Home Habits I Hope to Leave Behind in the New Year
By: Sarah Lyon
The start of a new year is all about putting those holiday decorations away and welcoming a clean slate and new beginnings. While I do have some loftier personal and professional goals that I hope to achieve in 2022, I definitely also have a few smaller, home-related goals that I could stand to get started on...like, ASAP.
To start, here are four of my bad home habits that I most definitely need to leave behind once and for all!
Bad Habit #1: Not Doing a Daily Clean
When I worked in an office prior to the pandemic, I didn’t cause much ~disruption~ in my apartment throughout the week. Between commuting to work, sitting at a desk and then hitting the gym or a happy hour post-work, I usually didn’t return to my apartment until 7 or 8 at night most weekdays.
While I definitely ran myself a bit dry, this busy schedule also meant that I didn’t really have enough time at home to create a mess, so picking up after myself each and every day wasn’t super necessary. Now that I work for myself, have moved into a smaller space, and still maintain a busy social life, I need to be better about cleaning up my little daily messes as they happen.
It’s all too easy for shopping bags, remnants of online orders, and coffee mugs to pile up in my space, and guess what? This clutter really begins to overwhelm me! I need to be better about staring it in the face and tackling it, rather than telling myself I’ll do a big clean after work...because we all know that never actually happens.
One way I like to stay organized are trays! I love the versatility and design that a chic tray allows. I can group multiple items into a rectangular object - be it candles, books, unopened mail, you name it, and it still somehow looks...fashionable? So, I think to conquer #1 maybe purchasing more trays will be in order!
Bad Habit #2: Being Too Quick to Make Decorating Decisions
As a design lover and someone who is constantly exposed to new brands and products, cooling it a bit on my impulse home buys is going to be a toughie. But I’ve found that I’m happier with the home purchases that I really thought about in advance or made after living in my space for some time. (Don’t ask me about the time I ordered a dresser before moving into my apartment unit, only to realize after living there for a week that it wouldn’t fit my design or layout scheme at all).
We all know that being more intentional with purchases can really do no harm. Unless I’m shopping vintage and risk losing out on a one of a kind purchase, I plan to be thoughtful ahead of buying home items—because this girl only has so much space, anyway!
I think for the new year, one approach would to be more mindful (and organized) in my decor purchases. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I can't resist a Facebook Marketplace steal or a quirky antique find. Yet, planning out certain purchases (and how they'll work in my space) is a first step to quelling my impulse buys and dressers of regret!
Bad Habit #3: Not Being Mindful In My Food Purchases
Living in a big city means that it’s easy to pop by a grocery store, fruit stand, or bodega at any given moment. Plus, because I do have a fair amount of dinners out scheduled within a given week, I usually do a few small grocery runs on an ad-hoc basis rather than stocking up for the long haul.
I never want to risk buying too much, only to remember that I actually do have a work lunch the next day and won’t have time to eat that pack of salad mix before it expires. That said, even with this strategy at play, I still somehow manage to buy duplicates of items I already have or forget about goodies that I did pick up and was so excited about at the time.
This is an extremely wasteful habit, both in terms of time, money, and environmental factors. This year, I’m making it a priority to be better about meal prep and planning so that I reduce my food waste and save money!
In an effort to consciously display certain food items where I can see them - like apples or bananas - I've found that stylish bowls atop the counter can work wonders! It doesn't look like I've accidentally bought five more apples, more so that I'm just awaiting my next ~ healthy ~ snack. And if you keep certain items in your sight, you're less likely to purchase more or forget about them in the first place.
Bad Habit #4: Focusing Too Much on Trends
I love a good trend, but in the new year, I want to continue focusing on being true to my own style rather than shopping for the things I see #trending on social media. It’s more fun to have unique items anyway (if possible)! I sometimes feel the urge to purchase the latest “it” products on a whim (as I alluded in #2), but I need to remind myself that if these aren’t items that will make me happy or contribute to my aesthetic, I don’t need ‘em.
And frankly, we should all apply that approach for 2022.
By Sarah Lyon: Sarah Lyon is a New York City-based freelance writer who contributes to a number of national design and lifestyle publications like Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Sarah also works with designers to help them style spaces for photo shoots. Find more shelfies on her Instagram page, @sarahlyon9