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Improve Your Home - Improve Your Life

Our lives are so busy! If your home is disorganized or if you have unfinished projects it may reflect the chaos and business in your life. Whether you have children pulling you in different directions, a demanding career with little flexibility, or working from home with lots of conference calls and office time constraints, or are a retired person always on the go. These outside the home demands can mean that things inside your home are neglected, unfinished, or disorganized.

As a designer that has worked with residential clients for over eighteen years, I've seen inside many homes. I've seen inside closets, cabinets, and furniture. Many people have the same problems you may have: too much stuff, not enough space; too much stuff and want it gone, but don't want to deal with it; too much space, not enough in it, and general disorganization because of inadequate systems to manage day to day stuff. The solution to the problem is either invest time or invest money.

I am a firm believer that if your home works well, your life will run more smoothly. There are behaviors that go along with these as well. A designer can easily make a space function and look better, but it is up to the client to make a commitment to expedite the design ideas, or pay to have someone else get it done. It really is that easy.

So, if you want to improve your life, look around your home. What are your problem areas that you have to deal with every day? What are the things you can do to change that area? You have to start with you, you can't change your whole family. But you can change how they use the space if you provide a solution that suits their personality.

Simple tips to improve your home:

Start with function first - not the aesthetics. It doesn't matter how pretty a space is, if it doesn't function well, it will not make you happy.

Focus on your most annoying space or problem. I the stack of junk mail that is on our dining room table or your kitchen counter? Then deal with that first.

Do one thing at a time. Don't start two or three projects. Do ONE at a time. And you have to FINISH it before starting the next. This is the only way to not get overwhelmed. Focusing on too much at one time may unmotivate you and may derail you.

Ask for help. It may be a huge undertaking to go through all of your kitchen cabinets to eliminate the junk you don't use. Ask a friend to help. Box what you don't use and give it away. It will make you feel good! I know because my clients tell me they feel good once they start eliminating stuff.

Don't get mad if your family won't help you. If you want to make a change with your space, tackle it on your own. Hopefully once you make positive changes they will get on board and you'll have some momentum to tackle the next thing.

Don't put off projects. If you have an unfinished project, just finish it so you can move on to something else and stop looking at the unfinished project. It might just be faster to finish the project then to keep talking about finishing the project.

Invest in your home, invest in your life. Improve your home, improve your life.

Julie Fergus, ASID, is a nationally published interior designer. Her studio and showroom is located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Julie's clients are primarily in the Lakes Region and Mount Washington Valley, however, she will travel throughout the state and North East. Visit her website for contact info.

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