The new year is almost here, which for many is a time to set resolutions, whether it’s shedding some holiday pounds or quitting smoking. But have you ever thought about making a resolution for your home? Take a little time to consider how you could make some simple improvements to your home that will benefit you for the coming year.
Here are five easy ideas to get you started!
1. Nurture your green thumb: There are numerous benefits when it comes to keeping houseplants, including improved air quality, increased humidity levels, and the beauty that they bring to any room. Treat yourself to a couple of new houseplants for the new year (or take some cuttings from a friend or coworker) and add more life to your home. If you’re not sure on which type of plant to pick, talk to your local nursery about the type of lighting and temperature your home will provide to find the ones that are right for you.
2. Eliminate clutter and get organized: Take 20 minutes a day to get a head start on your spring cleaning and do away with some unnecessary items in your home. Set them aside for a summertime yard sale, or donate them to a local charitable organization for a tax write-off. Organize and store the items that you wish to keep in inexpensive plastic totes that can be easily labeled and stacked.
3. Protect yourself with detectors: Does your home have the appropriate amount of smoke detectors installed? The National Fire Protection Association recommends a smoke alarm on every floor of the home (including basements) in addition to every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. This is also a good time to check that the batteries in existing alarms are working. Carbon monoxide detectors are also a wise (and inexpensive!) investment to protect your family. It’s recommended to place one on each floor of your house, along with an additional unit near any major gas burning appliances such as a water heater or furnace.
4. Use less water: According to the EPA, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day, with the majority of water usage going to flush the toilet! Replace older toilets with a low-flush model which can drastically reduce the amount of water needed. Also, don’t forget about outdoor water usage. Be water-wise with your landscaping and choose plants that do not require much water, and consider installing a rain barrel to collect rainwater that can be used during the dryer months.
5. Prepare for an emergency: You never know when a disaster may strike, so it’s best to be prepared with the necessary supplies to keep you comfortable and safe in your home just in case. A survival kit should contain the necessities that immediately come to mind such as water, non-perishable food (for you and your pets), a first-aid kit, flashlights, and batteries. It’s not a bad idea however to have backups of important documents on hand (such as medical records, passports, and a list of contacts), along with basic toiletries, books or small games for entertainment, and a little bit of cash.