The New Year’s resolution is part of life. As we returned to work following our holiday rest and relaxation, the water cooler talk turns to our 2016 plans. We are asked about our resolutions. Where do we want to improve in the coming year?
Well, your home is no different. We all have numerous projects and plans to upgrade patios and fix leaky faucets. We all want to organize a few closets and shelves or add some extra hooks so we can find our jackets and keys.
But how do we keep our resolutions?
If you are anything like us, making resolutions is the easy part. Keeping the resolutions is a different story. So, how do we keep them?
Essentially, set attainable goals and reward yourself along the way for all those little victories.
If you set one project (or resolution) per month as your goal, then you’ll have made quite a dent over the year. The best part – many popular home improvement projects make you want to show off your home. Invite some friends over as a simple reward!
Without further ado, here are some common home resolutions that should hit on some popular areas of the home.
First and foremost, take stock of your home. Everyone is a little different, so start with the basics.
There are a ton of general activities that we tend to forget. When you take stock, then think about larger projects, but as you walk around the house, then take care of the little things.
- Change Light Bulbs
- Test Smoke Alarms
- Test (or Install) Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Dust Ceiling Fans (& the Ceiling)
- Update (or Create) an Emergency Kit
However, perhaps the best part of taking stock is update family photos. If you take stock at the beginning of the year, then you might have some great new pictures following the holiday season.
Prevent Bathroom Mold
The bathroom tends to collect a lot of stuff due to high moisture levels. Over time, the condensation and consistent moisture leads to mold and mildew. There are some simple ways to prevent mold and mildew from forming, such as using a squeegee on the shower walls. Other ways to help, include:
- Run bathroom fans during showers and about 30 minutes following showers.
- Install a timer switch on fans to prevent forgetfulness.
- Seal any grout between tiles annually.
- Remove existing mold with simple solution (10% bleach and 90% water).
And since you are thinking about the bathroom, then consider some simple ways to maximize the available space. Afterall, bathrooms tend to be fairly limited, so make the most of the room!
The framed bathroom mirror idea via Rice Designs.
When spring cleaning rolls around, then take it a step further. Prep for spring cleaning by thinking about adding some additional storage space. There are some great DIY ways to improve organization, such as adding shelves.
Two great ideas are adding shelves under the kitchen sink and installing folding shelves to open walls. These work well because they are hidden when not in use, so they should avoid the typical trap of collecting things.
Perhaps the most underused way to improve organization are magnets! Add some magnets to surface area around major kitchen appliances because utensils and cooking wear are typically metal and will stick!
Fun with Home Finances
Finances are usually part of the resolution process. If you make small improvements with your finances, then over time, it will add up.
One such idea is making an extra mortgage payment (or adding a few dollars to the monthly bill). It may not be much fun, but if you have a tax refund, then consider sending an extra payment to the mortgage company. Let the experts at Bankrate explain the math.
“The more payments you make in a shorter period of time, the less you end up paying in the long term, and the faster you’ll get rid of your mortgage. If you can put aside a couple of dollars every week and then end up plugging it into your mortgage, that’s awesome.”
Update the Backyard
Another common wish list item is a nice garden. Well, this year is the time to finally plant that garden!
If you are looking to improve that green thumb this year, then don’t forget to mulch because it helps keep your plants look plush throughout the summer. A key benefit of mulch is that it helps reduce weeds as well, so make your lawn work for you!
To really improve that green thumb, then consider building a greenhouse. It will help keep the garden fresh all year long!
Watch Out for that Water Usage
We tend to use a lot of water around the home. Not only during the summer when we water lawns and plants to make our yards look nice, but all year long.
“The average household uses about 400 gallons of water each day, or almost $700 per year in water and sewer costs. Making a few simple changes, such as installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could trim up to $200 from your annual water bill. Add to that energy savings from reduced costs to heat water, and your yearly savings could reach $300 or more per year.”
