Every January, Canadians contemplate all the life changes that they want to make in the New Year. We sit down and make a list of “resolutions”; things like deciding to eat healthier, get more exercise, quit some of our bad habits and make positive changes to improve our quality of life.
Why not make some resolutions to improve the quality of your homeownership as well? Here are some suggestions based on popular New Year’s Resolutions.
Resolution 1: (Lose Weight) Get Rid of Clutter
It’s time to get rid of some of your excess “weight”, clear out the clutter that has been accumulating in your home and you will instantly feel more organized and less stressed.
January is a good time to buy shelves and storage containers, as the post-Christmas sales are in full swing and stores are catering to the New Year’s Resolution crowd.
Resolution 2: (Quit Smoking) Improve Air Quality
Although air quality in your home is not a habit to be broken, this resolution can take some dedication and follow through. Set up a heating system maintenance schedule; things like changing the filter, having the furnace professionally cleaned and tuned up, air ducts cleaned and ensuring that vents are properly sealed and vented OUTSIDE not inside your attic.
Resolution 3: (Get/Stay Out of Debt) Budget for Repairs
Prepare ahead for regular maintenance checks in your home, create a budget and set aside money for any repairs that surface during the year. It can be very disconcerting to have a sudden roof leak or broken down furnace, and have to scramble to pay the bills. Take care of small repairs right away before they grow into big problems and set aside money in an emergency fund to help you be prepared in the event of that a large repair pops up.
Resolution 4: (Drink Less) Reduce Water Use
According to Environment Canada, the average Canadian can easily reduce their household water consumption by 40%. That means if your family pays $200 per year on water use, you would save $80! So what can you do to help your home give up “drinking”? Install high-efficiency low-flow toilets and shower heads, do laundry at night and on the weekends, wash dishes by hand instead of running the dishwasher, check to make sure that all faucets are operating correctly and not dripping.
Resolution 5: (Slow Down) Reduce Energy Use
As the temperature in winter drops, we tend to turn up the heating systems a lot. It’s a good idea not to turn the thermostat dramatically up and down. Keep it on a consistent temperature and perhaps a little lower than Caribbean heat! A warm house doesn’t have to be warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. You will use less energy and save more money if you keep your home around 68-70 degrees, dress appropriately and you should be warm enough to enjoy the money you have saved.
The year 2013 is full of possibilities and the promise of exciting things! Homeownership is something to make the most out of and enjoy to the fullest. Take some of these suggestions or write your own Homeowner New Year’s Resolutions and help keep your home in quality shape for the whole year.