Stepping through the door of a new home is one of the best feelings in the world, but there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with having the keys to an entire house.
New Year’s celebrations often bring resolutions to lose weight or get healthy, but it can also be a time to get some improvements done around the home. Consider the following projects as ways to improve home value and comfort.
1. Reduce the clutter
A home that feels huge one year might feel cramped the next because of clutter and the general accumulation of more stuff. Get rid of unused items and focus on reducing clutter in crowded areas of the home.
2. Create a cleaning schedule
It’s easy to fall behind with cleaning the home, and a mess at the beginning of the year might seem impossible to overcome a few months down the road. Implement a cleaning schedule to make sure that messes don’t get too large and unwieldy.
3. Check the home’s safety
Most homes have a few smoke detectors, but it’s not uncommon for homeowners to neglect those safety devices and forget about other safety issues in the home. Consider items like a sprinkler system or a fire extinguisher for the kitchen to improve safety.
4. Create an emergency and safety kit
Whether a home is located in a dangerous area that’s prone to natural disasters or whether everything in the home seems absolutely safe, it’s crucial to make sure there’s a first aid kit on hand for small emergencies. In addition, a survival kit is essential just in case, however remote the possibility of disaster.
5. Finish outstanding home improvement projects
Starting a home improvement project that ends up being a little too much to handle is incredibly common. Consider finishing that bathroom tile project or putting up the wallpaper in the entryway before starting anything new.
6. Get a green thumb
An unkempt lawn reduces home values and makes a home look much less inviting. Consider visiting the yard to spruce up the lawn and plants. Getting outside is also healthy and can be a terrific family activity.
7. Reduce water waste
Old toilets, 20-year-old faucets, and ancient water heaters are inefficient and use a lot of water. Consider upgrading to low-flow toilets and showerheads that use less water to reduce water use.
8. Negotiate better home insurance
Not many homeowners are aware, but a poor credit score may increase insurance rates. Pay down credit cards and be responsible with finances to get the lowest possible home insurance rates.
9. Schedule regular maintenance
Major systems in the home, such as the heating and cooling devices, as well as items like the water heater and plumbing, require inspections to remain at peak efficiency. Schedule yearly checkups to make sure devices last as long as possible.
10. Improve energy efficiency
Big projects, like replacing an air conditioning unit, will greatly reduce energy use for many years. Replacing smaller items, like old incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs will also save energy during the year.