It’s that time of the year! People are working towards losing weight and getting fit, but what about home improvement resolutions?

Here are a few suggestions to help you get your home into great shape in 2018:

1. Declutter

Okay, 2017 was the year of decluttering, but this year we’re moving from the Marie Kondo craze to ‘death cleaning’. Yes, you read that correctly.

The term popped up in a new book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson, and the concept is simple – declutter your home so that your loved ones don’t have to rifle through your rubbish after you die.

It’s a bit morbid, but it’s a good reminder that no one can take stuff into the afterlife.

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Regardless of the clutter-clearing terminology, it comes down to getting rid of dust-collecting items and making space in your home. Who knows, after a few good decluttering sessions you might find that you could turn a messy space into a lovely guest room and rent it out to holidaymakers.

2. Fill gaps with greenery

Once you’ve decluttered, you may not like minimalism as much as you thought.

So, what’s the perfect solution?

Plants. They do more than help fill a stark, cold and empty-looking space, they add life (literally), help make it feel homely and purify the air. This is also something to bear in mind if you move into a larger home and don’t have quite enough furniture (or the budget) to fill it.

3. Dress the walls

If you’re a minimalist and love your walls blank, keep calm and carry on. However, if you’re not opposed to using the vertical space in your home to add interest, create depth or make a room feel bigger, then this tip is for you.

Make 2018 the year to sort through framed photos, artworks and mirrors and decide what should go up on the walls and what could come down.

Do you really want a gallery wall or would one large piece of artwork be better? Is that mirror in the living room positioned in the best spot to bounce natural light? And, if you moved it, could you reflect a view of the garden back inside? Would it help you to add floating shelves in certain areas of your home?

These are few questions you could ask yourself when considering how you dress the walls.

Related: Gallery wall ideas

4. Start a garden

When you think of your garden as a living landscape painting, framed by the glass doors and windows of your home, it makes sense to invest some time in it.

With the right plants and a little time and effort, you could create a calming view while shielding your home from nosy and noisy neighbours.

5. Create a retreat

Whether it’s a she-shed, man cave, spa-inspired bathroom, crafts room or hammock on a stoep, create a space in your home where you can chill out.

We would all benefit from having a little space at home where we can slip into our comfy pants, tune out the noise of the world and relax.

For you, this could be a shared space like a comfy family living room, or a private space like a do-not-disturb reading nook in your master bedroom. Decide what you need more of this year – whether it’s family time or me-time – and make it a goal to create an inviting space that helps you get more of what you need.

Happy home improving!