‘Tis the season to forget about the troubles of the year past and set your sights on the promising year ahead. While we’re all used to making, and sometimes forgetting, New Year’s resolutions for ourselves, this coming year, why not make a few resolutions for your home. With 2020 in your sights, now is a great time to start thinking about a few New Year’s resolutions for your home. Below are five relatively simple home resolutions that you can challenge your whole family to keep:
streamline the stuff. A year is a long time to accumulate a lot of stuff and it’s inevitable that clutter (in one form or another) has collected throughout your home. The New Year is a great time to go through each room and declutter. This is a relatively easy way to instantly refresh and feel good about your space. Excessive clutter can make your home feel dated and dirty, and there are likely cabinets, drawers and closets that have become jam-packed with all sorts of stuff that can do with a cleaning. This year, resolve to cleanse on a monthly or bi-monthly basis some of the most frequently-used spaces in your home and do away with any items you don’t use or wear anymore. Depending on the state of the items, you can donate many of them to friends, neighbours, family or charity shops. Doing this on a regular basis has the added benefit of making you more conscious about what you buy and bring into your home, as well as helping you create extra storage space for the items that you do need. A good mantra to keep in mind when engaging in this task is: fill your home with items that make you feel good and refreshed. Purge the items that drain your energy and are unusable to you.
keep it safe and sound. The safety and security of your home is likely top-of-mind regardless of whether or not the New Year is fast-approaching. This year, consider there are a number of steps you can take to ensure the safety of your home. First, test your home for radon. This colourless and odourless gas can be fatal, and many homeowners never think to check for it. Luckily, test kits can easily be purchased at your local hardware store. Ensure to also install a carbon monoxide detector, or ensure you have fresh batteries for your current one. In addition to smoke detectors, these detectors should be placed on every bedroom floor. They will safeguard you from carbon monoxide poisoning in the event of a leak or blockage of your chimney flue or furnace vents. In your laundry room, ensure you clean away any old dryer lint. While you may do a thorough job of cleaning the little trap inside your dryer’s door, also ensure you pay attention to the buildup of lint in the vents and ducts behind the dryer. On a similar note, ventilation, especially in your attic and washrooms, is important and you’ll want to ensure the vents in these spaces are clean and not blocked. Failure to do so can fast-track the growth of mold in these areas. Finally, if your home was built before the 1970s, consider testing for use of lead paint and asbestos. If traces of either are found, ensure you contact the proper personnel for safe removal, to avoid trace particles being released into the air.
shrink your bills and carbon footprint. While you may think “electric cars” and “solar panels” when it comes to green initiatives, there are in fact plenty of smaller scale and more affordable actions you can take to save on your monthly bills and help the planet. Chief among these include:
> Switching off any lights in any room not in use.
> Unplugging appliances not in use to avoid phantom consumption.
> In summer, turn your air conditioner off whenever you leave the house. In winter, dial your heater down to about 13 C at night.
> Replace all of your light bulbs with LED bulbs and install a low-flow showerhead.
> Only run your dryer, washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full.
> Install an indoor or outdoor clothesline to dry your clothes when the weather is warmer.
> Turn off your power bars and extension cables and configure your computer to go into sleep mode when not in use.
> Consider installing drought-tolerant landscaping to enable you to water your yard less.
> Try composting and ensuring you’re recycling properly.
> Seal and insulate your ductwork.
develop a weekly cleaning schedule. While cleaning your home is integral to its upkeep, it’s a chore not often seen as enjoyable by most homeowners and their families. As such, there are likely spaces in your home that could probably use a little more TLC. Divide cleaning jobs, including: dusting, vacuuming, laundry, emptying the dishwasher as well as cleaning the bathroom and emptying the garbage amongst your family members. This alleviates the burden off of one person and allows your family the option of rotating tasks. On a daily basis: ensure all dirty dishes go into the dishwasher and dirty clothes go in the hamper. You’ll also want to ensure that clean items are put back into the respective spots. On a weekly basis, ensure you clean your entire house by keeping the following in mind:
> Keep all cleaning substances, gloves, clothes and other cleaning supplies in a portable carryall that you can easily transport from room to room.
> Consider purchasing and wearing a builder’s apron that has plenty of pockets and hooks to stash cleaning supplies, making them easily accessible and keeping yourself clean and tidy.
> Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Wipe down all mirrors and cabinets first before moving onto spraying countertops and then windows and appliances. End off with sweeping and / or mopping. This generally helps the cleaning process move quicker.
make your space entertainment ready. One of your personal resolutions may be to spend more time with family and friends. If this is the case, odds are you’ll be more likely to host a dinner party or brunch if your home looks good. On the one hand, you may choose to embark upon a total home remodel complete with new furniture and décor. On the other, you can easily refresh your space with a few key updates. Rearrange your furniture so that it’s not all facing the television but rather, is conducive to conversation. Add plants throughout your home (either real or faux) for some colour and a breath of freshness. Pull an accent colour from your home and work it into some accent pieces such as pillows, cushions, blankets, a new area rug, and wall art. These key updates should be applied to rooms where you’ll likely host guests, namely your living room and guest bedrooms.
Wanting to improve the look and feel of your home with thoughtful plans can make creating and keeping your New Year’s resolutions easier for you and your family. Commit to starting the New Year on the right foot and loving your home whilst doing it. Check out Furniture.ca for all you may need to help keep your New Year home resolutions. —Vita Daily