5-Minute Fixes for a Fresh Start

With nearly a week of the new year under our belts, it’s easy to get caught up in online posts featuring lists that showcase how to change your life for the better. Resolutions! Diets! Commitments!

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Has anyone ever kept one? I’d love to hear how you made it stick. I’ve never been a resolution kind of girl myself, but my word, the internet is predictably ablaze with ideas this time of year.

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Despite having little experience with resolutions, I always vow to kick off January with some sort of “fresh start.” For me, that fresh start happens in… you guessed it - the home! I jotted down my favorite 5-minute fixes that make me feel just a little more organized and on top of things around here. Next time you have 5-minutes to spare, set the timer and get ‘er done. Or, if you’re an overachiever, pick 6 of ‘em and have a super-productive half hour. Go you!

  1. Pop open the refrigerator and scan all of your goods. Toss any expired items. Condiments and items that sit on the door are notoriously stored longer than suggested. Enjoy the newfound space!
  2. Drag a chair or step ladder underneath your ceiling fan. Grab a rag & your all-purpose cleaning spray. Go. To. Town.
  3. Locate the drawer/basket/cabinet in your home that serves as the dumping ground for random mail, paperwork and receipts. We affectionately call this space in our home “The Junk Drawer.” Scan the papers and separate into piles: to file, to trash, to shred. File, trash, shred, smile. Repeat as necessary.
  4. Walk the perimeter around your home and driveway. Pick up any small branches or trash you may find. Toss the trash and stack the sticks. Instant curb appeal!
  5. Grab a dampened paper towel or rag and drag it over the top of any mirrors, frames or art you have in the home. You’d be amazed at what comes off the top. Less dust = cleaner air. Score.
  6. Scan the medicine cabinet for expired goods. Toss anything that is too old for comfort. Nyquil, Ibuprofen, cough drops and even Neosporin have shorter shelf lives than you may think.
  7. Put a cup of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the liquid to a boil. Let stand in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Open the microwave, remove the bowl, and wipe down the inside of the appliance with a paper towel or rag. Voila! A natural, clean, fresh way to easily remove all of those food splatters we tend to ignore for too long.
  8. Find a space for all of the items that sit atop the washer or dryer: corral all of the unpaired socks into one shopping bag for the matches that will eventually pop up and store the detergent, dryer sheets and fabric softener on a nearby shelf or cabinet within reach. Wipe down the top and front of the appliances with an all-purpose spray and feel a little bit better about each load from here on out.
  9. Make your bed! I’m one of those people that loves to get into a made bed, even if I’ve had a crazy day and have to make the bed an hour before bedtime. That happens sometimes. A messy bed can give off the unwelcome feeling of chaos.
  10. Breathe. For 5 minutes. While sitting down or laying down. Find a quiet spot, put your feet up, and just breeeaaattthhhe. It helps to quiet the mind, calm the body, and refocus the spirit. Focus on making your breathing steady and soft and at the end of the 5 minutes, you may have enough energy for the first 9 things on this list!

All of the little things on this list are just that: little. Yet, they’ll go a looooong way in making you feel a little more peace among the craziness of life. Whether it’s January or July, we could all use a little more of that.