January is the month where some of us feel a little sad after the holiday decorations come down, myself included. Once the dust settles, it is human nature to want to start a new year on a clean slate. Some folks translate a clean slate as a total do-over, and that notion seems so daunting that they do nothing at all. A clean slate, in most cases, does not require a full overhaul, but simply a change that makes us feel different or better simply because we feel a breath of fresh air come into our homes. That can be a simple change like paint color, or a new area rug, or some new throw pillows, or even updating lamp shades. And if you feel you need more than that to really make you feel like you have a clean slate, make a plan to do one thing a month or even a quarter to create change in your home. By the end of 2013, you will feel a true sense of accomplishment.
I admittedly have the ‘all or nothing’ disease. I am such a queen of commitment, that I am ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ and there is no in between. However, I realized in my waiting to have the means to do everything at once, I was just piling up things I wanted to do in and around my home’s interior and exterior and creating stress from my growing ‘to-do’ list. My husband, who is not inflicted with the ‘all or nothing’ disease finally got through to me this past year, and here I sit in December of 2012 feeling a sense of accomplishment that my list got smaller, and I have indeed made some progress. For example, while I was unable to replace all of our outdoor patio furniture in one clean sweep, I was able to at least replace three pieces of it and know for sure the direction I am headed with the remainder of my selections. While I would like to replace a good bit of the landscaping with new flowers and plants, some of it was addressed and going forward, the remainder of it will also be addressed in stages. Painting the exterior of our home was another item that has been on the list for the past two years, but because I had also hoped to remodel our outdoor utility room along with it and couldn’t afford to do both, neither was getting done. I am happy to say 2012 was the year the exterior was painted. No, the utility room was not touched, but I sure am enjoying pulling up to my new paint colors and freshened up exterior all because of the power of paint. In a nutshell, I want to share the lesson of working in stages and shedding the ‘all or nothing’ syndrome so many of us have. That applies to diet, exercise, decorating, etc. It’s an across-the-board disease that many of us apply to many facets of our lives. If we fall off the diet wagon one day, we feel we have ruined it so we just stay off the wagon. If we go a week without hitting the gym, we feel hopeless and keep the trend going. It’s really sad the way we can sabotage ourselves, isn’t it?
Since my wheelhouse is decorating, I will stick to what I know best. Because my business caters to the middle market, I am well versed in working one room at a time with clients, and think that is a smart way to go. As I have mentioned in past articles, it is more satisfying to complete one room in its entirety before moving to the next versus doing one thing in three rooms, for example. You will really feel like you are making headway like this. It doesn’t mean you have to overhaul one room in a day. It may take you months to be able to purchase or tackle everything you’d like in that one space, but by concentrating on one room at a time, when you complete that space, you will feel lighter and more focused when the time comes to move to the next area. It will also help you with flow. When one room is complete, it is able to talk to the neighboring spaces. It sets the tone and gives you a true map as to where you are headed. It may turn out that completing one room in its entirety is all that happens in your home in 2013, but you will be able to cross out a line item on your own to-do list and feel like you really made progress. The same applies to your outdoor living spaces. Use this rule of thumb across the board and you will feel more focused, determined, and accomplished.
In closing, I hope the biggest lesson we all learn for ourselves in 2013 is not to be so hard on ourselves. Baby steps really do get us to our destination, even if it takes longer than we’d like. Enjoy the journey, and with that, the results will follow. Make getting to the end of 2013 with change having been made in your life and in your home a goal. You will enjoy and respect your nest more than you did in 2012, and with that, your home will reflect the progress you have made and send positive messages back to you about just how wonderful you really are. Like Glenda the Good Witch said in “The Wizard of Oz,” “You’ve always had the power.”