With the holidays behind us and the arrival of cold weather, you may be spending a lot of time indoors. January is a great month to use this downtime to make hot chocolate, curl up by the fire and create some New Year’s plans for your home. To help you put that nesting instinct to work, here a few tips on how to create a cozy, calm and relaxing home this month.
Plan the year’s decorating and remodeling projects. Gather ideas, get estimates from contractors and make a plan for any home improvement projects, such as updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom or finishing the basement.
Clean your pantry and refrigerator. Throw out expired ingredients, unhealthy food and leftovers. Keep fresh fruit and nutritious foods within easy reach.
Take down holiday decorations. Wrap your outdoor and indoor lights around a piece of cardboard to avoid tangling. For any ornaments or decorations that you did not use this past holiday season, consider donating them to save space for the items you really love and use.
Update (or create) your home inventory. Keep a record of your home’s furnishings and valuable possessions. If items are damaged or lost, you can use the inventory to submit an insurance claim to help recoup its replacement value. To learn more about home inventories, click here.
Organize files. Place instruction manuals and warranties into a folder for easy reference. Sort, file or shred other documents. The beginning of the year is also a good time to update your digital documents and records using a simple filing system.
Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Press the test/reset button to check whether the detectors are operating as expected. Replace batteries or purchase a new detector, as needed.
Prepare for winter storms. Place flashlights and batteries in every room of your home in case a winter storm knocks out your power.
Once you complete a few of these items, you will gain a fresh perspective on all the exciting possibilities for your home (and yourself) in the New Year.