Want to make 2019 the best year yet? It all starts with a happy home. Putting even one or two of these 10 household New Year’s resolutions into practice can help you create a healthy space for making all your dreams realities.
1. Improve your indoor air quality.
Make clean air a priority in 2019. Poor indoor air quality is a leading cause of respiratory issues, like asthma and allergies. It can also cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and general malaise. That’s because indoor air can harbor mold spores, dust, pollen and other nasty stuff you don’t want to be cooped up with all day.
Changing your furnace filter at least once a year can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. Make sure your ventilation system is up to par, particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms. You should also use low-VOC paint and burn real firewood instead of pressed wood logs. This will help keep risky chemicals out of the air for extended periods of time. As an extra measure, portable air cleaners are available to help purify air in single rooms.
2. Declutter, room by room.
The beginning of the year is a great time to reevaluate your belongings. What do you actually use? What brings you joy? What feels stale? Since de-cluttering can get overwhelming quickly, and breaking tasks down into manageable chunks is key to achieving big results, it’s best to go room by room. Try designating one room for one weekend day until the job is done.
3. Simplify a chore that stresses you out.
We all have that one chore we dread. Maybe your vacuum just isn’t cutting it anymore, or putting away dishes is way more difficult than it should be because your cabinets are over-stuffed. Give yourself a break and simplify! This might mean hiring outside help, treating yourself to simply figuring out a new approach to organization. Whatever it may be, make your own happiness a priority and tackle it just because it’ll make your day-to-day life easier.
4. Volunteer your time in the neighborhood.
Nothing feels better than giving back to your community. You can do one better by taking on a special task in your neighborhood, like cleaning up a park, founding a community garden or organizing a neighborhood watch group. You’ll make new friends and creating a last positive impact.
5. Take tangible steps toward saving energy.
We’ve talked about saving energy time and time again on the NPI Home blog. If you haven’t taken steps toward energy conservation, the start of the new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf. Here are a few steps you can take this weekend to help:
• Use weather stripping to seal cracks and fix drafty doors and windows
• Switch out traditional lightbulbs for energy-saving lightbulbs
• Insulate your HVAC system’s ductwork
• Be diligent about keep lights off in unused rooms
• Set your thermostat to kick on only when you’re home
6. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
When’s the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? If you can’t remember, the chore is probably past due. Go ahead and do it right away and make a note on your phone calendar or planner of the next date you’ll need new batteries. This way you’ll never miss another change.
7. Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients.
To keep your energy up and feel your best in the coming year, you need to fuel your body with healthy food. Make a point to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks, as well as a few pantry staples that will allow you to throw together a nutritious meal in a snap. For healthy snacks, try string cheese, fresh fruit, nuts and crudités with hummus. For a meal in a pinch, keep black beans, eggs, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta and frozen veggies on hand, plus a protein of your choice. With a basic spice arsenal, these items can be leveraged into stir frys, casseroles and an array of one-pot dishes.
8. Treat yourself to something fresh and new.
If you haven’t updated your space in a hot minute, why not try something new? It doesn’t have to be big or expensive to create a fresh look and feel. You might try:
• Shopping Etsy or your local secondhand shop for a new art print
• Snagging a new houseplant (the easier to care for, the better!)
• Upgrading your sheets—bonus points if you pick a new color palette
• Swapping out your curtains
• Choosing some fun new throw pillows for your couch
9. Create a filing system for important documents.
Unorganized paper piles are Enemy Number One for the dedicated de-clutterer. This is the year you nip those sloppy stacks in the bud once and for all. Whether you opt for a full-blown filing cabinet, a portable accordion folder or a desktop file sorter will depend on your space, needs and budget, but any of these solutions will go a long way toward keeping your important documents organized and easy-to-find. If you’re stuck setting a few hours aside to sort and toss old documents, make sure you take the time to dispose of them the right way. If you have a shredder, you can shred them from the comfort of your own home. Otherwise, you can pay a fee (typically around $1 a pound) at most shipping and office supply stores, or wait for a free community shredding event.
10. Watch your water usage.
Did you know that even though 71% of earth is covered in water, only 0.5% is available for drinking? With rising populations, saving water becomes everyone’s responsibility. Not only will this minimize the effects of droughts, it helps preserve the environment for years and years to come.
If taking long, hot baths or showers is your favorite way to relax, it’s worth it to find a new way to treat yourself. Try a little aromatherapy with a scented candle or essential oils. Yoga and meditation are also great alternatives when you need a little alone time and rejuvenation.
Call National Property Inspections for a full home inspection today.
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