Our 2017 New Year’s Resolutions for the Home

    2017

    We all make new year’s resolutions for ourselves, but why don’t we make them for our home? Our home is our sanctuary; where we make plans, spend time with our family and entertain friends. As we welcome 2017, let’s resolve to make our homes a place to be proud of.

    Resolve to be clutter free 

    Get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home. Go room-by-room clearing anything that you don’t use, wear or love and donate it to charity. Clear your counters of everything you don’t use on a daily basis. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. You probably have storage solutions you didn’t even know you had. Put up a high shelf between the walls of a narrow hallway, and tuck storage in out-of-the-way nooks, such as under the stairs and between wall studs. Remember all that clutter makes your house look dated and dirty.

    Resolve to make your home safe 

    Check your house for radon, the colorless, odorless gas that causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. Watch out for dryer lint; don’t neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. If your home was built or remodeled before 1978, test for lead paint and asbestos flooring.

    Resolve to use maintenance-free materials 

    Install low-maintenance materials and products designed for durability and long, trouble-free service, such as fiber cement siding, LED bulbs and classic ceramic tile.

    Resolve to be greener 

    Switch off the lights when you leave a room, install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads. Wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before running them. Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down at night. Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use. Seal and insulate your HVAC ductwork, which alone can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20%.

    Resolve to entertain family and friends at home  

    Give the areas you entertain in an update with a fresh coat of paint, a little bit of rearranging and a few inexpensive improvements.

    Resolve to budget for improvements  

    Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance helps prevent overspending and encourages you to put aside money for major replacements — such as new roofing or a kitchen appliance — that come up every few years.Data from the US Census Bureau says that average annual maintenance and home improvement expenditures are about $3,300 per household.

    Resolve to support your neighborhood/ community 

    Start a neighborhood watch program. Set up a meeting with your neighbors to discuss concerns and priorities. Gather facts to present at the meeting, including what kinds of crimes happen nearby and if there are patterns to criminal activity. Ask a local police representative to come to your first meeting to answer questions. Start a community garden. This can bring together neighbors for bonding, eating healthier and saving on groceries.

    Resolve to spend more time with family on home improvement projects 

    Create family projects like planting trees or putting in a garden. Make a home emergency preparedness kit by making a scavenger hunt of gathering up all the necessary supplies, such as flashlights, toilet paper, and duct tape. Assemble your kit during an evening together. It’s a positive way to teach small children about what to do if there’s an emergency.

    Give some thought at this year’s end to what sort of resolutions you need to make for a better you and a better home for 2017.

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