20 Home Improvement Resolutions for 2020

Dated: 12/17/2019

Views: 43

Declutter.

Putting off decluttering for a long time? Now's the time to do it! It's one of the best ways to make your home look fresh for the coming year and decade.

Declutter by clearing each room one-by-one of items you don't want or need. Donate old items to charity.

Organize.

After you've decluttered your home and given all purged items to charity, take time to organize what's left. Arrange books, clothes, or food items in a certain order. and make labels for containers, cabinets, and drawers so that everything can be stored somewhere. Creating labels can help you keep your home organized throughout the year.

Be more intentional when you shop for new home items.

Your home has to give you comfort and happiness. So, only buy purposeful items that you'll need and do away with meaningless purchases from flash sales at the mall.

Create systems to keep your home clean and organized throughout the year.

Jeff Campbell, author of the book "Speed Cleaning", suggests identifying and classifying chores according to how often you should be doing them: daily or weekly. Daily includes washing dishes and placing dirty clothes in the dryer. He also suggests cleaning your entire home every week, complete with a basket full of cleaning tools and liquids. Be efficient and enlist your family to help.

Make tidying easy.

Make tidying easy for the family by placing hooks, hangers, or basket near entryways around your home. 

Commit to putting everything back in place.

It seems easy to say but in reality, it's hard to do. Just remember, clutter makes your home look untidy and is stressful to deal with, once they pile up.

Check for health hazards around the home.

Have professionals inspect your home and see if you have dangerous gases and materials such as radon, lead-based paint, and asbestos flooring that may pose health hazards to you and your family.

Fireproof your home. 

Install fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors

Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they're not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.

First, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One in every fifteen homes has elevated levels. And with test kits costing as little as $20 at your local hardware store, there's no reason not to get right on that.

While we're on the subject of deadly gas, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. If a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and kill you. Like a radon test, this is a small investment — $40 or more — for such an important safeguard.

Watch out for dryer lint. We know you clean the little trap inside the door, but most people neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint may seem innocent, but it's highly combustible, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, accounting for more than 15,000 building fires a year.

Make sure your house can breathe. Hickory Hills, Ill. home inspector Jack McGraw is always surprised at how many people's bathrooms and attics aren't vented to the outside (or the vents are covered over with shingles.) This makes you a prime candidate for mold.

And if you're considering a remodel — and your home was last built or remodeled before 1978 — consider testing for lead paint and asbestos flooring. It will have to handled properly during removal, or particles can be released into the air for you to ingest.

Decorate with family history.

In happy and long-lived cultures, people often display items from their families' pasts, says The Blue Zones of Happiness author Dan Buettner. "They remember and honor where they come from," he says. "We find that in happier cultures around the world, folks feel like part of a continuum." So hang your grandparents' wedding portrait, or put meaningful memorabilia on shelves.

RESTORE OLD FURNITURE

Photo: James Henry / Homes+

Save money, upcycle and give your home a truly unique touch by restoring old furniture — sometimes all that is needed is a new coat of paint and some updated hardware.

Gumtree, eBay and garage sales are great places to find unique homewares that can be transformed with a little creativity, like the above vanity, an old Gumtree find — converted by inserting a bowl from Bunnings and modern tapware from Reece.

Become a plant owner.

Swing by the garden center after brunch this weekend. Just the presence of indoor plants can lower human stress levels, research shows, and one study found that actively caring for plants calmed the autonomic nervous system and lowered blood pressure. And when people work near plants, they report greater concentration, satisfaction, and perceived air quality.

START A GARDEN

Start small — a vegetable patch, vertical herb garden or compost pile are great for beginners, especially kids, and the benefits are plenty.

If an outdoor garden doesn't suit your lifestyle, consider low maintenance indoor plants that are hard to kill — a lush Lady palm or statement making yucca are both great options.

Make your home more fragrant.

Because smell is associated with the parts of the brain that process emotion and store memories, certain aromas can affect mood, says olfactory expert Rachel Herz, Ph.D., author of The Scent of Desire. Research shows that vanilla makes people more relaxed and joyful (mmm, baking), while peppermint can boost energy and lavender can zap stress.

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Karey Brown

I am a real estate Broker and have been in business since 2002. I run a team "Preferred Advisors Team" and host a local radio show "Real Estate 101" that airs on Talk Radio 580AM WIBW @ 10 AM every S....

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