Now that the holidays are over, here’s a list of things you can do around the house that can help improve your life. Pick a few items and or take on the entire list.
▪ Organize your house. You don’t need a Type A personality to recognize the importance of keeping your home organized. But knowing and doing are two different things.
“Start small,” says Jennifer Finch, owner of Ultimately Organized in Kentucky. “Pick out one room in your home that makes you the most anxious. Focus on one corner of that room first. Once that’s done, move on to the next. Don’t get inundated by the enormity of the project.”
After you set your goals, schedule enough time to accomplish them, says Katherine Trezise, owner of Absolutely Organized in Maryland.
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“If you have trouble making decisions about what to do with your things, you may find yourself looking at the same items over and over and mixing trash with treasures,” she says. “Having a supportive person with you gives you a sounding board for decision-making and keeps you motivated to stick with the project.”
▪ Plan your dream remodel. Are you planning to finish your basement or build that new family room? Whatever your budget may be, you’ll most likely exceed it. Meet with an architect, structural engineer or interior designer to determine the scope of your plan and develop a realistic budget and timeline. Revisit your financial plan to make sure you have the funds to finish the project. Financing a remodel is also an option, but depending on your current financial situation, it may or may not make sense to do so.
▪ Pick a color, paint a room. A little paint goes a long way, doesn’t cost a lot of money and can give your house some pizazz. If you don’t want to make a total color commitment, select one wall as an accent wall to display your favorite hue. Choose a color based on your personality (really!), or one that will complement what you already have displayed in the room. Grab some smaller, sample-sized cans of paint for a trial run and see what excites you.
▪ Give your house a checkup. Just like your body, your house needs a once-over at least once a year. Look for obvious signs of damage or distress, but also take note of the little things that might lead to bigger issues down the road.
“In general, a homeowner’s worst enemy is moisture,” says Alan Chase, owner of Chase Home Inspections in Knoxville, Tennessee. “Outside, all roof shingles should be examined periodically for any signs of loose, damaged or missing shingles that could produce a leak. All siding should be examined for signs of moisture intrusion that will develop into rot. All gutters and downspouts should be examined to assure adequate roof drainage away from the foundation. All surface cracks on driveways, sidewalks and patios should remain well-sealed to eliminate moisture.”
Stacy Giordullo is a reporter at Angie’s List, a provider of local consumer reviews.