New Year’s resolutions are popular this time of year, and we often make them with the goal of improving ourselves. Common resolutions include going to the gym, eating healthier, spending less money, and reducing screen time; however, we never stop and think about how improving things around us, including our homes, can help improve ourselves. A new year is a fresh start, and our homes deserve a fresh start too. Proper cleaning, safety and maintenance practices can not only improve our homes but also help improve our mood, mental health and overall well-being. Follow these helpful cleaning, safety and maintenance tips to improve your home and your health this year.
Tips for Cleaning Your Home
A cluttered home can create a cluttered mind, so one of the first steps to take when cleaning your home is to clear the clutter and reorganize. Go through your home and dispose of or neatly store items you don’t need or use regularly. Decluttering and organizing your home can create a positive impact on your life and mental health.
Here are some decluttering tips to get you started:
- Dedicate time to decluttering
- Choose five heavily used areas of your home to declutter first
- Take before and after photos to track your progress
- Find new areas for storage in your home
- Shop for items that will help you organize
- Start small, beginning with your fridge or a kitchen draw
- Ask yourself if items are necessary and if they aren’t, dispose of them
While cleaning and reorganizing your home may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of ways to make decluttering fun. Turn on music or a podcast, get the whole family involved, or even make a game out of it with a reward once finished.
How to Keep Your Home Safe in the New Year
Safety is an important area to focus on when starting to think about new year’s resolutions for our homes. Practicing basic safety tips not only helps create a safe and healthy environment for our homes and families, but also helps eliminate the burden of worrying about safety, bringing us peace of mind and improving our mental health.
Here are some safety tips to take advantage of in the new year:
- Inspect smoke alarms – Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines and make sure you are regularly testing all smoke alarms and keeping up with battery replacement cycles. There should be smoke alarms on every floor and near every sleeping area.
- Create a fire evacuation plan – We hope you don’t need it, but everyone in your household, including guests, should be aware of the evacuation plan and how to escape in case of a fire. When creating your evacuation plan, make sure you have clearly identified exits and keep them free from clutter at all times. If you have children, elderly adults, or pets in the home, assign specific people to look out for them as part of your plan. Practice your escape plan regularly so everyone in the home is familiar with it.
- Be careful with fireworks – Fireworks are a very popular party favor to ring in the new year, but we encourage you to use them with extreme caution. Keep all fireworks away from anything flammable, make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and always keep a safe distance when lighting them.
- Check doors and windows – Make sure the locks on all doors and windows are functioning properly and that windows are sealed well. Consider replacing any old or damaged locks.
- Check your home’s air quality – Air quality tends to get worse in the winter due to the dense cold air trapping pollutants inside the home. Consider scheduling an Air Quality Test or a Radon Test to ensure your air and family are safe.
- Consider adding security – If you don’t have any already, shop around and consider adding home security. Look for home security systems that allow you to set and control them remotely so you can check in on your home while you are away.
Home Maintenance Tips for the New Year
The new year is the perfect time to take care of some routine home maintenance. The best way to start your home maintenance journey is to schedule a Home Maintenance Inspection with WIN. During your Home Maintenance Inspection, a licensed and trained inspector will examine over 300 components inside and outside of your home. After the inspection, your inspector will share a report of their findings outlining which items need immediate attention and which items can wait. Your inspector will also help you create a home maintenance checklist and walk you through the recommended next steps. Identifying maintenance issues early can end up saving you thousands of dollars in repairs and ensure the health and safety of your home and family.
In addition to a Home Maintenance Inspection, here are some maintenance tips for the new year:
- Inspect your fireplace and chimney – if you haven’t already, we strongly encourage you to schedule a Fireplace and Chimney Inspection to ensure your fireplace is safe to use throughout the remainder of winter.
- Inspect your roof – The winter can be harsh on a roof. The cold weather, combined with snow and freezing rain, can cause a lot of stress to your roof and create cracks in the shingles, water dams and further damage. Consider scheduling a Home Maintenance Inspection which will include a drone inspection of your roof.
- Check your HVAC – By the time January comes around, your HVAC has already spent a few months working hard to keep your home warm. The new year is a perfect time to get your HVAC checked to make sure it’s ready to keep you warm the rest of winter and cool you down come summertime.
- Have your insulation checked – Whether you live in a warm, cold or temperate climate it’s important to make sure your insulation is in good working condition. Faulty insulation can lead to higher energy bills and even create fire hazards. Consider scheduling an Infrared (IR) Scan where a WIN Home Inspector will use thermographic technology to detect anomalies and gaps in your insulation, walls, floors and ceilings.
- Have any water leaks repaired – Look for leaks or signs of water damage throughout your home, but especially in non-heavily trafficked areas like the crawlspace or corners of your basement. Signs of leakage can lead to water damage and mold, so it’s important to get them taken care of quickly. A Home Maintenance Inspection can help you identify any areas of concern.
- Tackle some DIY projects – In addition to routine maintenance, the new year is a great opportunity to get started on some DIY projects. Think about doing some rearranging, reorganizing or redecorating. The new year is a time for new beginnings and the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone!
So, here’s to a happy and healthy new year from our family to yours! We hope you found these tips helpful to create your own new year’s resolutions for your home. In fact, we encourage you to follow us on social media and share your home new year’s resolutions with us! Additionally, if you have questions about any of the services we mentioned or would like to contact your local WIN Home Inspector, please click here.
Happy New Year!