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As a new year kicks off, setting resolutions is a good way to ensure you see progress in various aspects of your life—including your home and finances. Here are 8 ideas to get you started.
1. Create & stick to a budget all year long
Spend some time before the start of the year creating a budget. The key to having a budget that you’re able to stick to is communication and ongoing assessments. Once you have a budget in place, consider setting monthly reoccurring calendar invites for you and your spouse, if applicable, to review and talk about the budget.
That way, if something isn’t working, you can have a collective discussion and know when to make adjustments. Maintaining a budget that’s a constant work-in-progress will keep you from abandoning it when issues arise.
2. Plan & budget for home renovation projects
Before the start of the new year, plan out any home projects you want to tackle in the coming months. Having a plan will also help keep your budget on track, because you’ll be able to map out when expenses will hit and save up to cover related costs.
- What Improvements Add the Most Value?
- How to Pay for Home Renovations with a Cash-Out Refinance
- How Do Home Equity Loans Work?
3. De-clutter & organize
The start of a new year is a great time to de-clutter your home. Make a conscious effort to throw away or donate items that you don’t need. An easy strategy is to go room-by-room until your house is de-cluttered. Keeping only things that hold sentimental value or that you truly need will be a liberating feeling.
4. Implement a daily tidying-up routine
If you don’t regularly pick up your home as it’s lived in throughout the week, there may be a big, overwhelming mess to clean. Instead of saving all your cleaning for the weekends, try a 10-minute daily tidying-up session.
Set a timer, play some music, and see how much you and your family can tidy up in only a few minutes. You could be surprised by the difference this simple change makes.
5. Designate donation days
A key to keeping your home clean and de-cluttered is regularly assessing what you have and donating what you don’t need. Designating one day a month or every few months to take items to the donation center will encourage you to go through your closets and cabinets regularly. And, it will also keep items from sitting in large donation piles for months on end. Mark your calendars!
6. Start (or keep) recycling
If you aren’t already recycling as part of your home routine, consider adding it to your list of resolutions. Designate a bin for recycling and make a commitment to toss all recyclable materials in the bin.
This is an easy project the whole family can participate in, and you’ll feel better knowing you’re making an impact on the preservation of our planet in a small but meaningful way.
7. Make other eco-friendly efforts
Chances are, we could all be a little more intentional with the energy and products we use. Even subtle changes can make a big difference, so consider determining a few areas of intention for your family and making those shifts. A few good places to start assessing and adjusting ways to be greener are:
- Cleaning products
- Electricity and water usage
- Energy-efficient appliances
8. Find a solution for the thing about your home that frustrates you the most
Most homeowners have one—that thing or area of your home that is so frustrating but you just can’t quite tackle. Maybe it’s an unorganized laundry room or a messy garage, but regardless of the specifics, you could make a resolution to solve the problem this year. Pinpoint the source of your frustration, and come up with potential solutions.
Then, set a deadline (it can be flexible). Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, but keep in mind that you’ll feel relieved when that sore spot in your home becomes a nonissue.