2016 has arrived and, if you’re like most people, you spent the end of the year taking stock of your life, identifying areas you’d like to improve, and setting goals you want to accomplish. While these resolutions are usually personal – “save money,” “travel” and “volunteer” are high on many lists – the New Year is also a great time to set some goals for your home.
Your home is the place where you spend the majority of your free time. It’s where you wake up and go to sleep, and it has the power to set the tone for your day and your life. If your home is clean, organized, efficient, comfortable and beautiful, it will be easier to focus on other areas of your life, such as your relationships or your finances. Think of your home as the foundation upon which all other goals are built. If your home is strong and solid, the chances of achieving your dreams are that much better.
Below are five resolutions you can make for your home. Don’t feel pressured to tackle them all at once! After all, a year is a long time and change doesn’t happen overnight. By making small, meaningful progress toward your goals, you’ll be able to look back on 2016 as a productive year in your life and at home.
- Clear Your Clutter. 2015 was the year everyone started obsessing over their stuff, namely how to have less of it. If you read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you know what I’m talking about. In this short manual, author Marie Kondo encourages readers to get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” as a way to make room in their lives for the things that truly matter. While you don’t need to strip your home down to the bare essentials, the start of a New Year is a great time to go through the nooks and crannies of your home and donate any items that you haven’t used (or seen) in far too long. Others will benefit from your rarely used items, and you’ll benefit from more space and a clearer mind. Everybody wins.
- Protect What Matters. Make sure your home is safe and sound, and that your belongings, not to mention your loved ones, are protected. First, check that your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition and that you’ve placed them on every floor of your house. Next, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas contains radioactive particles that can cause lung cancer. Luckily, a test kit costs as little as $20 at any hardware store. You can also take this time to review your insurance policy, making sure your valuables are protected and that you have adequate coverage. If you rent, don’t assume you can skip this last step. Renters’ insurance is very important, and can protect you in case of fire, flooding or theft.
- Go Green! During the New Year, many people take stock of their health and the health of their environment. Perhaps you’ve already made a resolution to walk or ride your bike more often to cut down on your gasoline use, or to always bring bags to the grocery store to use less plastic. You can extend these good deeds to your home. Start cutting energy costs by turning off lights when you leave a room, turning off your air conditioner when you aren’t home, and starting a compost pile for your kitchen waste. If it’s in your budget, you can also invest in energy saving appliances, solar power or a wood-burning stove. As an added bonus, many of these “green” improvements are also linked to certain tax breaks, which can help with any financial goals you may be setting in 2016.
- Host More Parties. Who said all your goals have to be hard? You can make a few fun ones too, and resolving to host more parties is a great way to do just that. To help you achieve this goal, rearrange the furniture in your living room to make it more conducive to conversations, buy some fun serving ware (fondue pot, anyone?) and splurge on some great outdoor furniture for fun summer gatherings. After all, you take pride in your home, and the best way to show it off is by entertaining friends and family.
- Sell Your Home. Whether you want to downsize now that the kids are out of the house or buy a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, the first step is selling your current home. Selling your home can be a process, with many twists and turns. By setting this goal early in the year, you’ll be better equipped to prepare for a sale by making improvements, getting your yard in pristine shape, getting your financial documents in order, and hunting for a new home to call your own. If selling your current home or buying a new one in 2016 is one of your resolutions, the best thing you can do right now is get in touch with one of the realtors at Network Real Estate. We can help you through the process and give you the tools to turn this dream into a reality. For your best year yet, contact us today.
We hope this article has given you some great ideas for a happier, healthier home in 2016. Happy New Year!
Neal Johnson is a CMCA, CRB, CNE and GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for more than 30 years. With offices at College Road, Historic Downtown and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred real estate company for first-home buyers and beyond.