While you’re probably considering personal resolutions for the new year, January is also the right time to come up with resolutions to your home. Improvements can raise your home’s value while prolonging the life of your house, and even put a little extra money into your pocket. Here are some New Year’s resolutions you should try this year:
1. Slim Down
While you’re shedding pounds, you can tighten the strings on your household budget by cutting electricity bills. Turn off lights when you leave the room, upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and unplug them when not in use, and switch to LED light bulbs. For more serious savings, revamp your HVAC system. Repair — with mastic, not duct tape — or replace ducts. Turning up your air conditioning just a few degrees can equate to greater savings, too. If you want to keep your home cool, invest in blackout curtains the prevent the hot, summer sun from entering your home and making it feel like an oven.
2. Organize Your Home
The longer you live in a home, the more clutter you’ll collect. 2014 might be the year to cut the clutter and provide yourself with extra breathing — and living — space. Trash items that no longer work, donate gently-used clothes and furniture to help someone less fortunate than you, and sell items that you can profit from at a garage sale next spring. If you want to make better use of your existing space, add vertical storage and consider storing beneath your stairwells. Look for under-the-bed organizers or shoe organizers that hang over the door to clear floors and tabletops.
3. Waste No Water
Your family of four might be wasting more water than they drink. While you’re encouraging the little ones to increase H2O intake, you can cut water usage in your home. Replace your shower head and toilet with low-flow models. Replace baths with short showers, use leftover water from pasta to water indoor plants and make sure to water outdoor plants in the morning when they’ll soak up the most moisture.
4. Make Financially-Savvy Decisions
You might not be able to perform every home improvement project on your list right away, but you should budget for that new roof or furnace. If you’re planning on selling, you’ll find that some improvements also get you a tax break. These include:
- Roof replacement
- New exterior doors
- Replacement insulation
- New windows
- Replacing HVAC systems
Of course, you never know when you’ll have to replace a kitchen appliance or the water heater.
Yearly maintenance costs typically fall 1% and 3% of your home’s value. Even if you don’t have a lot for major repairs, putting away a small sum of money every time you get paid can help in the long run. When it comes to home finances, pay your credit card bills on time if you don’t want to face rising insurance premiums.
The new year offers a chance to spend quality time with your loved ones with DIY projects that expand your skills.