Check your home’s safety (via)
Review your home for safety basics such as carbon monoxide detectors, fire hazard prevention, places for common falls, etc. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional when you need to!
Become more energy efficient
Whether this means using less heat (check out our blog on the topic) or upgrading your appliances, aiming for an energy efficient home means you lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Who could ask for more? A few energy efficient improvements:
- Low-pressure shower heads
- New washer/dryer
- Check windows and doors for drafts
- Low-flow toilets (see this blog)
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- Programmable thermostat – adjust the temperature when you’re at home vs. away. You can control thermostats from your smart phone and return the temperature to a comfortable level before you even return home.
- Check HVAC system and fix bugs
Overhaul the room nobody uses
Most houses have one of these rooms – it’s pristinely decorated, but it never gets touched. You can’t even remember the last time you sat on the couch. You don’t need to let that valuable square footage go to waste. Find a way to revamp the room and make it useful. Whether you transform its purpose or knock down a wall to expand the room next door, you’ll be grateful for the change.
Start building a home improvement budget (via)
Depending on the size of the project, your home improvement project may cost a few bucks. Start budgeting for your dream home now, so you don’t have to cut any corners in the future.
Build better storage
Stop tripping over stray toys and digging for that missing mitten. Make a small investment in great home storage solutions (think: hidden shelving, improved entryway, new shed) and save yourself more than a few headaches.
Invest in the things you love
When do you feel the most at peace in your home? Is it sitting on the porch? Relaxing in a bubble bath? Watching movies with your family? Identify your favorite home activities, and build out that part of your home. Refinish your deck, remodel your bathroom, or finish your basement as a movie theater. When the space is more available to you, you are more likely to make use of it.
Pay attention to the details
Spend a month building up a list of small home improvements. Keep an eye out for problems such as grungy outlet covers and chipped window paint. At the end of the month, divvy up the tasks and devote the next month to getting them all done. These small projects shouldn’t take too long to complete, and they will make a huge difference in your home. This Old House made a handy list of potential fixes for your home.
Pick a pet project
Focus your year on one big home improvement project. Devote the year (or just a part of it) to research, planning, and pricing. By taking the extra time, you ensure you will plan for a project that you’ll love in the long term, and you will be more prepared for common hiccups and even be able to avoid them. Your researching planning can include Pinterest boards, drawing inspiration from friends’ homes, heading to your local home improvement store, vetting potential contractors, and setting a realistic budget.