It’s that time of the year when resolutions are made for the year. Every year when January rolls around you vow to lose weight, save money or spend more time with family and friends. But what goals do you set for your home??
Some of the tips below can help you work on your resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in 2014.
1. Streamline the stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don’t use, wear or love and donate it to charity. After that, think twice about what you bring in. Fill your home with the things that raise your energy level and make you feel good, and get rid of the things that drain your energy or are broken. And get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home.
2. Make it safe and sound
Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk. If you have some habits (like forgetting to switch off the gas stove/ iron/ geyser- make sure you get rid of the deadly habit SOON.
3. Shrink your bills (and your carbon footprint in the process)
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference. Not so – It just takes a little old-fashioned common sense.
The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:
- Switch off the lights when you leave a room and turn off your air conditioner when not in use.
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) wherever possible.
- Wait for the washing machine to be full before you run them.
- Set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
- Close the tap/ shower when not in use (and that includes when you are brushing your teeth or applying soap!)
4. Work out a weekly system for keeping your house clean
Daily: Dishes need to be washed daily – no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the laundry bag / washing machine and clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.
Weekly: Clean your entire house, using these tips:
- Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths – in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
- Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
- For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties: One of you can do the dusting/vacuuming and changing beds, the other can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving only the kitchen and trash emptying for you to handle. The upside? You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes, leaving more time on the weekends for the movies.
5. Get your place ready for entertaining
Each year most of us vow to spend more time with family and friends. To make you feel like inviting people in, why not give the areas you entertain in a little update?
You don’t have to spend a lot on this- all it takes to get a fresh new look is a little bit of rearranging and a few updates.
One easy update that makes your home seem more “finished” is the addition of plants as they bring in new energy and help clean the air. It’s also a great way to decorate if you’re on a budget.
Pulling out a new accent color from your existing decor can make the whole room seem fresh. Pick an underused color in the room and add more of it in the form of a new cushion / a colourful rug or runner to update your look.
Lastly, take some time to rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just facing the television. That just might up for chances for real conversation and connection in the New Year.
So – What is your home improvement resolution(s) for 2014?