Every year you vow to lose weight, save money, quit smoking, or change some other aspect of your lifestyle. But what goals have you set for your apartment in Ridgeland, SC?
1. Streamline the stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity. After that, think twice about what you bring in.
Fill your home with the things that raise your energy level and make you feel good, and get rid of the things that drain your energy or are broken.
Stash useful items such as DVDs, remotes and other small items in simple woven baskets. Clear your counters of everything you don't use on a daily basis. And get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home.
2. Make it safe and sound
Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they're not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.
First, check your house for radon. Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector in addition to fire detectors.
Watch out for dryer lint. We know you clean the little trap inside the door, but most people neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint may seem innocent, but it's highly combustible.
3. Cut energy use
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference.
But, the best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:
- Remember to switch off the lights when you leave a room.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heat down to 55 degrees at night.
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
- Wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
- Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
- Give composting a try.
4. Work out a weekly system for keeping your house clean
Here are a few tips for keeping the mess under control.
Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night - no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.
Weekly: Clean your entire apartment, using these tips:
- Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths - in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
- Stash cleaning implements in a builder's apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
- Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. It's faster. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that's done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
- For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties. You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes leaving more time on the weekends for fun stuff.
5. Get your place ready for entertaining
Each year most of us vow to spend more time with family and friends. To make you feel like inviting people in, why not give the areas you entertain in a little update?
You don't have go for broke here and invest in a new kitchen remodel. All it takes to get a fresh new look is a little bit of rearranging and a few updates.
One easy update that makes your home seem more "finished" is the addition of plants.
They bring in new energy and help clean the air, and it's a great way to decorate if you're on a budget.
Pulling out a new accent color from your existing decor can make the whole room seem fresh. Pick an underused color in the room and add more of it in the form of a new pillow or throw to update your look. A colorful rug or runner can also help anchor your space.
Lastly, take some time to rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just facing the television. These ideas might just give your apartment the new fresh you are looking for in 2014.