I know, I know, resolutions are typically relegated to New Year's and maybe a significant birthday. But usually I'm either too depressed (birthdays) or too hung-over (New Years and birthdays) to muster up the motivation to embark on major life changes. But spring is the perfect time to evaluate your current situation and make a clean sweep! Last month I posted my 10 tips for updating your home, and I guess I'm just not quite finished exploring how spring can inspire positive changes in our dwellings as well as our lives. Here are 5 resolutions that I'm committed to sticking with this spring and hopefully for seasons to come. And they all start with L's, so what's not to love?
- Look Around. OK, hear me out. I read an article online in which eccentric designer Karl Lagerfeld escorts readers through luxe snapshots of his daily routine. One of his observations of modern life, which he surmised during his daily chauffeured drives from his Paris home to his office, was the increase in people walking along the streets of the most beautiful city in the world with their eyes glued to the screen of their handheld devices, rather than admiring the glorious architecture and interesting streetscapes. My father had a similar observation during his last visit to Manhattan. Yesterday as I was walking to the gym, down a beautiful Manhattan avenue, my text reading was suddenly interrupted by the remembrance of Uncle Karl's insight. My number one spring resolution is to keep the i-thing in the pocket as I walk around (more) and look up and around and appreciate springtime in the city, or wherever I may happen to be.
- Let it Shine. In my apartment, I've always kept the shades down. Sure, they do allow in some light, and I do back up to another apartment building with lots of prying eyes, and sunlight can age and damage leather and artwork, blah, blah, blah. But, if I'm doing this whole live-in-the-now thing (see tip #3), it's time to roll up the shades, clean the windows and let the sunshine in, come what may. And you know what? It's amazing how brightening your space can brighten your outlook.
- Live In The Now. I like routine. On the days that our dog Hoffman stays home with me, we take the same early morning walk around the block. Each day we pass an odd wooden box that has been somehow fashioned into a cart and left parked and chained to a light post. It's always there, I've never seen anyone touch it, and I frequently have to direct Hoffman to an alternate pile of interesting trash so he doesn't pee on it. Every time I see that box, I am gently reminded of the importance of living in the moment. I read the book, The Power of Now, several years ago, and during that week of reading, and even for a few days after I finished it, I was being better at living in and appreciating the present. But then life starts pushing you forward — deadlines, lists, plans, goals, Mega Millions fantasy spending sprees — and you're back to living in the future. "Once I have this or that or get this promotion or that new thing, then I'll be happy." If you have read the book, you know that it recommends identifying something to use as a tool to regularly remind you of the present and keep you there for a bit, appreciating the 'now.' For me, the daily sighting of this box is my reminder. This spring, find your reminder (maybe it's this post!) and live a little more in the here and now before it becomes "that spring I planned my summer vacation."
- Love it or Leave It. This can apply to pretty much everything in our lives: romantic partner, job, city, hair color....but for the sake of this post, let's focus on home décor and furniture. Spring cleaning applies as much to furniture and accessories as it does to pantry cabinets and dresser drawers. Now is the best time to evaluate your stuff and edit down your collections and furniture to those select pieces that you truly cherish and that bring you joy. The benefits are many — you likely won't miss the discarded pieces, your place will look and feel bigger, more inviting and up-to-date, and replacing that ugly and worn out couch will breathe new life into your space.
- Less is More. In line with "Love it Leave It," not all pieces may need to be replaced. While winter might be a good season for keeping cozy with extra blankets and pillows and stuff, the warmer months welcome open spaces and lighter, easier, breezier decors. Now that you've evaluated your stuff and have discarded (recycled, donated or sold) anything that doesn't enhance your place or bring you happiness, consider not replacing the item(s). Open up your space with a "less is more" approach and give this new look a try. With the windows cleaned and opened, surrounded by things you love, you might just prefer a more streamlined, edited home — and life!