New Year, New Home: Resolutions To Make Right Now
When we think of New Year's resolutions, we tend to think on a personal level. This year, why not change the focus a bit and make some resolutions that are home-centric? Sure, you'll still reap the benefits, but your home will be all the better for it also. So where to start? We have some ideas for you. Here are wonderful ways to give your home a little TLC in the new year and for years to come. You can choose one to focus on, a few, or if you're overly ambitious—all of them. Your house and home will thank you.
1. Cut back on clutter.One of the best ways to feel better about your home and make an instant improvement to its appearance is to streamline your stuff and clear out the clutter. Every year we accumulate more and more things, despite our attempts to manage all of our stuff. Make a resolution to make purging a part of your list of home to-dos. Find a time period that works for you, whether it's every month or every year and vow to cycle through the things in your home and purge it of unnecessary things. If it isn't useful, loved or needed by you and your family then donate it, sell it, or (if there are no other viable options) throw it away.
"Fill your home with the things that raise your energy level and make you feel good, and get rid of the things that drain your energy or are broken," says Antoinette Nue, an Atlanta consultant who specializes in helping people simplify and go green. Too much clutter makes a house seem dirty and dated, according to the experts, so give it a breath of fresh air by clearing counters, emptying drawers, and reducing the excess. The next step is to mindfully and carefully choose what you bring in to your home and make sure it has value and a place in your home to avoid the constant cycle of accumulating more and more.
Need some tips on how to get started? Read our previous post entitled: How to Declutter Your Home and Your Life to give you the tools and strategies you need to attack the clutter and workable ways to keep it under control.
2. Reorganize and optimize your home space.Once you have eliminated the unnecessary things in your home, you'll have a whole new space to work with. Play around with the furniture in each room, rearrange it and give the space a fresh look just with a few simple changes. Optimize the space you have and create a comfortable, inviting and open space that works well both in form and function no matter what room of the house you're working in. You'll be amazed at how just a few minor adjustments in a room can make a major improvement to the look and feel of your home.
You may find that you need to reconfigure things a bit anyway if you've taken the advice found above (see #1), since you've cleaned out the clutter in your home. You can reassign items to where they make more sense and where they best fit. You might find a piece of furniture that you have in one room actually works better in another. You may also find that you need to relocate a cabinet or set of drawers to a place where it is more useful. Be flexible and explore your options. And don't forget to have fun with it!
3. Reduce your energy use.When people thinking or reducing their carbon footprint or going green, they tend to think about the big things like hybrid cars, solar panels, and high-end energy-efficient appliances. And while those things are incredibly helpful, it's actually the little things we do every single day that add up to big energy savings in your home. So what can you and your family do? Here are some simple yet effective ideas for minimizing your energy use, and as an added bonus, you'll be saving money on water and electric too.
- Turn out the lights when you leave a room.
- Dial down your thermostat.
- Change out your fluorescent lightbulbs and replace them with LEDs.
- Replace your shower heads with low-flow heads.
- Use a clothesline instead of the dryer.
- Wash dishes by hand rather than using the dishwasher.
- Make sure you have full loads before using the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Turn off your electronics and power strips when not in use.
- Water your yard less.
- Compost your kitchen scraps.
4. Exercise your DIY skills.Choose a doable home project and spend time researching and planning how to do it yourself. Learn something new. Build your skill set. Expand your knowledge and experience. Start with something simple and work up to more complicated tasks. It may be something as simple as power washing your home or cleaning your gutters and installing gutter guards. Or perhaps you have always wanted to install laminate flooring in your home or lay tile in the kitchen. There are so many DIY resources from the internet to your local home improvement stores that you'll always have a wealth of resources at your disposal. Project by project you'll gain more expertise in the care and maintenance of your home, and your house will gain a new look and new feel. Win-win!
5. Plan home improvement projects with your family.One awesome way to spend time together as a family is to embark on home improvement projects together. Working together to improve the quality of your home is a wonderful family bonding opportunity and teachable moment. Whether you have a family yard work day, painting party, or decluttering day, every member of your family can have a helpful role in the process and you can make strides in improving your family space and setting goals for new family DIY adventures in the future.
6. Make easy and affordable updates to your home.There are many ways to make easy and affordable updates to your home. A fresh coat of paint in any room is an instant game changer. Steam cleaning the carpets or replacing them can freshen the look and feel of your home right away. Refinishing or repainting the deck or front porch can give a fresh new look to the entrance of your home. Repurpose a piece of furniture to give it new life and a new place in your home. Freshen up the landscaping to give your home increased curb appeal. Paint the kitchen cabinets and replace the hardware. You're only limited to your imagination and your creative vision!
Want some more ideas for easy and affordable upgrades? Check out these 27 Cheap Ways to Upgrade Your Home.
7. Create a home maintenance plan.Time slips by and before you know it another year has passed and you haven't kept up with all of the routine maintenance tasks that a home requires. What to do? Make a plan! It's the best way to keep on top of those pesky to-do items that can easily get neglected. Keeping your home well-maintained is good for its look and its functioning.
Everyone is a little different, so create or find a schedule that works for you. And while there are a plethora of checklists, tools and schedules available for you to peruse, we really like this DIY Checklist for a Trouble-free Home. It offers weekly, monthly, and seasonally appropriate tasks plus home safety and emergency preparedness suggestions. Check it out!
8. Find a cleaning schedule that works for you and your home.Along the same lines as a home maintenance plan, implementing a cleaning schedule that keeps you and your family on top of the household chores is really helpful. It's so easy to fall behind on keeping the house clean and organized, so being proactive and having a plan is a useful endeavor. Again, there are so many cleaning schedules and checklists already out there for you to try, so find the best one that works for you. Or keep it simple and create a quick weekly task list or chart and delegate them among your family members to ensure everyone is doing their part and the house tasks are getting done.
9. Focus on curb appeal.When is the last time you took a good look at your home from a visitor's perspective? What do you see? What stands out to you? What needs fixing or improving? These are questions you can ask yourself and then assess what needs your attention. Whether it's the entryway to your home, the landscaping that surrounds it, or the overall appearance and condition of your house, it's worthwhile to take an honest look at it with fresh eyes and see what could be improved. Then make a list of to-dos that will improve the curb appeal of your home. It's the first thing you and other see upon arrival, so make sure it leaves a good impression.
10. Make sure your home is safe and secure.It's always a good time to take inventory on the safety and security of your home. That's something you can't put a price tag on. Give a good once over of your windows and doors. Are they secure? Consider your outdoor lighting. Do you have motion sensor detection lights near your entryways? You might want to consider installing them. Do you have a home alarm system? It's something you might want to research and pursue. Are your valuable items safe and secure within your home? If not, invest in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box outside of your home for items that are high in value or personally meaningful to you. Do you have an emergency evacuation plan for your family and do they know it? That is something you can discuss, implement and practice with your family so that everyone is informed and prepared.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Read up on 5 Home Safety Tips You Need to Know here.
We hope you've found these New Year's resolutions for your home helpful and motivating. Cheers to a new year and a new home!
Are you making any resolutions for your home this year? We'd love to hear what they are. Our comment section is always open!