In the spirit of new beginnings, HGTV has consulted the experts and come up with some Home Improvement resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in the coming year.
Here are the five picks for the best home improvement resolutions for the new year and how to achieve them:
1: Streamline the stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
2: Make it safe and sound
Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.
3: Shrink your bills (and your carbon footprint in the process)
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference.
- Remember your mom’s advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 55 degrees at night.
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
- Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
- Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
- Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
- Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.
4: Work out a weekly system for keeping your house clean
Cleaning with Scrub Brush
- Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths – in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
- Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
- Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. It’s faster, Campbell says. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
- For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties: One of you can do the dusting/vacuuming and changing beds, the other can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving only the kitchen and trash emptying for you to handle. The upside? You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes, Campbell says, leaving more time on the weekends for the park or the movies.