The New Year is here and it’s a great time to wipe your slate clean and tackle some new initiatives to create a more-comfortable, less-stressful, happier life. New Year’s resolutions set you on a positive track to make you productive and goal oriented. Make some resolutions to keep your home nicely kept and in order in 2020. Not sure where to begin? Start with these and build from there!
In no particular order…
#1: Clear the Clutter
Too many clothes, junk, old papers, and other items you no longer use are junking up your house and ruining your vibe. A recent study showed a direct link to women’s cortisol levels and the amount of clutter in their homes. The more clutter, the higher the stress! Strive for a more harmonious, streamlined home environment by tackling your clutter. Start by making three stacks; keep, donate, and trash. Once you’re done, take the “donate” pile immediately to a drop-off point or schedule a non-profit to pick it up. Don’t look through it again! In addition, go through your drawers and cabinets. Throw away old makeup, medicine, and items you no longer use. If you own expensive cooking items or other pricey possessions, try selling them on a social media yard sale group in your area for some extra cash.
When you’re done with the inside, clean out your garage and storage sheds. Chances are good that there are many items stashed in those two areas that you no longer need.
Related Read: Let It Go: What to Get Rid of Before Moving
#2: Step Up on Safety
Our homes give us all a sense of security. While you may feel like nothing bad can happen to you at home, that’s often not the case. For example, according to SafeWise’s “The State of Safety in the United States” report, a staggering 800,000 people are hospitalized from falls every year. This is one reason to address your home’s safety issues, which is an easy DIY mission. First, test your smoke alarms and add a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor. Set a schedule that you will remember for checking these consistently. Dryers are one of the biggest fire starters, so make sure to clean your vent thoroughly every few months to prevent flame-friendly lint from building up. Check for gas leaks to prevent injury. Add non-slip mats to your bathtub and use carpet tape to hold down rugs that are tripping hazards.
#3: Whittle Down the Waste
A realistic estimate is that 35% of the average home’s energy is wasted! It’s everyone’s job to protect our planet, and the easiest way is to reduce your home’s power usage. Open your blinds during the day to take advantage of natural light and install energy-efficient LED light bulbs to get the most bang for your buck. Since most of your home’s energy goes toward heating and cooling it, take measures to reduce these costs. Purchase an electronic thermostat that can be programed to turn down the air or heat during the night or when you’re at work. Save the heat and air you pay for by insulating your doors and windows efficiently, so you don’t try to heat or cool the entire neighborhood. Buy a water heater cover and hang more of your clothes to dry so you can reduce the number of times a week you use your dryer, which is a big energy user. Finally, invest in energy efficient appliances when yours need to be replaced.
Related Read: Five Eco-Friendly Home Improvements to Go Green
#4: Create a Cleaning Plan
Now that your house is clutter-free, commit to keeping it clean. Assign roles to everyone in the family to do a specific part. Set aside a few minutes every day and make it a habit to tidy up and put away dishes, pick up toys and clear off counters. If your budget allows, get a professional house cleaner to come every other week and mop the floors, dust, and change the beds. Otherwise, set aside time once a week to get those chores finished. Once a quarter, do deeper cleaning like washing windows, rugs, and baseboards. You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable your home feels being clean and neat.
#5: Rev Up to Redecorate
Now to the fun resolution! Don’t let your home get outdated by avoiding change. Welcome some budget-friendly DIY redecorating ideas this year. First off, painting the walls is an instantly gratifying way to dramatically change the atmosphere of a room. Choose a fresh new color and update your space. Throw away your worn throws and pillows and purchase some new ones in vibrant prints. Add a few candles to burn in the evenings for ambiance and hang some new wall art for a different perspective. If you’re handy, repurpose your end tables or plant stands to add touches of whimsy and style to your space. Finish it off with some live green plants and succulents to bring the outside in.
Your New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be difficult or expensive. These home improvement tips help you stay organized and relaxed all year long. Incorporate one or all of them into your plans and you’ll have a less cluttered, more energy-friendly home that you and your family can enjoy.