“Should old aquaintance be forgot…”
The start of a new year is right around the corner — and that means it’s time for singing “Auld Lang Syne,” partying all through the night, and making your plans and goals for the twelve months ahead.
According to estimates, more than 40 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent actually stick to their goals. One way to set yourself up for success may be to go into January with a fresh mindset. This year, focus on tackling some simple tasks and projects that can help you move forward with a clean slate and a more manageable “to-do” list.
So, what DIY projects and home tasks should you take on at the start of a New Year? Here are ten refreshing, inspiring projects that can help get the year started on the right foot:
1.) Out With the Old: Get Rid of Clutter
The beginning of the year is a wonderful time to stock of all of your stuff — and start strategically decluttering to get rid of everything you no longer want or need. Whether you’re hoping to move in the year ahead or simply want to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, some decluttering early in the year can make a big difference down the line. Take plenty of time to work room by room, going through all of your things and dividing items by category, such as “keep,” “recycle,” “donate,” or “throw away.” In addition to combing through your living room and bedrooms, don’t forget to declutter your more out-of-the-way storage spaces, like your basement or garage.
2.) In With the New: Add Creative Storage Solutions
Once you’ve thrown out, donated, or recycled your household full of stuff, you can move forward with adding fresh new storage solutions. Take some time at the beginning of the year to go through each room of your home, and think about clever or innovative ways to maximize your storage space. There’s no shortage of fun ideas you can put into action, from adding new shelving and storage baskets throughout your home, to maximizing your pantries and cabinets with lazy susans, over-the-door hangers, magnetized clips, and more.
3.) Refresh Your Home’s Lighting
The start of a new year can be a great opportunity to see your home in a new light — literally! At the beginning of the year, it’s a bright idea to swap out old or outdated light fixtures with new models. The dark days of winter can also be a prime time for bringing in new lamps, or even swapping out your old light bulbs for newer, more energy efficient models.
4.) Bring In New Colors and Textures
In the spirit of making a new start at the beginning of the year, why not bring in some fresh colors to make your space more vibrant? While you can certainly spend time repainting your walls, there are also easier ways to bring in a fresh pop of color, like repainting wood furniture or adding accent colors along baseboards, molding, and built-ins. You could also paint your kitchen cabinets to give this important space a whole new energy, or change the color or material of your interior and exterior doors.
5.) Make Some Simple Green Switches
If living more sustainably is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, your home is a great place to get started. In addition to helping you live a more green lifestyle, taking on some simple home projects can also help you increase your home’s energy efficiency, which could allow you to lower your utility bills throughout the year. The start of the year can be a great opportunity to upgrade your appliances or power strips to more energy efficient models, or switch out your old HVAC system for a smarter, centrally controlled system. Beyond making these big ticket swaps, take some time to seal up cracks and gaps around your house, add insulation in strategic places around your property, and protect your plumbing. These simple home improvement tasks can help you save plenty of green through the rest of the winter, and all year long.
6.) Do a Deep Clean
Cabin fever often tends to settle in right around January and February — so why not ward off the “winter blues” by giving your home a deep clean? Being cooped up inside during the first few months of the year can give you the chance to really take stock of the dirtiest or messiest areas of your home, and take some time to tackle problem spots you might ordinarily overlook. For instance, you could use these early months to move around your furniture and get rid of hidden dirt and dust bunnies; reach into those awkward or high corners to knock down cobwebs; or clean your refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher, inside and out.
7.) Eliminate Health Hazards and Fire Risks
Safety first! Go into the year on sound footing by taking some time to check on your home’s safety features. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, to make sure these important systems are fully functional. Clean out your dryer traps, and have a professional come to inspect your fireplace and chimney, to make sure they’re clean and safe to use. If you have a personal alarm system, the beginning of the year can also be a great chance to have your service inspected, and see if there are any upgrades or improvements available to your plan.
8.) Give Your Bathroom a Fresh Scrub
It’s easy to take your bathroom for granted. As a result, you may be surprised by just how much a thorough cleaning can totally transform this important space, helping you see it with fresh eyes. Take some time at the beginning of the year to give your bathroom a good scrubbing, taking care to clean your tile and grout. Clean your mirrors, light fixtures, exhaust fans, and sinks, and make sure that your shower walls are spotless and free of mold and mildew.
9.) Update Your Decor
The winter months can offer an incredible chance to bring in new decor and design elements — or handcraft some new features of your own! From creating striking tablescapes and centerpieces; to upping the cozy factor with warm blankets and pillows; to adding a pop of color and freshness with new houseplants or an indoor garden, there is no shortage of ways to add fun and fresh new textures to your interior design. Use the invigorating burst of energy that comes at the start of the New Year to let your creativity run wild!
10.) Rearrange Your Furniture
New year, new layout? Spend some time setting up your home to meet your goals for the year ahead. Want to get more work done? Why not think of creative ways to arrange a home office in your space? Looking forward to entertaining more? Take a little bit of time to thoughtfully create the entertaining areas you’ve always wanted, or rearrange your furniture to maximize your floor and wall space in smaller rooms.
Ready to Make a Big Change in the New Year?
Is 2020 the year that you turn your biggest real estate dreams into reality? If selling your home is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, we’re here to help.
There’s an art and science to selling a home. As the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage in Chicagoland, Baird & Warner is home to thousands of the most highly skilled real estate professionals in the area.
Our agents are hyperlocal experts who know just what it takes to get your home sold, while making the process easier at every step of the way. With mortgage and title services in-house, as well as access to presale renovation services that make it easier to get a home updated to sell quickly and affordably, it’s just easier here.