New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home
You know it's coming
The popular trend of setting New Year’s resolutions for yourself that are often short-lived and unachievable. Instead of focusing only on yourself in 2019, set new intentions in your home with practical home management goals.
Welcome to your home's list of New Year's Resolutions
Lose your weight (from energy use)
Gain control of your energy use in the new year to make your home more efficient (and save money!)
Unplug your appliances when not in use! Your TV, computer, and microwave have a 'standby' mode, which means they're still using energy even when they're not in use.
Insulate your roof or ceiling. This will help keep your home at an enjoyable temperature during summer and winter. It saves you money on energy bills and pays for itself over a relatively short time.
Consider switching all light bulbs in your home with LED bulbs that use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs (Energy Star). In addition to unplugging any idle electronics, switch to power strips to simply turn off all devices at once.
Clear the air
Indoor air quality is one of the top environmental health hazards according to the EPA. Take a second to consider the air quality in your home during the colder months when your windows are closed shut.
Set a goal to create a weekly cleaning schedule for your home to keep the dust, mold, pollen, and viruses far away from your home.
Keep your indoor air clean by also using localized ventilation in kitchens in bathrooms to remove cooking fumes and humidity from those long, steamy winter showers.
Set up an annual “purge” (not the movie!) to get rid of those clothes you haven’t worn in years, donate old books you know you won’t read again, and it’s time to toss that dead plant in the corner.
Now that your home is pretty much empty, it’s shopping time! Stash the items that aren’t the most appealing to the eye (we’re looking at you, DVDs) in baskets to make room for stylish decor, living plants, or photographs from last year’s memories.
Replace those ratty blankets with new ones, and it may also be time to replace your rugs. There are hundreds of thousands of bacteria that live in your rugs, and experts say rugs should be replaced (or deeply cleaned) once every 5-10 years.
Drink Less (not alcohol, reduce your homes water use!)
Our homes are thirsty too! The average household uses about 138 gallons per household per day.
Cutting down on water consumption is not only good for your region but it also means lower utility bills. Who doesn’t want to learn how to conserve a precious resource?
The first step is to take inventory in your home and see if your toilets, shower heads, and fixtures are water-efficient. Purchasing water-efficient appliances can save hundreds of gallons of water every month. Switching from washing dishes by hand to an energy efficient dishwasher can save more than 5,000 gallons of water per year. An easy daily goal you can stick to is to reduce your shower by 2 minutes, this will help cut your water use by 10 gallons.
Creating a yearly budget at the start of a new year is an excellent way to ensure you don’t overspend on those home improvement projects.
Create a wishlist and prioritize improvements and maintenance projects, whether it’s a new kitchen stove, a roof replacement, or update your master bath (treat yourself!) According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual maintenance and home improvement expenditures are about $3,300 per household. If you think this might be more for your home, make sure you’re financially prepared!