By Bill Primavera
You never know where you’re going to find useful information to help with that glorious (and sometimes challenging) job of being a homeowner.
As I coast the internet, sometimes I find the most useful information, mostly from those professionals who are on the front line of home improvement: those who actually do the jobs required.
In this case, my source for ideas to utilize as New Year’s resolutions for the home is a blogger/contractor family with the name Lombardo from the Midwest. Here is a brief outline of their suggested resolutions for the home in the new year.
- Cut down on energy use. This involves everything from turning off the lights when leaving a room to sealing and insulating ductwork to increase heating and cooling efficiency. This can also be done by making an effort to efficiently recycle plastics, paper and other materials.
- Improve air quality in your home by maintaining the HVAC system and changing furnace filters regularly.
- Look for and invest in low-maintenance and durable materials for use in your home.
- Prepare for emergencies. Apart from checking the alarms and replacing batteries, it’s a good idea to check and prepare emergency exits. Create easy-access emergency packs should anything happen.
- Create a home cleaning routine. Devise daily, weekly and monthly maintenance routines for yourself and your household to keep your home clean, creating less work in the future.
- Make a note of how to clean your things. It’s a good idea to learn the ins and outs of how different things in your home should be properly cleaned. Sometimes things are complex, or just don’t need to be cleaned very often and can be forgotten.
Walk through your house and make a list of anything you don’t know how to clean, then look everything up. After reading up on how to clean those things, put the notes with your cleaning supplies so they’re always close for reference.
- Clean out your cupboards. Even though a lot of canned foods are nonperishable, check your cupboards for anything that might have expired or you don’t plan to use.
- Empty out your products before replacing or repurchasing. Before filling cabinets and covering counters with brand new things you already have, finish out the products you already have in your home. This reduces clutter and the chance of things expiring on your watch. If you find something you’re not interested in finishing, you know to dispose of it.
- Give your new things a proper home. When you do stock up or get new things, be sure to put them in a place they belong, rather than letting them stack up and create clutter. If you’re very busy, you can always have a space designated for these things to be until there’s time for them to be sorted.
- Get rid of things you don’t need or want. Whether you have a garage sale or donate, get rid of the things in your home that lack purpose for the future.
- Keep a donation box handy. Along with getting rid of things that you don’t have use for anymore, have a designated box for things you’d like to donate or sell so that whenever you come across them, you can put them away for later. They’ll be handy for delivery or pickup, or organizing in your garage later on.
- Rearrange furniture for efficiency and comfort. To optimize heating and cooling, be aware of how your furniture is arranged and move it accordingly. In summer months, shift the focus of your great room away from the fireplace.
- During winter, shift everything back to face the warmth.
- Prepare your home for guests. If you plan to do any entertaining, you can prepare your home for guests by giving key areas of your home an update. Add new or repurposed décor in an accent color to the living room. If you have guest bedrooms, make them more welcoming by adding warmer furniture that will make them feel more comfortable. Streamline connective areas like hallways to create a feeling of closeness and continuity.
These suggestions should be useful in planning an organized and satisfying way to welcome in the new year as a homeowner.
Bill Primavera is a residential and commercial realtor associated with William Raveis Realty, as well as a publicist and journalist writing regularly as The Home Guru. For questions about home maintenance or to buy or sell a home, he can be e-mailed at [email protected] or called directly at 914-522-2076.