As we put 2020 behind us and welcome the arrival of 2021, it’s time for new beginnings. January is a great time to reflect and make plans for the year ahead. Since many of us are spending more time at home, making it a comfortable place to live and work has become more important than ever.
Whether your New Year’s home projects include a major renovation or just cleaning out a closet, January is a good month to curl up by the fire, dream and make plans. To help, we’ve put together a few tips to create a cozy, calm and relaxing home.
Plan the year’s decorating and remodeling projects. Gather ideas, get estimates from contractors and make a plan for any home improvement projects, such as updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom or finishing the basement.
Clean your pantry and refrigerator. Throw out expired ingredients, unhealthy food and leftovers. Keep fresh fruit and nutritious foods within easy reach.
1. Take down holiday decorations. Wrap your outdoor and indoor lights around a piece of cardboard to avoid tangling. For any decorations you did not use this past holiday season, consider donating them to save space for the items you really love and use.
2. Update (or create) your home inventory. Keep a record of your home’s furnishings and valuable possessions. If items are damaged or lost, you can use the inventory to submit an insurance claim to help recoup its replacement value.
3. Organize files. Place instruction manuals and warranties into a folder for easy reference. Sort, file or shred other documents. The beginning of the year is also a good time to update your digital documents and records using a simple filing system.
4. Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Press the test/reset button to check whether the detectors are operating as expected. Replace batteries or purchase a new detector, as needed.
5. Prepare for winter storms. Place flashlights and batteries in every room of your home in case a winter storm knocks out your power.
Once you complete a few of these items, you will gain a fresh perspective on all the exciting possibilities for your home (and yourself) in the New Year.