Every year we jump into the holidays and often leave little time for proper cleaning and organization. Rolling into a new year with clutter and baggage starts you off on the wrong foot. These 8 tips should get you jump started for a productive year!
Streamline and clear the clutter
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. (All that clutter also makes your house look dated and dirty, designers say.)
This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don’t use, wear or love and donate it to charity. Stash useful (but not beautiful) items such as DVDs, remotes and those kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets. Clear your counters of everything you don’t use on a daily basis. And get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home.
Ask hard questions of your gadgets and appliances
Do you really need a blender, food processor, soda maker, coffee maker, and toaster out on your counter? Nope. Find space in the cabinets for the items you don’t use all that often. And ask yourself the hardest question: “Do I even use this at all?” If the answer is no, gather what you don’t use and gift it to someone you know or put it in the donate pile.
Look up! Add vertical storage
Now is the time to take advantage of extra wall space. Exposed brackets are so in these days! Mount some shelves and give canisters of dry ingredients or drinking glasses a new home. Or hang some pots and pans from a rack to help free up cabinet space. Just look up and you’re sure to find some more storage space.
Chances are you’ve accidentally bought multiple spices or dried ingredients, thinking you didn’t have them, right? Consolidate them into one container and then re-shelve them using a tiered spice rack or organizer so you can see everything a little easier from now on.
Befriend a bunch of baskets
Baskets hide a manner of sins and instantly add organization to open shelving, pantries, or cabinets. Plus, they’re great for holding dish towels, trivets, cookie cutters, little bags of dry ingredients — anything, really. You can never have too many baskets.
Make it safe and sound
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. Head to Radon.com for more information.
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. Its always surprising at how many people’s bathrooms and attics aren’t vented to the outside (or the vents are covered over with shingles.) If your home was last built or remodeled before 1978 consider testing for lead and asbestos. It will have to handled properly during removal, or particles can be released into the air for you to ingest.
Shrink your bills (and your carbon footprint in the process)
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference. The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:
Remember your mom’s advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down at night and when you leave your home for extended periods. Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads. Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them. Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use. Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary. Give composting a try, your garden will thank you.
Simplify your Inbox
If it has gotten so bad that half your emails are unwanted special offers and ads, take the next month to simply your inbox. As you get these unwanted emails, instead of archiving or deleting them, take the extra step to unsubscribe instead. Services like Unroll.me help you unsubscribe and consolidated all those emails. In no time you’ll be receiving less distracting emails.
Meet our Palisade Realty team and feel free to call us any time 619.794.0218.