Getting in shape, losing weight and getting out of debt usually tops the list of most popular New Year’s resolutions. But if your home could talk, what would it want for 2018? Here are five ideas for making your home – and its inhabitants – happier in the new year.
Lose the Clutter
Why have Marie Kondo’s books sold millions? Because clutter is a modern plague in the more affluent countries. Unlike our Great Depression forebears, many Americans suffer from an excess of riches. Or at least, excess stuff.
According to Psychology Today, clutter can lead to low subjective well-being, unhealthier eating, poorer mental health, less efficient visual processing, and less efficient thinking. So cutting this excess from our home spaces tops our resolution list this year.
A clutter-free home promotes health and clear thinking.
This year, take a two-pronged approach to clutter. First, eliminate everything you don’t use and/or don’t like. Second, be more selective about the things you bring home. A bargain isn’t a bargain if it’s going to fuzz your thinking or make you eat poorly.
Improve your indoor air quality
Having clean air to breathe is a baseline for health. Make sure you’re doing all you can to improve your indoor air quality. Change your furnace filters regularly. Install bathroom fans, or make sure the current ones are working properly. Adding a range hood to your kitchen stove will freshen your air, cool your kitchen and add value to your house.
Our La Petite range hood, a boon to respiratory health.
Do a Safety Check
The start of a new year is a good time to go through your home’s safety checklist. Are the batteries working in your smoke detector? Have you checked for radon? You can buy a home radon testing kit for only $20 at hardware stores. If you haven’t already installed carbon monoxide detectors, now’s the time. Doing so can save lives, as can cleaning the ducts and vents behind your dryer, which cause 15,000 fires annually.
Audit your energy use
Winter is the time electricity bills tend to soar. Between extra lighting for those short days and heating your home, the cost can quickly ramp up. Have you already switched all your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents? If you turn on a lamp for three hours per day, an LED bulb can last anywhere from 18 to 46 years, which makes their higher cost worthwhile.
Is this the year to add solar?
As you do regular maintenance and upgrades, consider where you can switch out energy-hogging materials for those with less environmental impact. Think bamboo floors, solar panels, fiber-cement siding, and Energy Star appliances.
Add some Color
Once your home is safe and uncluttered, it’s time for some fun. Add a cheerful pop of color to brighten your day. Consider painting an accent wall, adding a bright throw rug, a blooming indoor plant or some soft new pillows on your couch.
Overhaul Your Hearth
Our Brentwood fireplace mantel, a customer favorite.
Many people write “spend more quality time with family and friends” on their list of New Year’s resolutions. And what better place to do that than in front of your fireplace? So, make it the nicest hearth area you can. Start by cleaning your mantel thoroughly. Then evaluate your décor. Maybe you need different art hanging above it? A vase of flowers? A few candles? Make it pretty. And if it’s time for a whole new mantel, we’re happy to help. Give us a call today.