Not all New Year's goals require a gym membership or a book club meeting. As a homeowner, some of the most rewarding promises you can keep to yourself can be done in your very own home. Whether you’ve been in your home for 20 days or 20 years, if you’re ready to turn a new leaf, consider these New Year resolutions for your home.
1. A Clean Start
You wipe down the kitchen counters each day and scrub the toilets each week, but how often do you really give your home a deep cleaning? Start the year fresh with a thoroughly clean home. Check behind shelves for spider webs. Check the door frames for dust. Scrub tiny fingerprints from the walls. Wash the curtains. Professionally clean the floors.
Once things are looking great, make a vow to keep it up. Dividing chores among family members and posting a cleaning schedule on the fridge can help you keep this promise.
2. Uber Organization
A new year marks the perfect time to really reduce clutter. Start by getting rid of the things you no longer use. Feel even better about this by giving what you can to a local charity, and start someone else's year off right.
For the things you've decided to keep, try some strategic storing. Pick up some containers and other organizing supplies. If you're storing things that aren't used often, inexpensive plastic bins work fine. However, there are plenty of options for storage that are attractive enough to blend in with your home décor.
3. Minimize Your Mortgage
You may be revisiting your finance plans as you enter the new year. Of course, your mortgage is something you'd like to pay off sooner rather than later. Increasing your monthly payment may not please you at the time, but it sure will in the future.
Bankrate reminds us that paying a bit extra each month on your mortgage can help you pay off your loan much earlier and reduce interest payments. Even just an extra $50 or $100 a month can help.
4. Expect The Unexpected
While it's unlikely you'll be facing any major repairs in a new home (especially since they're backed by new home warranty), it's a good idea to set some money aside for any additional home expenses such as property taxes or landscaping.
If you don’t already do so, add a “home improvement” or "additional expenses" category to your budget and start saving a bit of money each month in case you need it.
5. Create a Space You Love
It’s the little things that make a house a home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add some personal touches you'll love coming home to. With a fresh coat of paint or some new decor, you can add personality to a new space or breathe new life into an old one. Start looking at design magazines for ideas, then implement them into your home.
6. Fix the Little Problems
We're all guilty of leaving little issues unresolved to deal with "later". Often, "later" never seems to come and we learn to ignore that loose doorknob or clogged drain. Most of these things are easy DIY fixes that will only take an hour or two to fix. Set aside some time to take care of them.
7. Schedule Those Maintenance Appointments
You know that there are things you’re supposed to maintain or tune up throughout the year, but it’s easy to forget. Take some time at the beginning of the year to figure out what you need, then make appointments for the upcoming months. Some things to consider include:
- Furnace filter replacement or duct cleaning
- Gutter cleaning
- Exterior power washing
- Carpet cleaning
8. Improve Energy Efficiency
Because new homes already include standard energy efficient features there is likely little you'll have to do by way of improving your home's efficiency. Older homes, however, may require a few changes.
For example, if it’s time for a new furnace, look for the most energy-efficient models. Replace old windows with triple pane windows. Install weatherstripping materials around the doors to block cold drafts. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs and monitor you heat use during the winter. Any of the above are guaranteed to make a big difference on your utility bill!
9. Boost Your Curb Appeal
Even if you've just moved into a brand new home, having a home that looks great from the street will make you feel proud to live there. Little changes can make a big difference. Consider professional landscaping or staining your new fence. A fresh coat of paint on the front door or some decorations on the front porch can also do the trick.
10. Throw a Party
Your home is the perfect place to hang out with family and friends. Plan to have at least one major gathering at your home. Make use of your large dining room by hosting a dinner. If you're new to the neighbourhood, host a barbecue and get to know your neighbours. You don’t have to do this every night, but occasionally opening up your home can make you feel happy to live where you do.
Of course, everyone thinks about the changes they want to make at the start of a new year, but the key is maintaining them all year long. As you make your resolutions, make sure that one of them is to stay on top of things. When you’re realistic about what you want to do, it’s a lot easier to stick to your goals.