12 Jan 2016

The start of the new year is the perfect time to make resolutions. Many people vow to save more money or quit smoking as a new year rolls in. What about resolutions that apply more specifically to your home? We’ve created a list of possible resolutions for homeowners in the new year to help you achieve a happier, healthier, stress-free home.

The start of the new year is the perfect time to make resolutions. Many people vow to save more money or quit smoking as a new year rolls in. What about resolutions that apply more specifically to your home? We’ve created a list of possible resolutions for homeowners in the new year to help you achieve a happier, healthier, stress-free home.

1. Clear the clutter

Clearing your home of unwanted clutter is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to reinvigorate. We all accumulate stuff throughout the year, and without regular clean outs these extra items fill our homes with clutter and often stop us from finding the things we really enjoy. The best way to start your clean out is to go room by room, clearing out anything you don’t use or wear. Clear bench tops of things you don’t use on a daily basis and feel your home open up.

2. Reconsider your home’s security

Do you currently have security in place that protects your family and home from potential intruders? For those living in higher risk areas, investing in security upgrades wherever possible is a must. A simple and effective security upgrade is to include sensor lights in your front and back yard. Ensuring the perimeter of your home is well lit after dark is one important way you can increase your home’s security.

3. Refinance your home

Refinancing your home can help you decrease your payments or even lock in a lower fixed rate than what you are currently have. By shopping around, you can ensure that you are getting the best deal for your mortgage by possibly locking in a lower interest rate which will help you pay more off your home loan faster.

With this is mind, it’s the perfect time to also vow to make your mortgage repayments on time if you don’t already. By paying your bills when you should, you’ll have a much better credit rating which could lead to interest rate cuts for your borrowing in the future.

4. Go green

While solar panels are one way to go green, there are lots of other little ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint whilst also cutting your power bills. Doing little things can make a big difference! Some suggestions for those who vow to go green this new year include:
Install compact fluorescent bulbs over incandescent bulbs throughout your home,
Dry your clothes on the line and on clothes airers as much as possible,
Turn off the light when you leave a room, and
If you don’t already, vow to take the time to recycle properly and perhaps even start your own compost heap.

5. Create the perfect ambience for entertaining

Our homes are our sanctuary, and the place where we can enjoy quality time with family and friends. If you want to reinvigorate your home for entertaining in the new year but don’t have a huge budget to work with, once you’ve conducted a big clean out and your home is free from clutter, introduce some pot plants. Adding splashes of greenery to your home will give it an instant lift and make it more inviting.

6. Purify the air in your home

Expert home-writer John Riha writes that one of the best resolutions we can make for our homes in the new year is to clear the air. Contaminants like pollen, dust, mold spores, and viruses can live within your home. Riha argues that while these contaminants can irritate the lungs and make your home a less appealing place to dwell, there are some easy maintenance jobs you can make a vow to follow when the clock ticks over to ensure the air in your home remains fresh and healthy all year round:

Use high quality paints that don’t carry any nasty pollutants when/if you decide it’s time to paint,
Ensure that all ventilation systems in your home are clear and working as they should be in each room of your home, and
Portable air cleaners are useful for cleaning the air in single rooms. Generally these air cleaners deal with one specific thing, for example they could generate ions. Ensure that you purchase an air purifier that deals with the specific concerns in your home. A dehumidifier is the best solution for getting rid of excess moisture in a room that is causing damp or mould.

7. Create a budget for home improvement and maintenance

John Riha also writes in his article for House Logic that having a specific budget for home renovations and repairs is really important to avoid overspending and it also allows for you to do repairs in a timely manner, when you need them. If you do find that this saved portion of money doesn’t get used in 12 months time, keep it. There may be a time down the track when costly repairs might be needed and it will be great to have the money on hand to deal with it immediately. This is also an ideal way to save for home upgrades.

8. Make some extra repayments on your mortgage

Making a few additional repayments to your mortgage will certainly shorten the length of time it will take to pay it off. Ronit Rogoszinski, a wealth adviser at Arch Financial Group in Garden City, N.Y suggests, “the more payments you make in a shorter period of time, the less you end up paying in the long term, and the faster you’ll get rid of your mortgage.”

9. Leave your shoes at the door, please

According to some experts, some of the most hazardous materials that enter our homes are able to do so by travelling on the bottom of our shoes. If you have little ones playing on the floor, this resolution is even more important. Not only do shoes track nasties into the house but they also carry dirt and debris which can scratch and degrade the finish on your floors. All the more reason to leave the shoes by the front door!

10. Fire safety check

Do you currently have a fire extinguisher in an easy to reach place? Are there fresh batteries in the smoke detectors in your home? If not, this is a great time to upgrade the fire safety you currently have or give everything a good once over to make sure it’s all in working order.

11. Do a maintenance check of your guttering

It may seem obvious, but ensuring that your gutters and downpipes are working and empty of debris is an important step to ensuring you avoid costly repairs down the track. Give your gutters a good clean out or hire a professional to do so. Ensure that all of the downpipes are also free and that water can pass through them easily.

12. Shop around for a better deal for your home and car insurance

Do your research and phone around to see if you can receive lower premiums than your current carrier is offering. If you’ve moved suburbs, made improvements to your home, or even increased security, these are all things that insurance companies should be taking into account.

The start of the new year is the perfect time to make a list of fresh resolutions. With a clean slate and a brand new year ahead, achieving a range of goals for your home should most certainly be within reach, as long as the entire family is onboard and willing to help you make it happen.