So you’ve made New Year’s resolutions for yourself, and no doubt by the end of December you’ll have read 20 books and be 40 pounds thinner. (No, really – we believe in you!)
But what about your home? Doesn’t it deserve to be all it can be, too?
Here are a few resolutions we’ve gathered from across the Web, things that will make your home better, safer and more valuable. And don’t give us excuses about it being too late for resolutions because Jan. 1 has already passed – any time is a good time to improve your home.
- Declutter – Start the year off right by cleaning out closets, organizing the garage, and getting rid of old stuff you don’t need or use. If you’re not sure how to go about it, go back and watch some of those Marie Kondo shows we mentioned last year.
- Organize first, buy organizational materials second – Don’t buy boxes and tubs, thinking that will make you clean up. Declutter first, and then see what containers you’re actually going to need.
- Go energy-efficient – You can do this; just make the effort. Switch your incandescent light bulbs to LED, swap out any single-pane windows for insulated ones, and refresh your ceiling insulation. You’ll probably get the cost of this back in energy savings.
- Keep the house from leaking – Whether winter or summer, you don’t want doors, windows, and ducts to leak either heat or coolness. Get out the caulk and weather-stripping, and plug those gaps.
- Do a safety audit – Start with your smoke alarms, if you haven’t already done those when Daylight Savings Time ended. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on any floor with a gas appliance or working fireplace. Check electrical cords for fraying — yes, all of them – and then replace the bad ones.
- Clean out dryer lint – If it’s taking too long for your clothes to dry, you might need to do more than clean the trap. Detach the duct from behind the machine and run a plumbing snake all the way through it to the outside. This will save energy, and more importantly, possibly prevent a fire.
- Make a long-term repair budget – Maybe you can’t afford to do everything that’s needed now, but plan ahead. Make a list, and prioritize. Think about how old your roof or water heater is. Anticipate other needs. And then start setting something aside so you can keep to your schedule.
OK, that’s enough for the moment. You can go back to reading those 20 books now.