January is approaching, and you’re likely already thinking about your goals and resolutions for the new year. This is going to be the year that you (finally) lose the weight and cook from scratch and join a book club and get your finances in order. Well, we’re all about ambitious goals and think you should consider adding “This is the year I keep the house in tip-top condition” to your list as well. After all, what better time to get a head start than a shiny, brand-new year?
Declutter the things. Home should be your happy place. A serene retreat you return to after a day at work or out in a loud and busy world. That’s not the case if the place you return to is teeming with mountains of stuff with no place to call its own. Fewer things equal less to dust, mop around, organize, and maintain. And that means more time and sanity for you! Everything in your home should serve a purpose or bring you joy. If it doesn’t, let it go. If it’s in good condition, you can sell it or donate it to someone else who would benefit from it. If it’s not, out to the trash or recycling it goes. Feel overwhelmed by all the things? Attack one room, drawer, or closet at a time. Resolve to declutter (and consequently de-stress) your life.
Clean the things. Sure, very few people get super excited about the prospect of cleaning their homes. You work hard. You’re tired. You don’t want something else to do at the end of a day of doing a million other things. But if you’ve decluttered your home (see above), you’ll find this to be a much less horrible task. And like with decluttering, it’s something you can do one room (or drawer/closet) at a time. Set up a schedule that breaks down cleaning tasks. Perhaps you do all the dusting one day and all the vacuuming the next. Maybe you clean the bathrooms on Mondays and the kitchen on Tuesdays. If you’re wise, you make sure to put anyone old enough to walk and carry a dustpan on that cleaning schedule with you and share the workload. Resolve to gift yourself with a clean home.
Get your regular dose of Vitamin D. You likely don’t spend as much time in your front or back yards as you do inside, particularly during these colder months of winter. But your grounds need loving care too. Walk around the outside of your home and look with a critical eye. What needs to be power washed, pruned, swept, put away, or fixed/maintained? Enforce new rules about bringing balls, toys, etc. inside when not in use. Perhaps make Saturdays your yard care days. Or create a monthly plan of attack for what needs to be done outside. Schedule outside tasks much as you do (or have now resolved to do) your housework. Need some guidance on how to time these tasks? Check out this ultimate guide to seasonal landscape maintenance! Curb appeal isn’t just for prospective home buyers—resolve to give yourself a yard that brings you peace.
Plan to fix the broken things. We’ve talked before about the importance of assessing the status of your home.Now is a great time to walk around your home and make a list of the things thatneed to be fixed or replaced. Broken appliances, bad outlets, water damage—makenote of them all and triage them for urgency. Safety things first. Then thingsthat should be fixed but aren’t a matter of life or death. You’ve got plans fora new year and a new budget. Make sure you include tending to those repairs inyour plans. Set a reminder in your brand spanking new planner to call your favorite team of experienced, reliable homeprofessionals for a job quote. Resolve to live in a homewhere things work as they’re supposed to!
Dream a bigger dream. This is the year that your home is decluttered and clean. Your yard is lovingly tended to. The broken things are now working things. Things are already looking up, no? But this can also be the year that all the “one-day-we-should” or “wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-we- could” projects get some attention too. What’s that big home project that’s been on your bucket list forever? Your man cave or she shed? Your new movie-viewing room? The bathroom with the rainforest shower? Set an intention that this is the year you work to make that a reality. Put those dreams down on paper. Bookmark the images that capture what you want to create. Get an estimate on what it would cost to make it happen. Open a “dream project” savings account and put your coffee change in it every day. Do something to move closer to that goal this year. Resolve to make your dream house a reality.
As the chapter closes on this year and opens on the year to follow, we wish you health, happiness,and a home that brings you joy.