1. Clear the clutter. As a year passes, it’s easy to accumulate a mountain of unused items. The start of a new year is the perfect time to clear your home of unwanted possessions and junk that you no longer need. Not only is it one of the easiest ways to make your home look better, it’s also one of the cheapest. This year, resolve to go room by room and clear out anything you don’t need. If you’ve got kids, ask them to join in by passing along some of their old toys to other children. Find a new home for the stacks of mail and unused small appliances on your countertops. Now that your countertops are no longer in hiding, maybe they could also use an update!
2. Make sure your home is safe and sound. Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to make sure your home is safe as well as beautiful. Have you done radon or carbon monoxide testing? For the relatively low price of testing kits, you can assure your family’s safety. Both deadly gases are odorless and colorless and responsible for thousands of deaths each year—don’t let that happen in your home. Another silent but toxic enemy of your home is mold. It often lurks in poorly vented bathrooms. Cracked or leaking tiles, tubs, and vanities also contribute to the spread of mold, so make sure you take care of those. Refinish First can help!
3. Reduce your energy usage. You don’t have to install solar panels or buy a hybrid car to go green. There are plenty of easy ways to shrink your energy usage—and your bills. Simple things your mother used to tell you are still great advice, like switching off lights when you’re not using them. Here are other ways to reduce your energy usage:
- In the winter, turn your heater down at night. Many people sleep better in cooler temperatures and it’ll reduce your energy bill dramatically.
- Open your blinds on sunny days to trap the warmer air and close them during the evening to keep the warm air in.
- While a long, hot shower is tempting, especially during the winter months, try to reduce your water usage by taking shorter showers and installing a low-flow showerhead.
- When it’s warmer out, dry your clothes out on the line. This will extend the life of your clothes and reduce your power bill.
4. Develop a system for keeping your home clean. During hectic days, it’s easy to let things like cleaning the bathroom or kitchen slide. However, once you develop a system for keeping things organized, it’ll become second nature. A little while back, we gave you tips for cleaning your bathroom in five minutes a day. You can also apply this concept to other rooms in your house. Spend a few minutes each day putting things back where they belong.
5. Entertain more. Don’t hold off on entertaining simply because you’re worried about having to overhaul your house. All it takes to spruce up your house is some simple updating and rearranging. No need to go all out on a full home remodel. Think about where your guests will spend the most time—the dining area and the kitchen. New countertops are an easy way to give your kitchen a new look without the cost of a kitchen remodel. Another simple way to freshen up your home is by adding plants. They’re an easy way to decorate on a budget and they help clean the air. Other easy ways to decorate include painting an accent wall with a vibrant color, adding a new rug, or rearranging the furniture to promote better flow of conversation.