Have you ever wondered what you would do with a few extra minutes a day, every day? Have you ever thought there could be hidden energy-sappers in your home, but you've been too busy to think about what they might be? No matter how long you've lived in your current home, it's always a good time to take stock of just how your space is working for you — and see what small but impact-ful changes can be made to how each room functions. Here's how to do one.
1. Start where you wake up
Grab a notebook! It's time to evaluate how your home helps your morning routine. Start from the moment you hit the alarm, and go through your usual morning routine. How easy is it to get to everything you need to get ready in the morning (or do you have to pull storage boxes out from under your cabinet and then put them back in)? Count the number of steps it takes to get to your need-every-day-stuff. And don't forget about breakfast and coffee, too. Are your mugs across the room from your coffee maker? Look at the movements you have to make to do those daily activities that happen every day and see what's feeling unnecessary, longer-than-needed or clunky.
Now think: Is there any way you can make getting to these things you need easier? Can items be reorganized or moved so that they make more sense for how you use the space? Don't do anything yet — just make notes.
2. Next consider how you leave and enter your home
Go to your entryway, mud room or corner of the living room your front or back door is at. Are you always hunting down your keys, your briefcase or something else every morning because you don't have a dedicated, organized way to find them? Or you always tripping over shoes and more work stuff because you don't have a place right beside the door to help.
3. Now consider how you make meals
This is the same idea as the morning coffee look-over, this time with how you make meals. If you want to cook an entire typical meal to see how things work, great. If not, just go through the motions. Do you have to dig through an entire stack of pans every time you just want to get to one? Do you keep forgetting about ingredients you have because they're hidden from typical view? Dwellers of small environments might find that some storage solutions aren't ideal, but the only ones they have available to them. For the rest of us, it's worth considering how you might make your kitchen function a little faster/better/easier.
4. Look to how you clean
Is your vacuum buried under boxes in a closet somewhere? Are your cleaning supplies kind of stuffed into the back of your cabinets? As the same with above, consider your cleaning habits and where more efficiency could be found. For many, it might be doing a makeover of how they tackle each room. For others, it might be how accessible the supplies are (placing cleaning supplies in each room that needs regularly cleaning is an often over-looked but genius idea).
5. Look to how you lounge
Are you always moving a chair back and forth between the TV and guests? Is there a chair you haven't sat in since you bought it? Do you even use your lounge-y areas? Being able to relax at home is vital to really enjoying your home, so don't skip over evaluating the function of these spaces. Your living room might need rearranging to get it right, or some more decor attention so it feels welcoming to you and guests. Maybe you need it to be less inviting so you don't lounge too much. Consider it!
6. Look to how you get creative
I'm not entirely sure when it happened, but I stopped working at my desk, moving exclusively to my living room and dining room. You know why? Because my desk wasn't working for me (specifically the desk chair). It took me a weirdly long time to realize why I had made the move though. But now I can take steps to make my work area more comfortable and appealing, so I can make it more functional. What about where you work? Or what about how you get creative — or wish you got more creative? You might need a reorganization of craft or art supplies.
Remember, what you're aiming to do is actually go through the motions you go through every day — but this time with a level of mindfulness attached, and an eye towards betterment. Take your notes and tackle them room by room according to what functions you think need the most improving. It doesn't have to be done all at once, but just even being aware of how you might be wasting space or energy in a space can go a long way of improving how your home functions.
Tell us how you think you might be able to improve the function of certain rooms in your home — or how you've managed to improve them in the past!