We’ve all made New Year resolutions for our personal lives in the beginning of many a January. What about taking time to do something for our home? Each new year brings a sense of a clean slate. It’s a time of starting better habits and stopping unproductive ones. It makes sense to include personal resolutions that directly impact the place where we spend so much time – our homes. Here are six suggestions you can implement this year that will benefit your home, family, and guests.
1. Work on Home Projects as a Couple or Family
Looking for new ideas for couple or family time? Pick a DIY project that everyone can participate in creating. It doesn’t have to be something complicated. Painting a room is easy to divide up responsibilities. Refurbish a piece of furniture, build a bookshelf, or create a new herb garden. Hang new blinds or curtains. When you’re finished, you’ll have something to admire or use that all of you worked on together.
2. Organize That One Space You’ve Been Meaning to Tackle
Decluttering and organizing an entire home is certainly doable. But for most of us, the daunting task only makes us procrastinate longer. This year, choose just one space that nags at you the most. Maybe it’s a messy walk-in closet, a playroom, an office, or the kitchen. You could start by tackling one junk drawer everyone uses for their miscellaneous stuff just to get the organizational juices flowing. Once you accomplish organization in one space, you might feel motivated enough by momentum to fix another one.
3. Make Your Space More Welcoming
It’s easy to get a bit complacent with our home’s décor instead of realizing what we could do to make it more comforting and welcoming. Even if you don’t entertain much, you may surprise yourself at what a welcoming room can do for your mood. Incorporate your own style. Use plenty of warm lighting, soft, soothing textures and textiles, colorful pillows and blankets, and inviting colors. Add natural elements like green plants, a rock fountain, or salt lamp.
4. Cut Energy Usage with Small Changes
Today there are a variety of smart changes you can make to cut down energy use. Use systems to adjust your thermostat or turn off forgotten lights with an app when you’re not home. Or install programmable thermostat and lighting controls so that it’s all automated. You can switch to LED bulbs, air-dry dishes, and unplug all those unnecessary devices or appliances that sit in standby mode all of the time. Don’t leave the faucet running longer than necessary. Insulate windows and remedy drafty areas. These measures are better for your home and save you money.
5. Do Regular Safety Checks
It’s not enough to assume your home is safe. The turn of a new year is a reminder to check the working condition of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed. Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house, including one in the kitchen. Keep an expandable fire escape ladder on the second floor (they fit in closets or under a bed and are affordable). Devise an escape plan from the home, noting all exit points from each room. Practice fire drills with family members, especially with children. In addition, you should ensure good air quality in the home and the absence of radon with an indoor air quality inspection service.
6. Follow Seasonal Maintenance Checklists for the Home
Your home will function better and longer with regular maintenance. Tasks you can do every season include: check furnace filters and replace when needed; check exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to ensure they’re removing moisture; check for holes and cracks in exterior walls and foundation; clean gutters and check that they’re connected and in working order. Use online maintenance checklists for a complete list of seasonal tasks to ensure your home is kept in peak condition.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Indoor Air Quality Inspection: An inspection service that performs tests that measure indoor air for things such as allergens, mold, and radon, among others. These tests can show whether the quality of your indoor air is either safe or dangerous. Professional technicians can inform you of their testing process and help you take the steps necessary to clean the air you breathe and minimize any potential pollutants.