Preparing for the new year, people make plans and resolutions for their personal life, family life, carrier or business, – all aspects of life important to them. One of the most important things in life is home, so it comes naturally to include the home in new year resolutions, doesn’t it? After all, you spend a lot of time there every day, cooking, doing chores or relaxing and enjoying your family.
You can’t always plan everything ahead, but there are some things you have to plan in order to keep your home under control and enjoy a purposeful life. 2020 will bring a few or a lot of changes in your life, whether you want it or not, expect it or not, prepared for it or not. Welcoming a new baby, changing jobs, moving, getting a pet, – actually anything you can see coming or can’t. Your home has to keep up with the changes, too, so you have to make plans for the to get ready for them.
To help you get started thinking about what can you improve in your home this year, I share a couple of ideas with you, based on the six aspects of your home. (A home has many, many aspects, but I define six to start with, the rest is connected to these six basic ones.)
Improve Your Kitchen
Focus on one room in your home you want to improve. If there isn’t a particular sore spot (lucky you!), kitchens always call for some attention. They need daily affection because the kitchen is the center of the home. The place where family members spend most of their time together cooking, eating, chatting, doing homework, gathering and a lot more.
Every family deserves a warm and cozy kitchen where everything is about to serve and support them. You don’t have to settle for anything less than that, but you have to create a place like that. So, what can you do this year?
Transform your kitchen into a place that’s not just about cooking but also about connecting. For example, create a zone for kids in the kitchen. They do their jobs (play or homework) in there, you do yours while sharing with each other or helping each other.
To have a highly functional kitchen make it clean and organized and keep it full of healthy and nutritious foods and ingredients. Look out for some healthy recipes in cookbooks or on Pinterest to nurture your family.
Keep Indoor Air Clean and Fresh
Indoor air quality is an indicator of the quality of the environment we live in, and one of the most important things we should pay attention to in regard to the home. Indoor air can be full of contaminants like dust, pollen and mold spores. Even more so in the winter when we prefer to keep doors and windows shut all the time.
To eliminate harmful irritants maintain the HVAC system and change furnace filters regularly. Use localized ventilation in the bathrooms and kitchen to get rid of fumes and surplus humidity.
Open windows daily all year long, even if only for a few minutes. That’s the best you can do for natural ventilation and cleaning air in your home. Also, it is the cheapest.
Improve air quality by moving air-cleaning plants in your rooms. When buying indoor plants, choose those with air-cleaning quality.
Make Your Place More Welcoming
Every year, we decide to spend more time with family and friends, so this is the time to take action, too, and create spaces that initiate conversations, family games, and encourage spending time with each other.
Improve your living room – the place where you spend time with your family and welcome friends and visitors. Make the place more comfy by adding a few fluffy cushions or placing down a new rug. Make board games, cards, instruments – whatever activity your family enjoys doing together – accessible for everyone (but out of reach of toddlers!).
Also, brighten up your guest bedroom because that is also an essential part of hospitality. Make the guest experience cozy and comfortable.
Make Some Fun Home Projects Together as a Family
If you’ve never done any home improving DIY before, remember that you don’t need to do big. Start small! Like small budget, low difficulty-level, doable within a day. Such projects will not only improve your living space, but you will also get to spend lots of quality time together as a family. When finished, you will all have shared memories and one more string to connect with to the place you live in.
It can be as simple as making your entrance more inviting with some decoration or cleaning windows and windowsills. Outdoor projects can be something like planting a tree in the backyard or building some raised beds.
Another benefit of such projects is equipping your kids with necessary life-skills.
Make Use of the Underused Areas of Your Home
Do you have a spare room? Give it some function. Playroom, music room, craft room, home office – whatever you need to support your lifestyle and goals.
Underperforming closets need new organizing systems or new functions. Like creating a reading nook or a highly functional family command center. Know your needs and create the space to meet those needs.
Rearrange furniture for a better traffic flow in your home, or reduce furniture if needed.
Keep your home organized by creating extra space for storage. With added space, you can store your possessions without your room looking untidy.
Create a little more space in the most unimaginable places. Think backs of doors, under a bed or sofa. Go shopping with the dimensions. For example, know how deep the space is under your sofa so you can buy boxes on wheels. Or buy over-the-door hooks, canvas pocket holders or wire racks for the back of the doors.
Frame a door with shelving for extra storage space. Using the wall around and above the door will give you valuable extra storage space and also add character to your room.
