New Year’s resolutions are about new beginnings, fresh starts and improving your quality of life. One of the best places to start is with your home. After all, you spend most of your time there. In that spirit, here are some resolutions you can make to improve your home. If your new beginning includes a new home in Lago Mar, you’re off to a great start.
Set Up a Cleaning System
We all hate cleaning. It’s a never-ending, boring job. On the other hand, coming home to a clean home improves our mood, lessens anxiety and just feels good. This year, resolve to set up a cleaning system that keeps you motivated. Set up daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules. Items on the daily schedule shouldn’t take longer than 15 to 20 minutes. For example, set aside time to do a quick walk-through before bed, putting items back in their place. Weekly schedules could involve laundry, dusting and mopping. Monthly items should include home maintenance projects. Don’t try to do it all yourself. That’s what kids are for.
Cut Down on Energy Usage
New homes in Lago Mar are more energy-efficient than homes built five years ago. If you don’t own one, there are things you can do to cut down your usage and save money. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Unplug small appliances you don’t use every day. Have your HVAC system checked by a professional to make sure it is working optimally. If you are feeling ambitious, install solar panels.
As an addendum to cutting down your energy usage, consider all the ways you can live a more sustainable life. If you’re thinking of replacing old appliances, look for the Energy Star label. Take reusable bags to the store. Ditch plastic storage containers. Save water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaky faucets and planting drought-resistant plants.
Create a Healthy Kitchen
A healthy family is a happy family. Resolve to stock the refrigerator and pantry with healthy snacks. Organize your kitchen to make it easier to serve up home-cooked meals. Give everyone a turn at making or helping to prepare meals. Donate non-perishable food items you know you will never use. Make a plan for keeping the kitchen clean and clutter-free. After all, no one wants to cook in a messy kitchen.
Check the Air Quality
The air inside your home is full of contaminants. In addition to dust, mold and allergens, there may be harmful fumes from carpets and furniture. New homes usually have excellent HVAC systems designed to improve the air quality in your home. Be sure to change your filters regularly. Use low-VOC paints and replace old carpeting with certified green carpeting. Remove smoke and fumes with a good ventilation system.
Install Low-maintenance and Durable Materials
No one wants to spend every weekend on home maintenance chores. Replace those high-maintenance items with more durable materials. Wood floors and ceramic tile are durable floor choices. Quartz countertops are low maintenance. If you need a new roof, spend a little more money to get shingles that last longer. Even switching to LED bulbs can help since they don’t need to be replaced as often.
Make Your Home Safe
How safe is your home? Is it protected against fire, flood or intruders? If you don’t have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, install them. If your smoke alarms are old, update them. Add smart home features. Smart doorbells have cameras that hook up to your phone or tablet so you can see who is at the door. Several smart security systems are easy to purchase and install.
Create an Emergency Repairs Fund
Let’s face it. Things happen. When that something involves home repair, it can get expensive. Set aside 1 to 3 percent annually of your home’s value for home maintenance and repairs. That cushion can mean the difference between living with a leaky faucet or getting it fixed before the dripping water drives you crazy.
Trim Your Trees
The outside of your home needs to be maintained as much as the inside. Resolve to pay more attention to trees, bushes and flower beds. Untrimmed trees can damage your home in a storm, allow squirrels to scamper into your attack or prove tempting to neighborhood children. Bushes provide homes to unwelcome critters so check for nests.
Clear It of Clutter
January is a great time to purge your home of unwanted items. It’s also perfect for finding homes for holiday gifts. Aim to clear out one closet or room a week. Set up three boxes. One is for things you want to keep. One is for things you want to store. One is for things you want to donate. A good rule of thumb is to ditch items you haven’t used in two years or that you don’t recognize.
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