If your New Year resolutions generally focus on improving yourself and your lifestyle, perhaps it’s time to think outside the box a bit and include your home in your list of resolutions. Think of it this way – your home is an extension of you. The decisions you make about your home and activities you perform in your home have a direct and major impact on your own health and your impact on the lives of other people.
As you make your list for the New Year, be sure to include the best home resolutions you should make to keep your family and yourself safe, healthy and happy in the coming months.
A house needs at least one working smoke alarm on each floor, including one in every bedroom and just outside of every sleeping area. Smoke alarms are so effective that they cut your chances of losing your life in a fire by about 50 percent. When you have operational smoke alarms installed in your home, they alert you to a fire in the earliest stages when everyone still has time to escape uninjured.
Make a New Year resolution that you will install smoke alarms in your home as recommended. This isn’t the end of it, though. You’ve also got to commit to testing the smoke alarms once a month by pushing that test button. Yes, it’s annoying and you’ll have to brace yourself for the ear-piercing shriek from the smoke alarm. This is important, though, because it also ensures that your family knows the smoke alarm sound. You can then talk about what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.
If your smoke alarm starts making a little chirping sound, this is your cue that it needs a new battery, too. Don’t ignore it – replace the battery right away.
2.Reduce Reuse Recycle
A commitment to reducing the amount of trash you throw away, reusing as many items as possible and recycling things you can’t reuse can be an important New Year resolution to make for your home. Develop a consciousness about the amount of trash you throw away and start choosing items with packaging that enables you to reuse the containers. Make a point of avoiding products with excess packaging to reduce the amount of trash your household creates. Instead, choose products that you can either reuse for another purpose or recycle for new purposes.
An energy audit can be an eye-opening process that helps you detect areas of waste or inefficiency. No one wants to let hard-earned cash float out the windows or down the drain, but this may be happening if you don’t have a firm handle on your home’s energy consumption.
Hire an expert to go through your entire home from top to bottom. The expert will look for areas where your home isn’t energy efficient. This could be drafty windows, leaky water pipes or poor insulation in your walls, basement or attic. Once you get the bottom line on your home, make the recommended changes to tighten up the ship and reduce waste.
Commit to reducing your home’s eco-footprint by making important changes in your home. Step up your recycling. You might even consider instituting major changes to reduce the amount of paper your household uses and throws away. You can make fundamental changes in the amount of paper you use just by starting to pay bills online and using email correspondence more. Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by getting yourself off of mailing lists. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones that use less energy and cost less to run. Look for the “Energy Star” label on appliances and zero in on these models to save money over the life of the appliance.
Although you might think that deep cleaning should happen only in the spring, you may be missing a huge opportunity to declutter your home and get rid of things you don’t need or want anymore. You’re stuck indoors in the dead of winter, right? What better activity to keep yourself busy than to deep clean your house and reorganize it. Be merciless as you sort through your stuff, tossing or giving away anything you no longer use. Treat yourself to new organizational systems in your closets and cupboards to stow the things you keep. Once you spend the time and effort deep cleaning and reorganizing, your home can be a tight ship with a place for everything and everything put away neatly.
Add home improvements to your list of New Year resolutions. If you’ve been putting off those painting or remodeling projects, move them to the top of your list and get them done. A fresh coat of paint in a bedroom or kitchen can do wonders for your home’s appearance. If your living room carpet has seen better days, why not upgrade to hardwoods or install new carpeting? Perhaps your bathroom or kitchen needs some serious upgrades to improve the appearance and functionality of these areas. If you have equity in your home, you may even be able to tap into this equity to help pay for home improvement projects. The dividends will pay you back both in the short-term and in the long-term because you’ll be able to start enjoying your home more right away and your home’s value will increase in the future.
With a few basic additions, your New Year resolution list can make dramatic changes in the way your home operates. You can gain satisfaction knowing that your home is more efficient and conservative. Your wallet will also appreciate the savings over the coming months of the New Year. The possibilities are extensive and you never know what imaginative ideas you’ll discover.