The new year is a natural time to create goals or resolutions to improve your life. Many of us set intentions for the year ahead in relation to our health, career, productivity, relationships or overall well-being. This year, don’t leave your home out of the goal setting!
There are several home-related resolutions you can make to improve both the appearance and health of your home — inside and out. Not to mention, these rituals and reminders are sure to make your life a little easier! We’ve included a mix of practical to-dos you can check off your list in the months to come and some long-term goals for you and your home.
Happy New Year!
Create a Cleaning Calendar
If you feel overwhelmed when your big cleaning day comes around each week, consider splitting up areas of the home or cleaning tasks to fall on different days of the week. You could split up areas of the home (example: Monday is kitchen day, Tuesday is the living room, Wednesday is bathrooms, etc.) or you could go by task (example: Monday is vacuuming/sweeping floors, Tuesday is washing sheets, Wednesday is wiping down all tables/surfaces, etc.). Plus, you can take this a step further by designating tasks to family members with a chores chart!
If you don’t already, make a decision to start recycling in the new year! Overall, the forward-thinking and environmentally conscious states of Washington and Oregon make it quite easy to recycle at home. If you live in Portland, consult our guide to reducing waste in the city, which includes information about recycling! But no matter where you live, it’s best to have an indoor location for recycling bins so you can separate glass from the cardboard and plastic before transporting them to the curb for pickup.
Declutter Closets, Drawers + Cabinets
Decluttering your home not only creates a more visually appealing space — it also promotes mental clarity and well-being. Spend a weekend (or longer!) going through your closets, drawers, cabinets and other spaces and choose what is worth keeping — and what you can part with. Start with your most frequently used spaces, like the living room, kitchen or bedroom closet, to see immediate results, then tackle the attic, shed or more intimidating areas. Create “keep,” “donate” (and/or “sell”) and “maybe” piles, and remove the “donate” items from your home as quickly as possible!
Put Dishes in Dishwasher at the End of Each Day
There’s something about a clean and empty sink that makes it easier to start your day on the right foot. Make it a goal to put all dishes in the dishwasher before you go to bed each night. Better yet, ask everyone in the household to rinse their dishes immediately after they use them and put them in the dishwasher right away! It sounds simple, but this small ritual can keep your kitchen clean and tidy on a regular basis.
Reduce Energy Use
Make 2021 the year you reduce your energy use! There are many small ways to do so, like switching to a smart thermostat, swapping lights with LED bulbs, taking shorter showers, washing clothes with cold water, setting your thermostat a degree or two lower, unplugging electronics and turning off appliances when not in use, air drying your clothes, etc. If you’d like to take your energy conservation to the next level, consider installing solar panels!
Patch Up Nail Holes on Walls + Touch Up Paint
We all have those pesky nail holes we’ve been meaning to patch up for months. Not sure how to do it? Follow this how-to guide from DIY Playbook! All you’ll need is some lightweight spackle, a putty knife, paint, and a small paint brush or paper towel. While you’re at it, you can touch up any scratches you find on doors, trim or baseboards with some paint.
Composting has incredible benefits, from adding nutrient-rich soil to your garden to reducing food and yard waste from entering the landfill. This year, get started with your natural garden recycling journey! If you live in Portland, you can use our composting guide for Portland, filled with general information about composting, local resources and more. But no matter where you live, the compost you create will benefit both your garden and the planet!
Clean Out Pantry + Fridge
The refrigerator, freezer and pantry needs a good cleanout every once in a while. Start the new year with a refreshed kitchen — starting with your food! Check every expiration date to dispose of items that are past their prime, organize your food items by category, wipe down surfaces, and take inventory of what you have (that may be hiding!). You might even create a new storage system, taking inspiration from The Home Edit on Netflix. Now, you can restock your shelves with healthy foods to start the new year on the right foot!
Create an Organized Mail Area
Mail has a way of piling up and adding clutter to our entryways, kitchen counters or sometimes even our drawers. Create an organized mail system to ensure mail is dealt with in a timely manner — and looks orderly in the meantime. You could purchase small dividers that have multiple sections — one for bills, one for “to be filed,” or sections for specific household members. And make a pact to immediately shred unneeded documents and recycle ads as they come in!
Install Home Security System or Motion Detectors
Keep your home safe and sound by improving its security. If you don’t have one already, consider installing a home security system, most of which connect with an app so you can keep an eye on your home (including your front porch!) while you’re away. And motion detector lights add an extra layer of security to the front of your home or in your backyard!
Tackle a Renovation Project You’ve Been Avoiding
We all have that one home renovation project we’ve been putting off month after month — and sometimes year after year. Make this the year you commit to completing that pesky project, whether it’s as simple as switching out faucets and fixtures or as major as a bathroom or kitchen remodel. Trust us — getting that done will provide an immediate sense of relief and inspire you to tackle more projects around the house.
Set Reminders for Repeating Tasks
Overall, it can be difficult to keep track of tasks you repeat on a seasonal or monthly basis, like replacing air filters, vacuuming refrigerator coils, washing window exteriors, deep cleaning your oven, cleaning out your gutters, or wiping down your baseboards. Make sure you don’t forget these important home maintenance tasks by setting reminders on your phone!
New Year, New Home!
We hope these resolutions help you and your home feel as good as new. Speaking of a new home, let us know if buying a home is one of your resolutions! Contact us to get started on your home buying journey.