With the New Year just around the corner, it’s a great time to start making plans for getting your home in tip-top shape. If looking around your home sends shivers of terror down your spine, it may be time to make a few resolutions to help your house feel more like a home again. On top of a homier home, you may even get a little bit of that exercise in you’ve been vowing to do every year. Here are a few easy-to-manage resolutions to get you started making your home feel like new:
Ditch the Clutter/Organize your home:
One of the easiest ways to make your home feel like new, is to get rid of clutter and get organized. You may even be able to make sure cash off of old items you don’t use anymore. De-junking and organizing can get overwhelming very fast, so it’s best to tackle these projects in chunks.
Before the New Year arrives, grab a clipboard or notebook and pencil and wander around your home. Spend time in each room making notes of what needs to be organized. This is also a good time of making a list of things you know you can/want to get rid of. Once you’ve completed your home tour, sit down and make a to-do list and break it down by room. Be very specific by breaking each room into smaller chunks.
Do this for every room in your home, including the garage/attic and storage areas. If there are large items you want to get rid of, make a note of what room they are in.
Then set aside 15-minutes every day to tackle one thing in one room. If you have more time, go for it. But, almost anyone can find an extra 15 minutes to tackle a small project. Make sure you have a designated place to keep items you want to sell or donate. List items on local sites and donate them if they aren’t gone within a week. Just remember to keep each area you already tackled, clean and organized the entire year.
Make your home Energy Efficient:
Saving money can be difficult, especially if you are already on a tight budget, but did you know you could save upwards of $1,000 per year by making small changes in the way you use energy in your home? Make a goal this year to save a little extra mullah and reduce your carbon footprint.
Here are a few simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient:
Replace light bulbs: Slowly replace the light bulbs in your home with energy efficient models. This relatively inexpensive replacement means your light bulbs will last longer and use less energy, saving you money on bulbs and your monthly energy bill. Pro tip: Do not shut these lights out every time you leave the room, unless you’ll be out of that room for at least 15 minutes. You’ll save more energy.
Smart plug: You can easily save several hundred dollars a year by simply unplugging electronics and other appliances when they aren’t in use. Make this process easier by plugging items that can be unplugged into power strips. Simply flip the switch every night before bed, when you are going out or when you won’t be using the appliances. Items you can safely unplug: Television, toaster, washer/dryer, gaming systems, VCR (not the DVR unless you want to risk missing a recording), lamps, stereos and chargers.
Put a water bottle in your toilet tank: Fill a 20-ounce soda bottle with water and stick it in the back of your tank. It helps reduce the amount of water you use with each flush, lowering your water bill each month.
Build a garden for self-sufficiency:
You can save money and become more self-sufficient by planting a small garden this year. If you are new to gardening choose a few things that are easy to maintain. Tomatoes, strawberries and herbs are relatively easy to care for and are pretty hard to kill off. If you have a small or no backyard, consider investing in a few long planters. You can create a small garden space on a porch or balcony for just a few dollars. Other fairly easy options include beans, carrots, cucumbers and berry bushes.