It’s the New Year, and you know what that means: resolutions! There are hundreds of resolutions you may make for the New Year, including cutting back on our indulgences or getting in shape. If you’re a homeowner, you can make some resolutions this year to get your home in shape, too. Here are five classic New Year’s resolutions that you can adapt to your home and ensure it is in the best shape it could be. If you use these tips, you can save money and decrease your stress levels in the new year.
Lose “Weight” and De-Clutter and Organize Your Home
According to Nielsen studies, the second most popular New Year’s resolution for 2015 was to lose weight. You can help your house lose some “weight” by de-cluttering and organizing your items. There are thousands of ideas on how to make sure you succeed in this resolution, but here are a few tips:
1. Don’t try to do too much in too little time
Organizing takes effort, and it’s not the most exciting task you can take on for a weekend. Make sure you’re not pushing yourself to finish in an unreasonable amount of time. You’re more likely to get burnt out if you don’t take your time.
2. Don’t procrastinate donating
Do you have a donation pile? Don’t procrastinate boxing up your pile and donating those items. You can always go in shifts to your local Goodwill. Don’t feel like you have to donate everything in one go.
3. Organize first, buy organizational materials second
Many individuals buy boxes and tubs, hoping it will help them get organized, but the boxes end up not fitting their needs. Get organized first, and then determine what you need to purchase after. You’ll save money and have a better system in place for the new year.
Lots of people resolve to “get fit” in the New Year. Just like your body, making sure your home is running properly takes a lot of work. You have to complete maintenance on your systems and appliances in order to keep them in good working condition and extend their lives.
In order to do that, you need to make sure you understand how to maintain your home. You should first look at the owner’s manuals on your systems and appliances and follow those recommendations. Then, take a look at online resources. Landmark has a great number of posts on how to clean, maintain, and repair certain parts of your home (and for everything else, there’s our home warranty coverage). We have information on everything from maintaining your garage door and winterizing your air conditioner to how your furnace’s heat exchanger operates.
Develop Earth Healthy Habits – Save Energy
Bad habits like smoking and drinking can wreak havoc on your body and make it so you have less energy and money. You can have some energy-hogging habits in your own home that may be making you use more energy and spend more money. You can save money and energy by following these tips:
- Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Even doing something as simple as changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescents can help save you up to 75% of your energy usage. Upgrading your larger appliances, like your washer, dryer, or oven to energy-efficient appliances can save you even more money and energy.
- Clean and Maintain Your Appliances
The more you clean your appliances, the better they run. For example, if you change our your HVAC filters every 1-3 months, your system will be able to push that air through the filter easier, making sure the motor doesn’t work too hard.
- Make Sure Air Isn’t Escaping from Your Home
Warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer can escape through doors, windows, and ducts that aren’t insulated properly. Make sure you’re caulking and adding weather stripping to places that could be areas for drafts.
Become Less Stressed: Learn About Home Finances
What stresses you out most about your home? For most homeowners, stress comes from money and paying the bills. A great way to become less stressed about home ownership is to understand more about the financial aspects of it. For example, learn what a home mortgage is, and what the different options are for refinancing your mortgage. Then, you can decide if you would be less stressed if you began to pre-pay your mortgage, saving you money on interest payments in the long run.
Spend Less, Save More: Get a Home Warranty!
Of course, as you begin to think about your finances in the New Year, you may resolve to spend less money and save more. Many individuals have this goal (25% of resolution-makers in 2015 did, according to Nielsen.com), but you can actually complete it by purchasing a home warranty. You can spend less money on your home’s systems and appliances when they fail from normal wear and tear. A home warranty covers the repairs and replacements on your home’s systems and appliances (such as the HVAC system, oven, dishwasher, electrical and plumbing) for the cost a service call fee. When you have a home warranty and you have a system or appliance in your home fail from normal wear and tear, all you have to do is pay the service call fee to have it repaired or replaced. . Most homeowners spend 1-4% of their home’s value on repairs and replacements per year. With a home warranty, you can reduce that percentage significantly.