No matter what time of year it is, your home could use a little love. While decluttering is the new thing to do in home improvement, there’s more to making your home healthy and happy than simply sorting through your closets.
Here are just a few ideas on how to quickly and effectively give your home a once-over, whether it’s now or every season.
Basic cleaning: Start room by room, and focus on only cleaning one area at a time. Wash the dishes, clean kitchen counters, and clean all kitchen appliances. Empty out any old or expired food from the fridge. Give the shower, sink, mirror, counter, and toilet all a good clean in all the bathrooms. Vacuum or dust all the floors. Wash all the windows, inside and out, with a mild soap or natural cleaner. Dust all the furniture in the bedroom, living room, and dining room. If you’re pressed for time, set a timer and see how much you can get done in 15-minutes, 30-minutes, or an hour.
Easy organizing: Now that your home is cleaner than it was, it’s time to do some basic organizing. Clear off any cluttered surfaces and pick items off the floors, and figure out where everything goes. Open up all the mail and go through it, then either shred or answer. Have a few boxes at the ready to help the organization process — one for donations, one for trash, and one “go backs” bin for items that are in one room, but should be in another. Target and other retailers have a variety of beautifully made organization products to add style and order to your home.
Make a list of what to replace: Go through the house and look for major and minor issues. Is there a leak in the roof? Does the A/C unit pump out cool air, or lukewarm air? Is there a squeaky door handle, or a banged up door? What about broken windows or tears in the screens? Does the carpet need a cleaning? Is the yard in good shape? Write down the ultimate repair wish list. Don’t worry about your budget — the idea is to assess how much work needs to be done in your home. Then, you can either choose to tackle the easiest fixes or the most challenging first.
Improve efficiency: With smart thermostats and energy monitors, it’s easy to find ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Start by taking a look at your utility bills. Can you turn down the heat or turn up the A/C? What about switching out light bulbs? Once you make small tweaks, look for how you can save up for big savings later. Would it be more economical to install windows that provide natural light in the home office, or would solar panels on your roof be a feasible cost-saving measure?
Out with the old: Remember your donations box? It’s time to give the house another once-over and see what you can give away. There are lots of resources on deep decluttering, but for this exercise, don’t get too bogged down. Just take a look at your closets, bathrooms, bookshelves, and so on for items you can live without. If you’re unsure or making up reasons to keep it, put it in a different box and wait a week. Did you really miss that item? Take a quick trip to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate items you no longer need or use. You may also contact local churches or shelters to see if they can take your donations to help those in need.
Try a new design trend: After getting rid of older stuff, treat yourself to something new! But don’t go overboard. The key is to maintain a clear, clutterless home you love. Maybe you need to upgrade the dishwasher — try black stainless steel, one of the year’s top design trends. What about installing a heated entryway, shades of gray on a painted wall, or something as simple as graphic throw pillows? It’s up to you how to reinvigorate your home’s vibe! If you need inspiration search Pinterest or popular design websites for inspiration – just add your own flair to make it your own.
What steps have you taken this year so far to improve your home?