With your house being the single greatest financial investment you’ll likely make in your lifetime, it makes sense to have a separate list of New Year’s resolutions just for your home. It’s worth it! And unlike many of the typical personal lists we make at the beginning of each new year, this list might actually be attainable. Here are 5 home improvement ideas for the New Year!
It doesn’t matter if you are planning to stay forever in your home or a move is in your future, it just makes sense to get rid of the excess, unused items that have accumulated in your cupboards, drawers and closets. Somehow, every year we add things we simply don’t use or need. Start going through those spaces and box and bag up items to donate…toss the rest. Then attempt to be more selective in what you purchase and bring into your home. You’ll find that having clear counters and room in your drawers makes a difference in your day-to-day life.
Safe and Sound
Take some time to be sure the home you’re living in isn’t a hazard to your health. Do you have fire detectors throughout your home? And carbon monoxide detectors as well? How about fire extinguishers? These are small investments in your home that could save your life. Make sure you properly take care of these detectors and follow the suggested maintenance schedule outlined in the manual. Also pay attention to sometimes-forgotten tasks….clean your dryer lint trap regularly. That lint build-up may seem harmless, but it accounts for nearly 15,000 house fires a year. Also make sure your vents to your roof/to the outdoors are clear of debris and able to do their job — vent.
The Great Outdoors
House beautiful doesn’t mean JUST your house – spend some time cleaning up and sprucing up your outdoor space. During the winter months, make sure your sidewalks and walkways are clear of snow and your outdoor lights are working properly. In the warmer months, take the time to maintain your lawn and weed your gardens and flower pots. You’ll appreciate the beauty of your home when you approach your house and your neighbors will appreciate you taking care of the property, as well.
Lower Your Bills
Figure out ways to cut energy use in your home – and you’ll lower your utility bills. Some are simple things like turning off the lights when you’re not in the room or adjusting your thermostat to save energy when you’re away or asleep. You can save money and energy by changing out your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs or switching out your shower head to low-flow. Consider getting rid of secondary appliances (that old fridge in the garage) that is an energy hog. All these things can add up to decent savings for you over the course of a year.
Time with Family & Friends
Most resolutions include spending more time with the people who are important to us – so add that to this list as well. Take some time to update your home so you feel more excited about inviting family and friends into your home – try painting a room or adding a few new accessories, or even just fresh flowers, to give your entertainment space a little boost.
Your home has room for improvement. Take advantage of this New Year, by taking action on some or all of these home improvement ideas, and then see what a big difference these small changes can make. Good luck with all your New Year’s Resolutions!
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.