Homeowners can also install low-flow showerheads or toilets to help prevent water from dripping away. Many of these products are fairly simple for homeowners to install themselves. If you have any questions, then the SolvIt plumbing crew can help as well.
Perfect the Patio
During the summer, the patio tends to collect friends and family when they gather over your house. Take some time to add some extra seats and tables for any impromptu parties.
Adding a day bed on the patio is a unique way to provide extra seating, while doubling as a great place to rest and watch the sunset.
As an added benefit, any pallets used to ship the materials for the daybed can be reused to create a table or help build custom benches around the patio.
Fall Check Up
Similar to spring cleaning, the fall is a great time of year to check up on the exterior of your home. In the fall, then preventative maintenance helps accomplish a few things:
- Ensure Energy Efficiency
- Improve Indoor Air Quality
- Check Appliance Warranties
- Reduce Major Appliance Breakdowns
Most importantly, checking the furnace, hot water heater and AC unit provides peace of mind for the winter. At SolvIt, we offer multiple protection plans to help provide mental well-being through an annual check up!
Along those lines, then consider trimming trees and clearing leaves from the gutters as well. Take some time to remove debris that could hit your house when the weather turns and winter approaches.
Finish the Basement
Depending on your home setup, the basement might be one of those projects that just lingers. The beauty of the basement is its versatility. The basement may be home to the washer and dryer, the furnace and the playroom (for kids or husbands)!
There are a variety of ways to spruce up the basement without a major overhaul. To start, lean into the concrete and simply paint the floor for a nice upgrade. Along those lines, there are cool ways to refresh the walls, such as painting a wall with chalk to make a blackboard that suits any kids room or home office.
Or find some old pallets and add some depth to a wall without much effort.
Minor Kitchen Changes
The kitchen is the lifeblood of a home. Afterall, everyone needs to eat. Friends and family tend to gather around the kitchen table, so any changes, even small and subtle can have a big effect.
Unfortunately, the kitchen is also one of those places that acquires things. Take some time to clean out the cabinets to remove old herbs and spices that haven’t been used in 3 years. Along those lines, clean off the top of the refrigerator (or anywhere that collects clutter) to remove some clutter.
With a clean kitchen, then consider some minor upgrades, such as:
- New Light Fixtures.
- Change the Colors.
- Revamp the Cabinets.
As an added benefit, minor kitchen upgrades tend to add value to the home during the selling process.
Find a Friendly Foyer
The foyer is typically the first thing people see when they enter your home. It is usually filled with coats, shoes and a host of things we seem to always have when we get home.
Luckily, the small space does not hinder your ample creativity and there are fantastic ways to make the space more engaging (& organized!). For example, it is pretty easy to install a few extra hooks for coats (or add additional hangers in nearby closets!).
For aspiring homeowners, then revamp the foyer by adding a bench and extra baskets to keep organized throughout the year. The bench provides family and friends alike with a clear place to put shoes on and off as well.
Mini-makeover in the Living Room
Following the kitchen, the living room might be the busiest room in the house. Often, this room tends to get stale over time because it hosts so many big pieces of furniture and the TV. However, a mini-makeover can be as simple or complex as you desire.
Simply rearrange the furniture can provide a new vibe to the living room and doesn’t cost any money. Along those lines, then consider some of the following to improve the look and feel, like:
- add a plant to freshen the room.
- change the lamp (or just change the lampshade).
- clean the bookshelf (& donate some old books!).
- find some new artwork.
- replace a table or just the chairs.
Since we tend to spend much of our time around the TV, then perhaps add a few more electrical outlets. If your home isn’t brand new, then we likely have a few more devices laying around that need charging. An open outlet (especially with guests around) can really be a big relief.
At SolvIt, we spend all day in homes. We do our best to help homeowners ensure the essentials are working properly to protect their families. Every home is different, but they all need a little TLC every now and then. If you have questions, then remember SolvIt is ready, willing and able to help.