and dark polishes with dainty furniture to break away from gender stereotypes.
Changing habits is easier when you have a support system. Find a grocery shopping buddy who’s willing to shop with you every week so that you don’t have to stock up for a month at a time. Breaking a habit is hard so don’t try and do everything at once. Pick a habit you’d like to change and work on it before picking another. Above all, have patience with yourself.
For more interesting ideas read 6 ways to declutter your home the sensible way.