8 New Years Resolutions for Homeowners
When things get busy, it’s normal for things to fall behind at home and, of course, this can start to feel a little overwhelming. If this sounds all too familiar, remember that the New Year is the perfect time to make some changes – and these resolutions can help put you on the right track.
1. Make a Maintenance Schedule
Even though your home may be brand-new, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance to make sure things stay in good shape. In many cases, not doing your due diligence can invalidate your new home warranty . Make a list of all of the things you should be doing regularly – cleaning the gutters, vacuuming the refrigerator coils, getting a tune-up for your furnace and water heater – and schedule them into an annual calendar. Then, follow through and make appointments to get things done.
2. Clear Out Your Clutter
If your house feels messy, it’s probably because you have too much clutter. Go through your closets to find all the clothes you never really wear. Look in the garage and basement for boxes of things you haven’t opened in years. Look for expired food in the kitchen. Tackle the large pile of unopened mail. Once you’ve done this, make plans to donate whatever is in good condition. Throw everything else in the garbage. Find places to store the stuff you’re keeping so your home feels lighter.
3. Deep Clean
Most people think about doing a “spring cleaning,” but winter is actually the perfect time to deep clean your home. After all, you’d rather be inside when the snow is falling. Wash the carpets, wipe down the baseboards, and dust all of the nooks and crannies you usually forget. It’s helpful to take just one room every couple of days and give it a thorough cleaning.
4. Start Building Your Emergency Fund
In a brand-new home especially, you don’t really need to worry about things breaking down. For this reason, it’s easy to let your emergency fund fall by the wayside. If you’ve recently moved in, your fund may be a little depleted after paying for a few new home costs. Though you aren’t going to have major home repairs in the near future, it’s still important to have that fund for other types of emergencies. Make a plan to set aside a portion of your paycheck to go directly to your emergency fund.
5. Reduce Your Energy Expenses
Brand-new homes are far more energy efficient than older homes, so you’ve probably already noticed a drop in your energy expenses. That doesn’t mean you can’t still make some changes. Make sure you turn off lights when you leave the room and be conscious of how much water you’re using. Use your programmable thermostat to automatically turn down the heat when you leave the home. Little things make a big difference.
6. Increase Your Mortgage Payment
Whether you’re planning on a raise this year or just find yourself with a bit of extra money, consider putting some of it toward your mortgage. Even adding $50 or $100 to the monthly payment can significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay over the lifetime of your home and you’ll pay off your mortgage sooner. A good mortgage calculator can help you see how much you can save, and your bank can help you set up extra payments.
7. Invest in Your Community
Now that you’ve settled into your home, it’s time to settle into your community. Look for ways you can make a difference. If you have a neighbourhood association, perhaps you’d like to join it. Maybe you’d like to volunteer for a local charity. Maybe you just want to make more of an effort to buy goods and services from locally-owned businesses. Any of these things can help you feel more rooted and your efforts will make the neighbourhood a better place to live.
8. Make Your Space Work for You
It may also be time to make some adjustments to your living space. For instance, if you’re not using the home office as much as you thought you would, perhaps it’s time to turn that space into a playroom instead. If getting active is one of your resolutions, you might want to create a mini-gym so you don’t have to pay for a membership. Reevaluate how you use your home, and make changes to better use the space.
If you lead a busy life, it’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate – and a messy house can often add to the stress. So, this year, try to make conscious resolutions that can improve things in and around your home. You and your home will both benefit as a result.