As we all know, January marks a new beginning for many people each year. While others are busy making resolutions they may or may not keep, you can use this time of revitalization to accomplish a few things around the house. Here are six things every homeowner should do to give their homes a fresh start this new year.
Deep clean the kitchen.
After all the holiday baking and merry-making, your kitchen could probably use a little bit of TLC. Clean out the pantry and fridge, getting rid of the leftovers and half-used ingredients. Scrub the walls, cabinets, and kick-boards. If it’s possible, move the appliances so you can clean around and behind them, eliminating future unwelcome pests. This could be a great kick start to a healthier year!
Clean or change filters throughout the house.
Don’t forget about the many different types of filters in your home. While we’re used to changing our air conditioning filter frequently, there are others throughout the house that need attention too. Water and icemaker filters can become clogged, which slows down the flow of water and leads to mold accumulation. The same goes for dehumidifiers. Vacuum cleaner and dryer filters can become fire hazards if not cleaned frequently. Check the instructions for any other filters around your home and create a schedule for cleaning and changing them to make sure you keep a healthy and safe environment in your home all year.
Clean sink and shower drains.
Bathtub and sink drains need love too. Hair and debris build up in the drains and can cause the flow of water to slow and back up into the tub or sink. This can lead to mold and mildew growing in the basins as well as the pipes. While this isn’t the most fun job on your chore list, it’s not the most difficult. Simply remove any drain grates and insert a drain stick a few times to clear out the debris. Once the drain is clear, pour a cup of bleach in and let it sit to make its way through the pipes. Flush the drain with hot water. Make sure to give the tub or sink a good cleaning when you’re finished.
Clean and organize closets.
Throughout the holiday season we all undoubtedly accumulate new items that need a home. If you’re stuck indoors when it’s cold outside, why not take the time to organize your closets to make space for your new items? Start by taking stock of your closet situation. Is there enough space for your hanging clothes? Are your shoes taking over? Do all your belongings have a place to go? Next, clear out absolutely everything and purge items that you can donate, sell, or hand down to a friend. Once the closet is clear, give it a thorough cleaning. Maybe even give it a makeover with new paint and storage options. When you refill your closet, make sure you do so in a way that makes it easy to stay organized throughout the year.
Compile or update home inventory.
No one wants to think about a disaster that could leave you without your home and belongings, but it’s something every homeowner should be prepared for. Keeping an updated inventory of your home and belongings will make it much easier to deal with insurance companies if something should occur. Using a video or still camera, capture images of all angles of your home, inside and out. Any individual items of value should be catalogued by brand, model, and serial numbers making sure to have documentation to prove your ownership of items. However you choose to create your inventory—on paper or digitally—make three copies and keep one at home, one in a safety deposit box, and one in a different location.
Make plans for spring and summer projects.
If the winter blues are starting to get you down, start thinking about how you want to spend your time at home during the warmer months. Make your plans for spring and summer home improvements so you are ready when the time comes. If you need a contractor or other professional to help with the work, planning early will ensure that you have someone secured in a timely manner. Just thinking about that new outdoor living space and all the fun you’re going to have there may help shake you right out of the winter doldrums.