It’s a new year and all around us are reminders that we should aim to do something more constructive with ourselves this year - or maybe it’s just the austerity that comes after all the holiday celebrations end. Whatever inspires you, here’s a few suggestions for resolutions for your home for 2019.
Become More Energy Efficient
Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t just help the environment - it also helps out your wallet! We are fortunate to live in an era dominated by technology and innovation that is continuously making strides in efficiency on a regular basis. Replace older appliances with newer more efficient ones while maintenancing your HVAC system so that it runs more efficiently. Consider installing solar panels to reduce your reliance on an utility provider while also decreasing your dependence on fossil fuels. While admittedly, some of these items are not possible for every home, there are other every day changes you can make that will help reduce your utility bills. Unplugging chargers when they aren’t being used, replacing incandescent bulbs with longer lasting and more efficient LED’s, turning off lights when the room isn’t in use, installing a programmable thermostat so your home is only heated and cooled when someone is there, installing low flow shower heads and toilets and caulking around the openings in your home to reduce small leaks. Bonus, some of these items can earn you tax credits while you’re at it! While these little things might not seem like much, they can add up to big savings that also can make you feel proud that you did your part to decrease your carbon footprint.
Do the Dirty Work
Your home is the biggest investment you will make and keeping it in good repair is essential. Whether you plan on living in the home forever or selling it in the coming year or two, keeping up on regular maintenance saves money down the road - while also keeping small problems from becoming bigger and more expensive ones. Among the little tasks that can save from having big headaches down the line are keeping your gutters cleaned (they can back up and cause water to come into your home, creating all sorts of issues), have your HVAC regularly checked and maintained. If you have a fireplace, an annual inspection of the chimney helps ensure your family’s safety. Fix the cracks in the driveway or walkway, touch up paint as needed. Trim dead limbs off of trees, keep bushes properly maintained. A little effort here and there goes a long way towards reducing headaches - and expensive repair bills - later on, while keeping your home looking fresh.
Focus Less on Trends and More on Your Own Style
Trends come and go, so make this the year you stop buying cheap trendy furniture and invest in pieces that will last. When you select well built items with clean lines made to withstand years of use, you begin to develop your own style, resulting in a home that better reflects your family. And when you choose styles that are longer lasting, you will be less tempted to redecorate regularly - which over time, that redecorating can get expensive. If you must have some trendy items, make them the smaller, incidental items that add pop - wall hangings, pillows, tablecloths, slipcovers, bedding - that are not as expensive to replace. In the long run, you’ll save money while creating a charming, welcoming home that reflects you and your family.
Make “Someday” this year.
How many items around your house are on your ‘someday’ to-do list? Like that tile in your bathroom that is in decent shape, but the color went out of fashion 10 years ago and even if it did come back in this year, you’re just not sure you could live with it for another go round. Make this the year you splurge on things that make you happy around your house. Rip out that tile, paint that room, build that new garden - this year is the year the ‘someday’ list becomes ‘this day’. Your home is your oasis from the rest of the world, so treat it that way by splurging on it - and yourself in the process.
Reduce Your Footprint.
Make this the year you reduce the amount of garbage you produce by cutting back on disposable items and using less plastic in your house. Swap out the paper filters in your coffee maker for a reusable metal one. Invest in metal water bottles for your family and carry them everywhere instead of buying bottled water. Instead of using paper napkins, try linen ones - estate sales are a great place to look for them. Try reusable beeswax food wraps instead of plastic wrap. Purchase large bags of snacks and pack them into lunches using reusable silicone snack bags. There are any number of ways you can reduce the amount of garbage you produce, which also incidentally, reduces the money you spend on these disposable items, putting more of it back into your pocket, win-win!
No matter when your resolution is this year, have a happy 2019 from all of us at Sloan Manis.