According to a New York Times article, one in three people making a New Year’s Resolution ill break it by the end of January. That’s pretty pathetic, though understandable, statistic. After all, change is tough and we often, in a fit of optimism,, and champagne bubbles, bite off more than we can chew on New Year’s Eve with spontaneous commitments to do better without a game plan. In the spirit of improvements that you can follow through on, we offer the following ideas:
Purge Clutter: Chances are you’ve acquired clutter because over the years you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff that you refused to part with because it might come in use “someday”. We applaud your resourcefulness! However, it’s a great idea to donate, sell or discard anything in your home that hasn’t been used in the last couple of years that is not an heirloom item. To make this less overwhelming, pick one day per month and select a single room to focus on. By the time 2016 hits, your entire home is clutter free!
Save Energy: Cringe less when you open your utility bill by making simple lifestyle changes. Pledge to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Utilize the programming abilities of your thermostat and put your television on a sleep timer when you go to bed for the night. An even better option is getting a home performance test to identify where heat is escaping your home. Even if it’s outside of your budget to do every recommended improvement, you’ll be on the right track by at least knowing what needs to be done and what you need to invest to make this happen.
Check Your Home’s Exterior: As the age old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Once in the spring and once in the fall, take a look at your home’s exterior. Are there any cracks in the siding that could pose a long-term problem? Do you see any shingle granules coming off your roof? Are any shingles curling? If you don’t want to get on top of your roof, stand on the ground with a pair of binoculars and focus in on your roof. What about your gutters? Are they free of debris? Set yourself a calendar reminder so that this task does not get overlooked. If you identify areas of concern, connect with an industry professional who can analyze the severity of the situation.
Make a List: It’s hard to improve your home without a strategic approach. Get organized with a spreadsheet of every room in your home (don’t forget the exterior too!) and ways you’d like to improve it. Give yourself deadlines in order to stay accountable. Know you want to make changes but not sure what they would look like? Websites like Houzz & Pinterest allow you to collect your ideas and put them in a central place to look at closer when the time for the improvement arrives.