Every wardrobe needs a re-edit now and again, and spring is a great time to make a start, when you can finally put away your woolly hats and gloves. [Read more…] about Ready for a wardrobe detox?
Did you know that the average UK home has twice as much clutter as 30 years ago? A combination of mass consumerism and busy lifestyles means that we happily buy new things as and when we feel like it, but struggle to get to grips with discarding our unwanted or worn-out items. Yet, a cluttered home is stressful and distracting, creating extra work and adding to the feeling of being out of control.
[Read more…] about Declutter your home in 30 days
With spring around the corner (honestly!), it’s a great time to refresh your home. We’ve put together our favourite picks of the spring interior trends, to give your living space a new lease of life.
Whether you’re looking to simply update a room or planning a full refurbishment, the Hour Hands Home Styling Service is here to help. As well as curating colour and style ideas to suit your taste, lifestyle and room, we consider all the practical stuff, such as budget and timescale. We can offer advice on all the products you need to deliver the look you want, at a price you’re happy with, that works perfectly for your home and family. Contact us to find out more.
Get the look – Industrial Chic
Over to the Dark Side
Get the look – Dark Side
Plants are on trend and affordable, bringing fresh natural colour and oxygen into your home. Beneficial for health in many ways, plants can be used creatively - hung from walls or nestled in floor pots. Botanical prints make a bold statement on feature walls, cushion covers, and other accessories such as vases and terrariums. This look has a real 70s vibe, another look set to be big in 2018.
Get the look – Botanical
Get the look – Global Traveller
Sometimes a home only needs a fresh eye; a mini makeover with updated colours, furnishings and strategic decorative features to give it a new lease of life, or prepare it for selling. Here’s one of our makeover projects – if we can do the same for you then please get in touch.
We all start the year with the best of intentions – a tidy house, birthday cards sent on time, meals planned for the week – but after a short while, the stresses of work, family and daily life can once again take over. As part of our mission to make this your most organised year yet, we’ve put together some tips that will help you keep on top of it all. It’s not about grand organisational schemes – just simple, daily actions that will make your life easier.
1. Make a note
Write everything down immediately, whether in a diary, on a calendar or in your phone, to:
- Focus your mind
- Prevent you feeling overwhelmed
- Help you remember important dates and make arrangements
2. Set yourself a time plan and deadlines
These should be small, achievable goals that will keep you focused and motivated. Again, mark them in your diary or calendar to stay on track. If you’re looking for ideas, we love this printable planner (pictured right), or Vicki Arnold’s comprehensive collection should offer everything you might need.
3. Stop procrastinating!
We all do it, but putting things off will reduce your motivation and leave you with a sense of guilt, leading to further stress. Tackle your jobs one at a time, and they never feel quite as bad as you imagined when you were sitting there and thinking about them.
4. A place for everything.
A simple idea – put things away in their place as you go along. It requires a lot less effort than one big tidy up, and means that you can easily find the things you need.
5. Look for ways to simplify and save time
A few simple changes in the way you do things can make a big difference overall.
- Shop online and save your weekly basics in a pre-ordered list. That way, you can just add any additional extras as and when you need them.
- Plan your meals before you shop. This not only saves time but also money, as you’ll only be buying the items you need. Don’t forget that Hour Hands can help you with meal planning.
- Set up direct debits for bills, and add a reminder to your calendar when you need to review your service providers.
- Prepare your lunch and clothes the evening before, to save time in the morning rush.
- Keep a birthday/special occasion file or book. At the beginning of each month, buy all the greetings cards that you need that month (perhaps add them to your online food shop?), to avoid missing any important dates. You can also do the same with gifts.
- Open your post immediately and either file or shred each day. That way, you won’t end up with reams of paper around the house.
Christmas markets are a tradition for many families, with the opportunity to tick off your gift list and enjoy delicious festive fare all under one roof. You could even use it as a basis for a relaxing weekend away before the busy holiday season. But with so many to choose from, where do you start? We’ve pulled together our favourites to point you in the right direction. With city markets, stately homes, castles, and local Hertfordshire options, there truly is something for everyone!
If this sounds great but you’re short of time, why not let us arrange a bespoke Christmas shopping trip for you, including a market visit (in the UK or abroad), travel and transport, plus a relaxing hotel to put your feet up afterwards. Our expert wrapping team can even wrap all your gifts beautifully, leaving you free to enjoy the festive cheer!
Contact us to find out more, and let us take the pressure off this Christmas.
Top 10 UK City Christmas Markets
Bath 23 Nov-10 Dec
Edinburgh 17 Nov-7 Jan
York 16 Nov-22 Dec
Birmingham 17 Nov-29 Dec
Brighton Nov 26-11 Dec
Winchester 18 Nov-20 Dec (pictured)
Nottingham 19 Nov-24 Dec
Leeds 11 Nov-18 Dec
London Winter Wonderland 17 Nov-1 Jan 2018
Oxford 7 Dec-17 Dec
TOP 5 Stately Homes and Castles Christmas Markets
Blenheim Palace 16 Nov-19 Nov (pictured)
Leeds Castle 25/26 Nov, 2/3 Dec, 9/10 Dec, 16/17 Dec
Waddeson Manor 15 Nov-10 Dec
Highclere Castle 5/6 Dec
Ludlow 25/26 Nov
Kimpton Christmas Market 2 Dec (pictured)
Knebworth House 10 Nov-12 Nov
Hatfield House 16 Nov-19 Nov
St Albans 25 Nov-23 Dec
Redbourn 3 Dec
If you’ve been named as an executor of a loved one’s will, managing this process when the time comes can be highly stressful. [Read more…] about Your guide to selling a probate property