It’s the time of year when we all sit down and force ourselves to come up with a set of New Year’s resolutions. We all know the most popular resolutions: to lose weight, to save money, to spend more time with family, to get that promotion at work, but…how often do we include a New Year’s resolution or two for our home?
You have a new home, or you’re about to move into one, so in the spirit of new beginnings, let’s talk resolutions that will make you love your new home even more than you already do.
New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home:
Cut Back on the Clutter
We’ve all heard this phrase thrown around – usually as a personal reprimand in moments of intense panic like when the doorbell rings unexpectedly or our favorite cousins show up on a surprise visit. It usually sounds something like, “I’ve GOT to cut back on the clutter!” Let’s skip the panic part of the equation and just make it one of this year’s resolutions. According to designers, “clutter” makes your home look dated and dirty. No one wants that! This year, go room-by-room and clear out anything you don’t use. Charities love donations; in fact, they need donations so you’ll be doing something great for a worthy organization.
Make Your Home as Safe as it is Beautiful
We love aesthetically pleasing homes, but there are few things that every homeowner should do not to make things look nicer, but simply to make them safer. Check your house for radon (test kits available at your local hardware store). Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. Check your dryer vents and ducts. Better safe than sorry and knowing everything is taken care of will relieve some stress you probably didn’t even know you were carrying around.
Decrease Your Home’s Carbon Footprint
You don’t need to buy a hybrid car or install solar panels to decrease your home’s carbon footprint and lower your monthly energy bills. You can just employ a few simple techniques: turn off lights when you’re not in a room, turn your air conditioner off when you leave the house, lower your heater to 55 degrees at night, use low-flow showerheads and fluorescent lighting, dry your clothes on the line, only run your washer/dishwasher when it’s full, set your computer to sleep mode when not in use, try composting, water your yard less, etc. Try adding one to your list of regular habits each month this year.
Create a System for Cleaning
We all like our house to be clean. We also all have those days when we suddenly realize that it has somehow "gotten away" from us again. Consider a few tips on keeping the mess under control. Always have an empty kitchen sink when you go to bed. Equally important is that all dirty clothes end up in a hamper or in the laundry room, jackets and clean clothes are put away, etc. Those are the daily tasks that when ignore pile up. Keep your cleaners in a portable carrying box to make it easy to have what you need on hand when you clean each week. Focus on one type of cleaning at a time – it’s faster. Wipe down all the cabinets before you start cleaning the countertops. Clean the windows, mirrors and appliances all at the same time. Once that’s done, sweep and mop. You’ll find it’s a lot faster than going from room to room or task to task. Get the entire family involved, divide the jobs up and you’ll find that you can get the whole house done in 45 minutes when you work together. For instance, assign a child to handle the dusting/vacuuming and changing of beds. Another child can handle the bathroom clean up and you can finish it off by cleaning the kitchen and taking out the trash.
The above are only a few examples of New Year’s resolutions that you could make for your home. In addition, there are many other worthy pursuits you could decide to focus on. No one can decide what is right for you and yours, but you! So, regardless of what you decide to make your New Year’s resolution this year, we hope you have an excellent 2016 and that you accomplish all of your goals.