I always like to start January with a clean, fresh house. I don’t mean cold and sterile though. Adding in some cozy winter home decor is perfect for keeping spirits high after the holiday season is over.
I use to take all the holiday decor down the day after Christmas each year and go on a cleaning frenzy. But, as the years go by and the kids get older, I realized I wanted to relish in the after Christmas splendor for the few days beyond the 25th. I love having morning coffee by the tree. Seeing the kids play with their new toys below its boughs. And there’s nothing like the warm, twinkling lights all over my home to ease the pain of the shorter, dark days. It’s perfection. December is truly one of my most favorite months of the year.
There’s just something about January though, that makes me want to clean and prepare for the new year. I want Christmas to stay in December, and January to start fresh. And for me, that means a clean home. My home is an extension of myself, and if it feels cluttered and dirty, well . . . I feel cluttered and dirty too! So, when I take down my decor on December 31st, I grab my cleaning supplies and get busy!
Before I can decorate with cozy winter home decor, I need to begin with everything spick and span. I’m not a huge fan of dusting, but when the Christmas decor comes down I dust like I was born for this task. Everything gets wiped down, polished, and conditioned if needed (wooden dressers and such) and the glass of every window and mirror is polished to perfection. I start from the top of a room and work my way down to the floors. From cleaning the light fixtures, washing walls, even giving the plants a “shower” in the tub to rinse off accumulated dust (faux and real plants), I go for it. Even touching up paint on walls, baseboards, and window trim. I finish off with vacuuming the floors and lastly going over them all with a mop.
Then, and only then, are we ready to add in some winter style.
I don’t go this cleaning crazy all the time, and it may seem like a lot to some, but we have a fairly big house and I find that if I do this all once a year, it maintains well until the next January. We have lots of animals, children, and parties in our house which I love and wouldn’t change for anything, but it does make freshening up every now and again essential, and the quiet of January just seems like the perfect time.
Also, what is it about walking on freshly mopped floors? They just feel extra special underfoot.
Winter Home Decor Musts
Keep the green
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re covered in a thick blanket of white snow right now, so plants and greenery are key to keeping the house cozy and inviting. That might mean keeping out some of your Christmas greenery that could transition well into winter, or maybe going on a hunt for some new real or faux plants. Get creative and find ways to add in a little extra green until the outside world is ready to welcome spring again.
I kept out some of these little Christmas tree decor items I purchased from Hobby Lobby years ago and sprinkled them all over our house. It’s very evergreen and winter-esk. I love them!
Candles and fires
This may seem too simple but there’s just something so very cozy and inviting about a flame burning. I’m very picky about the products I bring into my home and only purchase clean candles. My favorite being those from Antique Candle Co. Fresh scents are so welcoming this time of year, and the ones I like to burn a lot right now are Clean Cotton, Fresh Cut Herbs, Sweet Lemon, and Grapefruit!
I also have a fireplace that I’ll turn on to keep the front room cozy. And in the den, I’ll put the “fireplace movie” from Netflix or Youtube on the TV as a sort of screensaver. I’m not a fan of the TV being off, its huge black screen feels cold and darkens the room.
Textures and contrast
Bringing in beautifully textured blankets, throws, and rugs is another great way to give some visual interest to a room and cozy it up. Blankets are so inviting and relaxing. And who doesn’t love to snuggle up with a soft throw pillow?
Another item I’ll add are books. I keep stacks of them all over my house. There’s just something about books that instantly put me at ease. Anyone else agree?
Bake something yummy
There’s nothing as inviting as warm, fresh out of the oven baked goods to make a house feel homey and delicious. I’ve been working hard at mastering sourdough bread lately, so there’s always something in my kitchen rising or baking it seems. And that’s just an added layer of service to my family that keeps my home feeling loved and welcoming.
I hope this little list inspires you to cheer up your home for the cold winter months. Winter may be hard some days, especially with how short the days are, but on the other side of winter is the hope and anticipation of spring. It’s definitely worth waiting for!