Every year the same thing happens. Come the new year many of us have made a long list of resolutions – mostly ways to better ourselves. The sad part, of course, is that most of those go by the wayside pretty quickly. What if we took the energy, we spend planning those mostly self-help programs and directed them back at our homes? Much like our own goals to get into shape and keep a healthy routine going, there are also house-healthy routines we can start to keep the things around us in better working order.
Protect your home
It’s always a good idea to start the year with a little audit. Really, what needs to be done? If you look around most things will be obvious, but some of the smaller, easier things make the biggest difference.
Batteries and alarm tests. Every home should be equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check to make sure that you have enough of them and then check to make sure they are all working as they should. While you’re at that, a quick radon test is also a good idea. Test kits are usually available at hardware stores and chains for little money. That little investment though can make a difference if you are the one in fifteen homes that have elevated radon levels. Why quit smoking to save your lungs while your inhaling radon and possibly doing as much damage?
Organize your stuff
Just after the holidays, you’re bound to have extra stuff everywhere: holiday supplies, decorations, miles of extension cords, wrapping paper, and lights. Instead of just grabbing that stuff and tossing it into a box or bag in the attic or basement, take a little time and organize it. Do you still need or want all of it? Surely some of those things are past their prime or didn’t even work. Toss those things, organize the rest and you’ll be surprised how much more simply the decorating tasks will go next year.
Speaking of stuff, what about all those new awesome gifts that flooded the house? Make sure you find a proper place for everything and put it away. Figuring out where things will go will also allow you to take a little inventory of what you already have. Maybe you can apply the “new thing in, old thing out” rule and declutter a bit at the same time.
Set a cleaning schedule
The new year seems to be everybody’s favorite time for making to-do lists, so why not make a list of the regular household chores that need to be done, set up a schedule, and assign the jobs to family members. Post the responsibilities on a common area -like the kitchen- and make sure everybody knows and sticks to their responsibilities. A little work on the regular can save a lot of work down the line.
Do some cost-saving maintenance
Now is also a good time to check on a few other things that can end up saving you money. Have you changed over to LED bulbs, cleaned the dryer filter, remember to turn off the light when you leave a room, turn off power strips for unused appliances? All of these simple steps can protect from overload, lint fires, and other random not so good stuff. You save money, energy, and add a bit more of a safety net around the home.
Simple fixes and minor habit changes can go a long way towards making things better in the long run. Clear the clutter, keep things clean, and check your safety devices. Maybe when you checking on the clutter part you can finally get rid of that exercise boke you’ve been using an extra closet all this time!