Homeowners’ Best New Year’s Resolutions
While this year hurtles toward its end, the New Year is rapidly approaching, which means you need to start thinking about the resolutions you will strive to keep through 2020 and beyond!
Photo By: MSA ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS
Will you finally get your butt in the gym? Will you look for a new job with better pay? Or will you strive to be the best homeowner you could possibly be? If the latter is of primary importance, you should consider the following list. These resolutions will improve the look, feel and function of your house, skyrocketing its value and making it even more like home.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
It is almost impossible to get anything done when your home is overflowing with superfluous stuff. Your first task of the New Year should always be decluttering because it gives you more space to launch bigger, more interesting projects.
If you aren’t familiar with the process of decluttering, here’s a straightforward guide to getting it done:
• Go by category of item, not room — e.g. books, clothing, furniture, tools
• Pull out everything of the category you are decluttering, and handle one item at a time
• Determine if you have used the item in the past year or if the item has emotional significance
• Sort items into three piles: keep, give away and throw away
You should try to get your unwanted items out of your house as soon as possible; otherwise, they are likely to assimilate back into your home. Once you have completed a category, you should strive to replace your belongings intentionally, ensuring they are and will remain organized. Even if decluttering is the only resolution you accomplish this year, you will feel 100 times better about your home.
Prioritize Cleaning and Maintenance
At the beginning of this upcoming year, you should sit down and make a cleaning and maintenance binder for your home. While you might not forget to clean, home maintenance is often neglected or forgotten entirely, which severely impacts the functionality and value of your home. Your binder will contain a schedule for various cleaning and maintenance tasks as well as contact information for trusted service providers. Having all this information in one convenient package will help your home look better and run smoother into the future.
Find Better Energy Solutions
If you can find a way to cut down on your energy usage — or to replace your traditional energy source with something greener — you could save thousands of dollars per year, and perhaps more importantly, you could be doing the Earth some serious good. There are more than a few ways to reduce your energy consumption, and they range from things you can do right now to more serious homeowner projects. For example, here are some immediate methods for slashing your energy bills:
• Adjust the temperature on your thermostat, water heater, fridge and freezer
• Replace light bulbs with CFLs or (even better) LEDs
• Use smart power strips for energy-hogging electronics, like computers, gaming consoles, sound systems and microwaves
For a more significant energy upgrade, you should consider using solar panels. These days, most regional energy companies offer some kind of solar package, which allows you to rent or rent-to-own panels that the energy provider will install on your roof. Alternatively, you can DIY a solar solution, but you should invest some time learning how solar works, to ensure you are getting the most energy savings possible.
Make Home Improvements Together
It is tempting to hire a professional contractor or service provider to complete projects around your home, but doing so isn’t always economical. For example, professional painters will charge between $50 and $70 per hour, which adds up fast if you are redoing significant portions of your home. In contrast, a few gallons of paint and rollers will cost you less than half the price of professional painting services.
Though it will take away some of your free time, you should consider DIY-ing some of the more doable projects on your home improvement list. Even better, you should get family and friends together to help you improve your home, so you won’t experience FOMO or feel lonely. Most loved ones are more than willing to help out, especially if you throw in a free lunch. Completing projects yourself will save you money, but it will also give you greater satisfaction as a homeowner.
If you feel guilty about neglecting all your homeowner responsibilities, you can make 2020 the year that you become the best homeowner you can be. By committing to decluttering, regular home maintenance, energy savings and DIY home improvement, you will watch as the house you own becomes a true home.