- By Signature Home Services
- In Aging in Place/Universal Design, Cleaning, Energy Conservation, Health, Remodel, Robin Burrill, Tips
January rolls around and you see LOTS of these on Facebook (and take on lots of these, yourself): it’s the vow to lose weight, the oath to save money, or the pledge to spend more time with friends.
I’ve GOT to ask, though…what New Year’s resolutions have you EVER set for your home? Your home provides you with more than a roof…it functions every day for your comfort, your enjoyment, and your well-being.
Just think about the impact your bathroom makes on your morning routine, or the significance of your kitchen when it comes to your diet and health…
New Year’s resolutions for your home can also get VERY specific, making them easier to stay accountable to…You even have built-in accountability buddies: your family! So, think seriously this year about the ENJOYMENT a home-related resolution can bring…to your house, and to your household.
Want some ideas to get started? Here are six of my FAVORITE and top-recommended New Year’s resolutions for your home…
1: Clear out clutter
This is one of the most economical ways to feel better about your home AND make it safer, higher-functioning and more comfortable. It’s important, though, that you get SPECIFIC with this resolution. Will you de-clutter one room at a time? How about one closet at a time? Whatever you think is truly sustainable.
Expert tip: Start with decluttering the kitchen—one shelf at a time if you have to. How are your spice racks looking? Can you easily navigate when you cook? If you organize now, you’ll be eating better for it and your whole family will move more fluidly toward health and diet-related resolutions.
Did I hear someone ask for a simple SYSTEM to declutter each space? Easy!
- Clean out what you don’t use and separate it into “toss” and “donate” piles
- Toss what you can toss
- Donate what you can donate
- Remember that “doubling up” on household items is almost always unnecessary
Expert tip: For those of you as committed to our Keller, TX community or DFW area like we are, remember that the winter months are when those in need can use your donations the MOST. So get on this resolution right away, and it will be more than just your household living better for it…
2: Your home, safe and sound
I hope your home is already beautiful! I have to ask, though, is it totally safe? You can use this mini-checklist to think about the home safety components that can be easily acted on at the start of 2020 as a truly valuable New Year’s resolution for you and your family:
- Check your house for radon (the colorless, odorless gas responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to the E.P.A.).
- Install or check your carbon monoxide detectors on every bedroom floor.
- Install or check your fire detectors.
- Install at least a couple motion-sensor lights outside your home.
- Clean your dryer vents and the ducts behind the dryer (a task that, when ignored, accounts for more than 15,000 building fires a year according to the U.S. Fire Administration).
- And finally, to “design for all ages and abilities” (from the kids who can’t reach the sinks to the family member who needs easier accessibility around the home), start 2020 with the DFW Senior Living Series coming up on January 13th, 2020! Come see me, Robin, speak on the panel, and you’ll go home with some ideas on accessibility-specific updates for your home…
3: Commit to lower energy bills
You can improve your own habits, improve the state of the planet, and improve your energy bills with ONE New Year’s resolution. You can think of it as “going green,” or just spending less on energy—you pick!
New Year’s is a prime time to make simple changes that make a BIG difference…it’s not always about buying a hybrid car or installing solar panels! Try checking these off your list instead:
- Install dimmers to the rooms you use the most in your home
- Replace light bulbs with LED alternatives
- Install low-flow shower heads
- Flip off power strips when not in use
Expert tip: You can also save BIG money on your energy bills by sealing and insulating your ducts…this makes your HVAC system an average of 20% more efficient, not to mention making your home more comfortable and extend the life of your furnace and air conditioner.
4: Keep your indoor air SAFE
Along similar lines to the energy spent thanks to your ductwork, indoor air quality is another one of the MOST important things to think about for your family’s comfort and safety in your home.
Did you know indoor air is full of more than dust? Pollen and CO2 also accumulate in your indoor air, as do mold spores and other microbial contaminants. This accumulation is even more dangerous in the winter when we keep windows and doors closed.
In basic, “must-do” terms, keeping your indoor air safe means:
- Changing your furnace filters regularly
- Maintaining the rest of your HVAC system
- Using localized ventilation in your kitchen and bathrooms
5: Create a space of “sanctuary” in your home
You have your honey-do list. Then you have your WORK to-do list, your FAMILY to-do list, and a thousand other things you’re trying to keep track of.
Let’s say you’ve even crossed a lot of those things OFF your list! You have the kitchen that works for you. Your home office is pretty great. You’re even doing pretty well at work.
I’m willing to bet, however, that you don’t have a space YET that is committed to relaxation in the form of silence, reflection, reading or meditation. This can be a space for any combination of these things, too, so take your pick of those activities and design a space SPECIFICALLY around it. This can mean transforming a corner of a room, or devoting a whole room—anything that can give you the peaceful place to “let go.”
This way, whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed in 2020, you can go to this space. This helps you stay STRONG on other New Year’s resolutions, too—it’s all about the basic self-care of giving yourself a few peaceful moments.
6: Plan out your next room renovation or bigger remodel
If you’re just thinking about this one now, you’re probably not going to be breaking ground in January! All the same, turning your IDEA into a plan in a month can completely transform your year.
Maybe you already decided where the next remodel would be. Was it the kitchen? The master bath? The guest room? Whatever your intention, start by outlining your priorities. What do you want to get out of 2020’s renovation? Once you have your priorities, you can start to outline a budget. Once you have a budget, you can start talking to contactors…and next comes DESIGN and setting a date!
Even bigger resolutions like this one benefit from a plan. This can also help keep you motivated and EXCITED.
Setting a resolution for the New Year can be just as much about getting energized as it is about staying accountable to your bigger goals! We’re coming up on a new year that’s all about CLEAR, 2020 vision, starting with looking at resolutions for your home for their “bigger picture” impact on your family and lifestyle.
Which of these jumps out at you? Start the conversation on our Facebook page and let us know!
And HAPPY NEW YEAR!