Admittedly, each new year brings chatter about self-improvement that is either quickly forgotten or the source of stress. This year, flip the page and turn that chatter into goals related to home improvement. Your home, after all, deserves the same attention to detail that you do, and planning out the year from your dwelling’s perspective can be very exciting.
The approach itself has endless possibilities. Would you rather list a small project for each month of the year or, perhaps, four larger ones that can be kicked off at the start of each season? Does it make sense to divide and conquer with a set number of goals for each room or floor of your home? Can some of these be started immediately while the others are slated for after estimates are collected?
A favorite quest for homeowners is organization but the implementation often screeches to a halt as it quickly becomes overwhelming. The recommendation? Organize your home one room at a time and one month at a time. This will allow the purchase of materials (baskets, boxes, bins) to be spread throughout the year and for filing methods to be tweaked over time.
Home organization is often linked to “cleaning out,” which can be anxiety-inducing. However, removing clutter does not have to mean a great purge. Instead, think of each room as a filing cabinet to house items important to that specific space. A simple search on “inexpensive organization ideas” will return hundreds of articles that are actually quite easy to put into practice.
As you finish each room, create a repeating task on a household calendar to revisit the spaces for a quick “keep or toss?” session. Starting this habit with a clean slate is a great way to have continued success and turning it into a regular event can make it fun! Initiate a weekly or monthly power hour and enlist the whole family to get busy while listening to a favorite playlist.
Phrases like “creating a net-zero home” or “coming off the grid” have become common but many homeowners assume achieving goals in this area is costly and time-consuming. The reality? Yes, improvements such as installing a solar roof or purchasing a hybrid car are huge investments. But thinking smaller can also produce positive results and even encourage the members of your home to participate.
- Create a recycling center in your home and read up, as a family, on why something so simple can make a big difference.
- Switch from disposal items (such as paper towels) to reusable items (such as cloth rags or napkins).
- Talk about the benefits of turning lights off when leaving a room and installing motion-sensitive lights in your common areas.
- Start a habit of turning off water taps if they are not actively in use. Purchase or make a rain barrel to collect water for the lawn and garden.
- Dream big! Do some window shopping on those big-ticket items by researching costs, availability, and time needed to reach success. It costs nothing to gather facts and you may find that your priorities shift based on potential returns.
Move the Garden Inside:
Colder weather shouldn’t discourage the use of a home garden. A simple garden can be created inside with a few easy steps.
- Assess the sunlight. The key ingredient to success in gardening is offering plants as much natural lighting as possible. A great rule of (green) thumb is to allow herbs to get 2-4 hours of sun and fruits/vegetables to get 4-6 hours. Which windows offer the best view for your plants? This may mean that a kitchen garden isn’t actually located in the kitchen or that you have more than one location for pots.
- Choose containers that complement your home decor and that are suitable to move outside when warm weather returns. Container choices may be driven by your garden type. Hydroponics is a great indoor garden alternative as floors stay cleaner and there is no soil for animals to dig through. Whether you stay traditional with soil or opt for hydroponics, buy quality, durable containers that you love and will last.
- Think of which plants your household would use the most and focus first on those. Do you use a lot of fresh spices? Were cucumbers the hit of the summer? Or are you more interested in creating unique teas or scrubs? Start with just a few plants and add more as you find success inside.
As you start your garden, make sure to pay attention to germination length. In some cases, it may make more sense to buy a sapling versus seedlings so that you are guaranteed a “farm to table” experience as quickly as possible.
Snug as a Bug:
The beginning of the year often forces us to spend more time at home as we come off the melee of holidays and the temperature drops. Take advantage of this time to perform a full safety check of your home. Many homeowners stick to twice-yearly changing of smoke detector batteries but there are other items that should be addressed as well.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are critical in the early detection of poisonous fumes. While many are powered by electricity with a battery backup, it is easy to forget to replace that battery on a regular basis. Another common mistake is not installing a Carbon Monoxide detector on each floor of the home. It is an investment, but well worth it.
Does your kitchen have a fire extinguisher? Did you know that each fire extinguisher has an expiration date? Again, each floor of the home should have a fire extinguisher and each family member should know its location and how to use it. In the event of an emergency, there will be no time to read the instructions.
Other important items:
- Check all window and door locks for functionality.
- Make sure external vents are cleared of debris.
- Clean the dryer hose of lint.
- Give the hot water heater a once over, checking for cracks or leaks.
- Replenish first aid kits (one per floor and one in each car!)
There are endless home resolutions to kick off as the new year begins. Choosing which ones to add to your list is the perfect place to start. And, if your 2023 goal reaches beyond your current home? In that case, the perfect place to start is with a visit our available homes. With multiple incentives across multiple neighborhoods, now is the perfect time to consider a new, high-quality build.
Imagine ending 2023 in a beautiful, spacious home by Herring Homes!