5 New Year Resolutions for Your Home

January 14, 2016

Snowy Mountain Home

January is full of resolutions, so why not make a few for your home? There are plenty of ways to create a fresh start in your home and make it cleaner, more efficient and a generally happier place to be.

1. Increase Energy Efficiency/Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Have the ductwork throughout your home properly inspected to minimize any warm or cool air leaks that might occur through holes or loose connections. Ducts tend to be hidden in your walls, ceilings, attics or crawlspaces, making it a challenging DIY task. To hire a pro you can expect to spend about $1,000 or more depending on the size of your home and accessibility of your ducts. However, by sealing and insulating ductwork you could see hundreds of dollars in savings each year.

Other ways you could reduce your energy usage include:

  • Install solar panels on your roof
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Use low-flow showerheads
  • Hang your clothes to dry
  • Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when full
  • Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use
  • Use drought-tolerant landscaping and reduce the necessity to water

Your commitment to energy efficiency could also land you helpful rebates and incentives. Check out this site to see if there is a program that could help you: http://www.dsireusa.org

2. Clear the Clutter

A simple way to clean your home and make it feel more fresh and inviting is to clear the clutter. It is easy to let things accumulate throughout the year, making the things we love harder to find and spaces to appear smaller and smaller.

Commit to going room by room and donating anything that remains unused, unworn or unloved- giving it a second chance to be appreciated by someone else and freeing up some space. Then, think twice about bringing in anything new that won’t effectively add to your life in some way.

Stash useful but not necessarily pretty items such as shoes, DVDs, mail, etc. in baskets and decorative bins to keep them from overwhelming your space. Shred any unnecessary documents and recycle those odds and ends that tend to collect in everyone’s favorite “junk” drawers.

Clearing your space will help you breathe a little easier and also leave room for the important things.

3. Keep it Safe and Sound

The New Year is the perfect time to do a safety audit of your home including:

  • Changing the batteries in the smoke detectors
  • Ensuring you have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home
  • Checking your home for radon- you can find test kits at your local hardware store for around $20
  • Cleaning out your dryer lint trap in your machine and any ducts and vents leading to the machine. The material that collects can be highly combustible and present a fire risk

4. Inject New Life in Your Home by Exercising your DIY Skills

It is a beautiful Pinterest kind of world and there are plenty of DIY projects to help you refresh your home. Here are some collections of ideas that you can use to reinvent your space:

5. Make Your Home More Inviting for Guests

Even if you only have the occasional dinner party or overnight visitor, it is nice to keep your high traffic areas looking fresh and inviting. Once you’ve cleared the areas of clutter, showcase items that stimulate conversation or provide comfort (think soft fabrics and plush sofas/pillows) where guests can kick back and feel at home. An inexpensive way to make your home seem polished and put together is to have window coverings like curtains versus just blinds or shutters. They have a way of pulling together décor and creating a warm and soft environment.

 

*Photo courtesy of Flickr user Amber Case

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