5 Affordable Basics to Invest in for the New Year

This year I downshifted and moved into a much smaller house and got rid of a lot of things that were weighing me down. I also found that even though I had a lot of things, I didn't necessarily have the basics that help make a house a home, a place that's comfortable and luxurious where it counts.

So I spent a little bit of money and invested in some new items to welcome in a fresh start and soon, a new year. Chime in below with what makes your home, home.

• Good Linens: I had a hodge podge collection of different pillowcases and flat and fitted sheets, some of it old, stained or with holes. Other things I just didn't like. I also had pillows that were…old? I couldn't even remember where they had come from. So I bought a new set of plain white sheets and some of Abby's favorite pillows from IKEA. I put my down quilt in the sun to air it out and made a new bed that feels comfortable and soft and inviting. You can find affordable sheets on Overstock, at Target, Costco, or on sale at larger department stores. Or you can invest more and really splurge on luxurious bedding.
• A Cast Iron Pan: I used to have a hundred different sized pots and pans but discovered that a simple cast iron pan can handle most of the things I want to cook: from eggs in the morning to a tarte tantin. I got mine from my mom, she had an extra, but you can find them used at thrift stores and garage sales or you can buy one new one. The first night I lived in my new place I cooked dinner for a couple of friends (nothing fancy) and it made me feel at home.
• Natural Cleansers and Cleaning Supplies: This is a real basic, but I found, moving into a new space, I wanted to get everything really clean (especially since I got rid of enough stuff there was way more space to look at). I bought new sponges, a mop, a broom and an arsenal of natural cleansers made with baking soda and vinegar or I like to invest in some Mrs. Meyers — particularly the geranium scented all purpose cleaner.
• Something That Smells Good: Whether its great bubble bath, hand soap, a candle or a linen spray, smells make a huge impact on a space.
• A Plant: I moved my dwarf meyer lemon inside along with a number of succulents that used to sit on the porch (I have plenty of light so they will survive) but nothing makes a space feel larger or more comfortable than a well placed plant.

Images: West Elm, Emily Ho, as linked from The Kitchn, Gardn, Laure Joliet