It’s time to throw away bad habits

You can freshen your home's look  with vibrant  wallpaper and fabrics like these from Harlequin.
You can freshen your home's look with vibrant wallpaper and fabrics like these from Harlequin.
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It’s that time of the year when we’re all making new year resolutions and thinking about getting fit, losing weight and sorting out the house.

The trick with these resolves is to not be overly ambitious. Don’t decide to do something you really won’t achieve. If ‘I will go to the gym three times a week without fail’ becomes once a week and then once every other week and then once a month if you are lucky, then you will feel you’ve failed. You need to set goals that are achievable.

The same is true of your home. If you feel your whole home needs a facelift but you are short on time and money then it’s easy to do nothing and feel fed up about it.

My advice would be to do something that will make a difference in one area as, if this goes well, it will spur you on to do other rooms further down the line.

I have a few tips that are easy, achievable and might just get the momentum going.

Just getting rid of clutter would help a room come back to life. Over-stuffed bookcases and magazine racks filled with newspapers and last year’s Hello magazine just look chaotic. Get rid of what you can and increase your storage if there are things you don’t want to part with.

If you have more books than your bookcase can cope with, consider getting rid of some and increasing bookcase space in spare rooms or even the hallway for any that you really want to keep.

Look long and hard at your ornaments and pictures. Are they attractive and adding something to your room or have they just been there forever and are taking away more than they are giving to the room? Be ruthless, it’ll make you feel good. But definitely keep anything with sentimental attachments.

Think about the first impressions your house is giving. Are shoes and coats cluttering the hallway?

It costs nothing to tidy but it would change the first impression not just for guests but for yourself and your own sense of calm and tranquility.

Entrances are overlooked areas. They set the tone for your home and should really give you that ‘glad to be home feeling’.

For anyone considering putting their house on the market I would stress the importance of this. You really want a prospective buyer to think ‘this is nice’ as they step over the threshold.

Small changes can make a big difference. Once you’ve cleared a room of untidy clutter just changing a wall colour, reinvigorating a sofa with new scatter cushions or covering a drab carpet with a new rug can really make a difference to how a room looks.

Introducing new lamps to dark corners can make a room glow and feel more homely. Painting an old chest of drawers and adding new bed linen in a bedroom that’s been de-cluttered can have a dramatic and pleasing effect on the room.

Think outside the box, don’t do what you’ve always done. By doing something a bit different you will create focal points that can be joyful and interesting.

· Simone and business partner Jane Patterson run The Interior Trading Co, Southsea,