New Year, New You!
Set attainable homeownership goals as your 2023 New Years Resolutions!
1. Resolve to be Cleaner.
Throw away expired foods and clean out the kitchen cupboards. Use laminating contact paper to line the shelves for easy future cleaning endeavors. Mark down 12 weekends on your 2023 calendar to dedicate to deep cleaning 1 to 2 rooms in your house. (Even if these dates shift later for other obligations, it’s better to have set the time aside now.)
Commit to doing one task every day to declutter, reorganize, or spruce up a small part of your space.
2. Resolve to be More Organized.
Reconsider your storage options in highly trafficked, highly cluttered areas of your home. Solve specific needs for specific rooms – a place to put outwear in the entryway, a place to put shoes in the bedroom, a storage system for the bathroom cabinet, etc.
Start small by making one area more functional and visibly more organized.
3. Resolve to be Safer.
Have the fire extinguishers in your home charged and accessible to the kitchen and other potentially important areas. Check and test the batteries in your fire and CO2 detectors. Draw a map of your home and mark down emergency exits and a family meeting place, then practice evacuating with the whole family.
4. Resolve to be Energy Efficient.
Change out remaining incandescent bulbs for energy efficient LEDs. Add timers or light sensors to indoor and outdoor lights to increase efficiency. Check that all appliances are functioning properly and unplug them when not in use. Have the roof, chimney, and boiler inspected to ensure they’re in top shape too.
5. Resolve to Spend Wisely.
Start a “spare change” savings plan to create an additional emergency bank, additional mortgage payment, or a home maintenance fund. Use savings apps designed to set small amounts aside that will add up later. Check stores you frequent for shopping apps, rewards points, and insider coupons – and make a weekly or monthly habit of planning your spending ahead of time, rather than buying groceries and other necessities on-the-fly.
6. Resolve to Be Prepared.
Emergencies can strike at any time. Create a Family Emergency kit with 3 Days’ worth of shelf-stable food (don’t forget pets!), copies of important documents, a small emergency fund, flashlights, blankets, phone chargers, and first aid supplies. Keep this in an easily accessible place, along with an information sheet that has helpful phone numbers, family medical information, and anything else you might need if forced to evacuate quickly.
7. Resolve to Fix What’s Broken.
Repair loose tiles, broken pavers, and creaky floorboards. Check windows and doors for leaks, drafts, tears, or scratches. Not everything will be fixable at once, so make an inventoried list of repairs your home needs – and work from most critical to least critical.
8. Resolve to Be Healthier
Air and water quality in a home make a big difference in our physical well-being. Change out air and water filters and follow manufacturer’s instruction on cleaning air and water filtration units.
9. Resolve to Communicate.
Update the look and feel of your family message board, to incorporate all the members of your family, their responsibilities and schedule. Leave room for notes to be shared, assignments to be given, and important dates to be remembered by all. Practice checking this special message board as a family until it becomes a routine habit for everyone – and be sure to leave positive feedback and uplifting notes in addition to chores, directions, and to-dos.
10. Resolve to Maintain Your Home Throughout the Year.
Create a monthly home maintenance calendar, marking down what features or appliances will be maintained or inspected during which month. Plan 2 or 3 big projects for each month of the year to keep your home maintenance schedule on track. Mix something fun in with each month’s work. January is the month to get snow-ready, store indoor and outdoor decorations, and to inspect bathrooms for spring remodeling. February is a good month for planting sprouts indoors to be transplanted outdoors in the spring, rotating or upgrading mattresses, and vacuum and iron or steam the curtains and drapes.