01/05/2017

January is here and you're reassessing your diet, your finances, your wardrobe... Why not take a look at your home as well when making your New Year's Resolutions? Get your home even more beautiful and efficient with a few home improvement suggestions. 

Living Room Organized

1. Organize Your Stuff

Once Christmas has come and gone, it's easy to see the accumulation with wrapping paper, gifts, and decorations everywhere. Why not give your home a thorough top-to-bottom clean out? Get rid of the items that you have not used in a year, whether it's kitchen supplies, clothing, or other items. If you don't love it, donate it. Get rid of the things that are broken or you keep planning to fix, but never do. Extra stuff collects dust and makes your home look cluttered and in some cases, dirty. 

Additionally, putting away things that you don't use every day will make  a huge difference. The everyday items can be artfully arranged in pretty baskets and trays. This was you have them at the ready, but in a neat and tidy way.

2. Safety Check Up

This is also a great time to give your home a once over when it comes to safety. It's important to check on both fire and carbon monoxide detectors and still working properly. Testing them and changing the batteries every 6 months is important to keeping you and your loved ones safe. 

Laundry Room & Storage

Another area to check and clean is the dryer. While you might clean out the lint trap on a regular basis, lint has also collect in the vents and ducts of the dryer, especially in the bends. This can often build up and can create a significant fire hazard in your home. 

When you're checking your dryer vents, check out the other vents in your home too. Check to see if there any holes or gaps, and make sure to fix them. Clear any blockages, and make sure everything is running outside.

3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

With the new Carbon tax now in effect, it's a good time to get in the habit of making small changes in your home. These changes can make a big difference to your monthly bills.

An oldie, but a goodie: shut your lights off. If you tend to leave lights on throughout your home, shut them off when you leave the room. Also consider switching bulbs to more efficient LED bulbs. They can have a higher upfront cost, but they are often guaranteed to last years, and recent developments have made them give off light that is just as warm as incandescents. Unplug appliances that you're not using. Chargers, blenders, coffee machines, etc. all use energy, even when they are not in use. By unplugging them, you could save your family around $200 a year! Low flow showerheads are also a great way to cut back on water usage. Get to know your thermostat and change the settings so the temperature goes down when you're asleep, and when you're not home. Try air drying some of your clothes, like shirts and pants, and make sure to run the washer, dryer and dishwasher when full.

4. Create a Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedule

By creating a schedule for housecleaning, you can make housecleaning less of a chore, and keep your home neat and tidy all year round.

Daily, do the small things, like stacking the dishwasher, and handwashing everything else. Make sure to throw your laundry in the basket, and put those everyday items back in their place. They'll only take about 5 minutes, and make all the difference. 

When it comes to weekly cleaning, try creating a portable basket with cleaning supplies in it. It can come into every room, so everything you need will be at hand. Take out the garbage, put in a load of laundry, do a quick vacuum, and your home will be clean in no time. And don't forget to delegate. The more effort that gets spread around, the less each person needs to do!

Monthly, take an extra few minutes for the floor washing, scrubbing, and other tasks.