Abby Stone is a writer/producer living in Los Angeles, California. She is a daily contributor to popular design network Apartment Therapy, penning columns for both the Los Angeles site and the green-focused Re-Nest. In addition to design, she has written articles on food, movies, art, fashion and personalities and has won multiple awards for her fiction.
January is the traditional time to make a fresh start. There’s something about a new year that feels like a green light to get it right. We’ve made it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the celebration of the new year. There’s a cheerful buoyancy in the spirit and a sense of optimism that energizes us to tackle the goals and resolutions we’ve set for ourselves.
But, before I race ahead, I like to have a clean, fresh foundation from which to begin, so cleaning and organizing are at the top of my list of things to do. To make these tasks more play than work, I’ve chosen items that speak to finding joy in the small sensory pleasures that can be found in even the smallest of tasks.
Having an uncluttered place to rest starts me off on the right foot to tackle whatever needs to be done. I adore beautiful bed linens and they’re a great way to pamper yourself.
I’d love to have these pillowcases adorning my bed — and they might even convince me to make my bed every morning, just so they’d be plump, fluffy and inviting at night. By branchhandmade, $18.
A little lavender spray makes your bedroom smell great. Lavender’s also a great sleep aid when you’re trying to get yourself back on a regular schedule after the frantic pace of the holidays. By LauriesLavender, $8.
Fresh flowers by the bed are a treat for the senses and a pleasant reminder that spring is just around the corner. These vases are quirky and only require one flower to each cylinder for maximum effect. You could also use it on a desk to hold pens, pencils, and a scissor, or in the bathroom to hold makeup brushes, a razor, tweezers and toothbrushes (to name a few ideas!). By annaspots, $39.
Putting on an apron lets my mind know that I’m getting down to business. I love the flirty skirt on this polka dotted number. Fun! By lemontreeaprons, $28.95.
Time to clean out the fridge. I love to make a big pot of soup out of all the odds and ends. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and it’s filling and warming in the winter. I always start by sautéing onions and this knife block by feelfeltfound would keep my knives in easy reach (instead of rattling around in the drawer). $110.
One of my new year’s resolutions is to cook more at home. It’s healthier and it saves money. This list makes it easy to organize my grocery runs. All you have to do is check things off. By LobotoME, $9.95.
My house gets very dusty so I try to dry mop my floors every day. Instead of using something disposable, I prefer these Swiffer mop covers. They do a great job, they’re pretty and they’re environmentally friendly. Just toss ’em in the wash when you’re done. By suncreationsemporium, $3.50.
Speaking of laundry, it seems mine is never done. Since my skin’s especially sensitive in the winter, I chose this natural vegan detergent. By showertreatsoap, $10.
These woolen dryer balls cut down on drying time…and they’ll look great piled in a bowl on my coffee table! By bksoapco, $14.95.
Rubber gloves protect your hands while you’re doing dirty or wet jobs. I like to put on a little hand cream before I slip them on. By freshstudio, $16.95.
Each year I start a new accordion file to organize my receipts and bills. I love this colorful version by paperpower. It puts a bright spot on a dreaded task so I’m much more likely to stay organized. $38.
Feng shui is about keeping your home, and therefore your life, in balance. A crystal in the window helps move the ch’i, or energy, around in your home. Frankly, I just love the rainbows that they create: an especially welcome sight on a dreary winter’s day. By charmedstory, $20.
At the end of the day, sit back, relax and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Start by ladling out some of that homemade soup you’ve made into this cozy mug. These mugs are not only a great size, but also a lovable wintry motif. A set of two means you can invite a guest over to witness the work you’ve done. By marywibis, $40.
The soup warms you up on the inside; a throw warms up your outside. I like a granny square throw in an otherwise modern home. It adds just the right amount of coziness. This blanket would be made even more modern in a black, white and gray pattern. By MariasCrochetShop, $50.
Here’s to a new year, friends! Enjoy it!