Many people make New Year’s resolutions for themselves, so why not set some New Year’s goals for our homes? Here are five resolutions that will give you a more enjoyable place to live.
Make It Neater. Every year we bring more stuff into our homes until they get filled with clutter and it becomes harder to find the things we use and enjoy the most. Go room-by-room, remove what you don’t use, wear, or love, and donate it to charity. Clear counters of anything you don’t use daily. Store items in cabinets, baskets, or trays.
Make It Greener. Here are some easy ways to cut home energy use—and utility bills! Install low-flow showerheads, and LED bulbs in all lamps and fixtures. Turn your heat down at night and turn off the air conditioning when you leave. Switch off lights when you leave a room. Only run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. Dry some of your laundry on the line. Avoid leaving computers and other electronics in “stand-by” mode—turn them off when not in use. Water the lawn less and consider planting drought-tolerant landscaping.
Make It Ready for Entertaining. Make your home more inviting to family and friends by updating the areas you entertain in. Bring in some plants. Be bold with something large—such as a potted palm or flowering plant. Rearrange your furniture into conversation groups, instead of just facing the television. Emphasize a new accent color by taking one that’s already in the room and adding a new pillow or throw in the same shade.
Make It Safer. Install smoke detectors on every bedroom floor. Put fire extinguishers in the kitchen and on every floor. Clean lint from vents and ducts behind your dryer—highly combustible lint is the cause of more than 15,000 building fires a year. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a major health hazard; if a furnace vent or chimney flue leaks or is blocked, CO can enter your home. This deadly gas is colorless and odorless, so you need a CO detector to tell if it’s present. Install one on every bedroom floor. Another colorless, odorless gas is radon, which causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year. It’s reported one in fifteen homes have elevated levels. Fortunately, an inexpensive test kit from your local hardware store can tell you if you’re safe or need to take action to mitigate. To prevent mold, make sure bathrooms and attics are vented to the outside. And if your home was built or last remodeled before 1978, test for lead paint and asbestos, which should be professionally removed before you do any remodeling.
Thinking of selling or buying a home? Please text, call, or email to learn about your best options today!