In the spirit of new beginnings, HGTV has consulted the experts and come up with some resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in the coming year.
Streamline the stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
- This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity.
- Stash useful (but not beautiful) items such as DVDs, remotes and those kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets.
- Clear your counters of everything you don't use on a daily basis.
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.
- Check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. If a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and kill you.
- And if you're considering a remodel — and your home was last built or remodeled before 1978 — consider testing for lead paint and asbestos flooring.
Shrink your bills (and your carbon footprint in the process)
The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:
- Remember your mom's advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 55 degrees at night.
- Install LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
- Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
Work out a weekly system for keeping your house clean
- Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night - no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or 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.
- Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that's done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
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?
- Pulling out a new accent color from your existing decor can make the whole room seem fresh.A colorful rug or runner can also help anchor your space.
- 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.
In good health,
Your friends at 360 Insurance Company
Source: 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home