Every January, you carefully consider what you would like to improve on or do differently in the upcoming year. Maybe you’ll stop biting your nails. Perhaps you’ll visit another country. Or maybe you want to perfect your downward dog pose.
But remember that you don’t have to save all your best goals for New Year’s Day. Each day is a new opportunity to grow, learn and develop. Additionally, you don’t have to limit your resolutions to bettering yourself. You could extend your desire to change to improving the environment around you.
As you take a good hard look at what you want to fix this year, consider making the following home improvement goals. These resolutions not only improve your home’s resale value, but they help the environment, too.
1. Cut The Clutter
Psychologists agree that clutter stimulates the senses. It distracts us from our priorities, and it makes relaxation difficult. This year, you can save yourself a great deal of stress when you cut the clutter in your home.
Start by selling, donating, or throwing away unused clothes in your closet. Then gradually work your way to the outside of your home by pulling the weeds, trimming the trees, and mowing the lawn. When you feel ready, move to the garage and organize the tools, boxes, and equipment you have stashed on the shelves. The more clutter you clear, the better you’ll feel.
2. Improve Security
No matter if you live in the big city or a small town, your home can become a target for thieves and vandals. Although you may have the habit of locking your doors at night, the locks won’t do you much good if you have an old door attached to a weakened frame.
To improve security this year, hire a professional to replace your entry doors with solid steel options and impact-resistant glass. If you want to take your efforts a step further, install wireless cameras near your doors and windows to record and alert you to any suspicious activity.
Once you upgrade your security, don’t forget to contact your insurance provider. Many companies offer lower premiums to homeowners with extra security features.
3. Lower Utility Bills
Your air conditioner works hard during the summer to ensure you stay cool and comfortable. But every time you turn down the thermostat, you lose a significant portion of that cold air through your windows, doors, plumbing vents and recessed lights.
If you want to save money on air conditioning, have a professional inspect your home for air leaks and seal the gaps as needed. Replace windows with Energy Star-rated options, and consider installing extra insulation and ventilation to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
4. Amp the Curb Appeal
Your home has one chance to make a good first impression. What visitors see at a glance affects your home’s overall resale value.
If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you can take steps to boost your curb appeal. Cleaning, repairing, and replacing the siding can make your home look like new. And planting a few flowers in the garden can also give your home a cozier, more charming appearance.
For more ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, check out our earlier blog post.
5. Go Green
As you improve your doors, windows, siding, and insulation, you significantly reduce your carbon footprint. But you can make your home even more environmentally friendly this year.
To start, make a goal to gradually replace burnt-out incandescent bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, which last longer and use less energy. Next, invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to better control your heating and cooling usage. Finally, upgrade your water heater, refrigerator, dishwasher or other large appliance. Newer, Energy Star appliances drive down energy costs and function more efficiently than older models.
These five home improvement goals should give you a good start for the new year. And with a little creativity, you can find even more ways to improve your home and your life.