Firstly, everyone here at Multi-Area Developments wishes you a very happy New Year. We certainly hope that 2018 is prosperous and rewarding for you and your family.
Now that January’s here, the big focus is on setting (and hopefully keeping) New Year’s Resolutions.
You’re probably familiar with the most common ones:
- Lose weight
- Save money
- Eat healthier
That said, your new home is also ready to make some big changes in 2018.
With these New Year’s Resolutions for homeowners, you’ll be able to stick with them all year long.
Reduce energy usage
Your new home is the safest, most comfortable place you know.
However, that security and comfort comes with a cost: Energy use.
Think about it:
- Want to crank up the furnace? Pay for natural gas.
- Turn on the air conditioning in summer? More hydro.
- Use your HVAC system? It needs electricity.
- Enjoy a hot shower? Costs to heat the water.
Now, you can’t go through 2018 without these necessities of life. You can, though, use them more efficiently (and in the process, keep more money in your pocket).
Here’s how you can keep this New Year’s Resolution for your home:
- Unplug rarely used appliances: Ever hear of “vampire power?” It’s energy (around $165/year) appliances use when they’re just plugged in. If you aren’t using it frequently (like a blender), keep it unplugged.
- Take shorter showers: The average 5 minute shower uses about 100 litres of water. Take a 3 minute shower to reduce water usage by 40% (and you’ll still be just as clean).
- Install CFL / LED bulbs: They last 9 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs and use approximately 75% less energy too.
- Run a full dishwasher: Whether your dishwasher is full to the brim or totally empty, it uses the same amount of water. No sense in wasting any on empty spaces or non-existent dishes.
Individually, these tips may not seem like much.
When you do them all, and consistently, you’ll be helping the environment (and your pocketbook too).
Label what you need and declutter what you don’t for your home
Resolutions often focus personally or professionally getting organized.
Home Resolution: Declutter
Trying to declutter your home in one shot is daunting. If you have a plan in your back pocket, though, you can get it done without driving yourself crazy:
- Tackle one room at a time: Start in the bedrooms and work your way down to the basement. One room at a time won’t burn you out and before you know it, the entire home will be done.
- Make three piles: Things to sell (if you think you’ll get money for them). Things to keep (if they mean that much to you). Things to toss (if there’s no point in keeping them).
- Be reflective: When you come across something truly sentimental, take a moment and think about why that object means so much to you.
Home Resolution: Label
As you’re putting things away you won’t use for a while (i.e. Christmas lights), neatly write or type labels to put on each box.
That way, when next holiday season rolls around, you won’t spend excessive amounts of time looking through multiple boxes.
It’s important to label items as you’re putting them away. You’re already in the home organization mindset and it’ll help you decide where to store them in your house.
New Year. New home? Budget for home improvements
At some point, your new home will need some work done it.
It may not be this year, or next year, but eventually you’ll have (or want) to:
- Replace the appliances
- Finish the basement
- Paint or improve the décor
- Landscape the backyard
Of course, that doesn’t include monthly bills which must be paid.
By budgeting for home improvement projects, you’ll have the money ready to go (especially if it’s something sudden like an urgent plumbing problem).
Here’s what to do first:
- Track all your fixed monthly costs (mortgage, insurance, etc.)
- List your fluid costs (bills which vary month-to-month, like hydro or groceries)
- Write down recreational expenses (dinners out, going to the movies, etc.)
Here’s what to do next:
- Take stock of things which you think will need to be replaced in the coming year.
- Note any “nice-to-have but not critical” improvements you want to make
Doing that should give you a sense of what you can save and expect to spend.
Slow down and enjoy your home
Between cleaning the house, fixing things up and day-to-day life (work, school, family activities), it can be hard to just take time and appreciate where you live.
If there are spaces in your home which are special to you – or if there are areas which you feel you haven’t fully explored – make it a priority to spend time there:
- A cozy chair in the basement rec room that’s perfect for reading
- The breakfast nook in your kitchen you’re too busy to enjoy
- Take a close look at the interlock pattern on your driveway you think is cool
- Sit on your porch and watch the world go by
Your house isn’t just for cleaning or fixing. It’s for living.
Make sure you give this New Year’s Resolution for homeowners like yourself extra attention.
Is your 2018 resolution to move into a brand new home?
If this is the year you’re going to move into a brand new home, Multi-Area Developments wants to help you keep that resolution.
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