As you gear up for the New Year, take some time to think about your most valuable material asset: your home. Alongside personal goal setting, jot down a few steps toward improving your property and your enjoyment of it, too. Here are four things every homeowner should resolve to do in the New Year:
1. Increase home value. You do not have to spend a lot to see an improvement in the value of your home. Simple upgrades to kitchen cupboard and drawer hardware or landscaping can up the value of your home and its aesthetic appeal. If you have some money available for renovations, start with your kitchen or bathroom, as upgrading these rooms tends to add the greatest value to homes.
2. Decrease energy costs. There are so many simple ways to cut back on the energy you consume at home, but it takes some reminding. Start with basic things like making sure lights are turned off when they are not in use and consider more advanced long-term savings like high-efficiency light bulbs or appliances. Did you know that electronics like televisions, laptops, and even cell phone chargers continue using electricity when plugged in—even if they are not in use? Over the course of a year, this can mean hundreds in wasted energy costs. Reevaluate the way you use energy in your home and you will see savings in the long term.
3. Improve protection. How many valuable items do you have that are easily accessible around the house? When you consider jewelry, documents, and cash, those numbers really add up. Come up with a better way to safeguard your valuables from intruders. Research wall safes or even portable ones that are sturdy enough to withstand abuse from a thief. If you do not have a home security system in place, look into affordable options that will also lower your homeowner’s insurance costs.
4. Do less maintenance. Enjoy your home more this year by having less to do when you are in it. Get rid of possessions that are crowding you and develop easy cleaning systems. If something in your home is a particular pain (like cleaning that antique oriental rug or constantly pulling dog hair off your black couch), look into replacing it with a more reasonable option. Your free time at home should be about relaxing, not constantly cleaning or repairing it.
5. Invite more visitors. If you are waiting for your home to look perfect before hosting a party or inviting another family over for a play date, you could be waiting a really long time. Make the most of what you have and invite friends and loved ones into your personal space for socialization. Chances are they will be more interested in the company than whether the home is perfectly decorated or dusted anyway.
Make the most of the coming year when it comes to your home. The changes will improve your enjoyment of it and may even increase your resale value too.
What will you resolve in 2014?