As school and office events wrap up for the year, we begin the last-minute rush for presents and preparations for festive celebrations with our family and friends at home. Neglected during the crazy time leading up to this much needed “break” we finally look at our homes and gardens and realise they need some urgent TLC. Personally, I love lists but a week out from Xmas I am feeling overwhelmed – our beloved home and garden is looking tired and very much unloved.
As our blended family of 5 kids come and go between friends’ houses, trips to the country or overseas, our dogs are the main constant and have taken over the garden and the home! Like many we drift into daydreams of renovating, moving to a new house or even downsizing. But before you make any life-changing decisions. I encourage you to consider your current circumstances and tackle some easy to reach “low hanging fruit”. These can make a difference to your home’s functionality and your sense of calm, for the festive season and beyond.
First on my list is to “summerise” your house. My partner and kids sigh with the “.here she goes again moving furniture around”. But there is method to my madness. It gives your home a fresh new look inside and out and costs nothing. Inside move your furniture so it’s not focused on your TV and will cater for larger groups, store winter rugs and cushions. Bring out the candles, infusers and vases filled with greenery from your garden.
We have the best climate in the world to entertain outside so tidy up your garden and outdoor area, recycle items that you don’t want or need, remove dead wood (literally) fertilize, water and check your reticulation is in working order (ours was not), plant for summer eating and make sure your external lighting is in working order, invest in some large candles and festive lighting in your trees.
I am often approached by people saying they have a limited budget but have grown out of their homes however, sometimes it is just a matter of culling objects and things that we accrue through the years. I am a big “culler and sorter” and feel a wonderful sense of achievement when I have cleaned a cupboard or room. With your family start three collection piles at the front door: one for re-purposing good quality items; one for the recycling bin; and one for rubbish. Try and link your call to your local council’s bulk rubbish waste collections. Our kids “hang out” in the back yard is filled with furniture collected from our neighbours’ verges and in time it will be back out there for others to re-purpose. Remember be brutal when “culling” in my experience we have way too much stuff, and it’s a great feeling when you know your loved item is going to a good home or when you find a long last piece in the back of a cupboard
There is something really therapeutic when you have cleared out and cleaned up although it is fastest done with family. Not only will you fall back in love with your home and love spending time in it you will have space to put those Christmas gifts! Now sit back and enjoy! Thank you so much for reading Architects Brief in 2018 and look for us in 2019.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Safe New Year.
First published in The Subiaco Post Dec 2018 | Architects Brief with Suzie Hunt