Cut Down the Use of Energy
You can improve your home’s functions by going green. It’s never too late to do that. If you focus on using less energy and using that well, you’ll not only contribute towards a better planet but also cut down your bills significantly. Both are important to teach your kids, too. Their future is dependent on us saving energy and keeping the planet clean as much as we can.
Form habits to turn off lights when not used and turn taps off when brushing your teeth. Turn off your air conditioner when you are not at home and dial your heater down to a lower temperature at night.
Trim energy use by sealing and insulating your ductwork. This increases the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by almost 20%. It will also extend the life of your furnace, heat pump and air conditioner.
To go greener, learn to recycle properly if you haven’t done it yet. Separate your household waste in clearly labeled recycling bags or a recycling unit. Place the bins and bags in a spot where they are easily reached. If collection facilities are not available, set a regular weekly time when you take everything to your local recycling center.
Design and Decor
Add Character to Your Space
Find a spot for creating a gallery wall with family photos, or art pieces. The easiest way to personalize your space and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Also, you’ll want a place for displaying your kids’ artwork. Create their gallery, too.
Houseplants also decorate and characterize a space and also have many benefits in regard to your physical and mental health. They increase your life-quality, so you want to get some real plants!
DIY Your Home Decor
Instead of buying new home decor items and accessories, try to upcycle old ones or make new ones. Use your creativity and don’t be afraid to experiment with new materials, techniques, colors or tools. You lose nothing but gain a lot of things, like confidence, honed skills, and new decor pieces.
Get Your Space Clean and Organized
There is no better way to start the new year than having a clean and organized home. It is the best and cheapest way to feel better about your home.
Unfortunately, decluttering, organizing and cleaning are not jobs to do once and for all. These tasks need to get done on a regular basis. Yeah, it’s bad news for most of us, but you can reduce the overwhelm by building habits to keep the clutter at bay all year long and creating cleaning systems to keep the house clean.
Make a rule that when something new comes in, something old goes out. The new should be something you actually need. The old something broken, outdated, unused, unliked. (Everyone has stuff they don’t like, haven’t they?)
Another rule we all need is not to double up – it creates clutter, too. Check your stocks of toiletries, cleaning materials, and your staples in the pantry before you go shopping. Keep a memo pad in the kitchen to make a list of what you really need to replace.
Encourage the whole family to tidy up. Create an assigned place for all of their stuff with hooks and boxes with their name on and encourage everyone to put away their own things.
For starting off on the right foot and keep your house clean the best idea is to come up with a solid cleaning plan. Devise a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule to take control over the dust. It is overwhelming however you look at it, but turning your head away means losing control. Creating a plan gives you an overview of what to tackle, and an opportunity to prepare and conquer step by step. If you plan ahead, you can even learn how to do better some of the tasks you want to do more efficiently before actually executing the task. Your success is depending on the strategy you create. Even in cleaning.
Create a Home Maintenance Schedule
You have a home, you have to take care of it. Home maintenance is a big responsibility that requires time and attention all year long. Get ahead of your home’s needs by creating an annual home maintenance schedule.
Include tasks like testing smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, check the indoor and outdoor air vents, inspect roofing, clean the garbage disposal, and a lot more.
Don’t forget to check your first-aid supplies and throw away anything old and expired, then make a list of what needs to be replaced.
Restock your shoe-cleaning box, too. Check what special cleaners and protectors you already have, so you don’t buy unnecessary ones on sales.
Budget Your Home Expenses
Sure you have a budget for groceries, bills, car maintenance and a lot of things you open your wallet for on a regular basis. But it is important to make room in your budget for home improvement and maintenance expenses, too. Plan these expenses along with all the others to be able to create the home you truly love.
Find ways to spend less and consider how you could earn more to afford what your home needs and deserves. Beyond the mandatory expenses, save up for special investments. Avoid impulse purchases and create special funds.
Make Extra Mortgage Payments
If you have a mortgage on your home, put a little extra money toward paying it off in the New Year. The ultimate goal is to become debt-free as soon as possible, and save money. A year is a long enough time to reduce your debt if you intentionally and strategically work toward that plan.
Happy New Year! Happy Home!
As you can see, the actions you may take, overlap different aspects. That’s fine! Actually, the bigger the overlap is, the closer you get to creating a cohesive home that you will love. You nurture your home, and your home nurtures you.
Create your happy home for your family in 2021!