With the busy holiday season behind us and the arrival of January’s short days and cold weather, it’s no wonder some of us just want to spend more time in the sanctuary of our homes. So after your new year’s resolutions have been made and your holiday decorations have been packed away, put that nesting instinct to work to get your house in order with these home maintenance tips.
Do a clean-up. Put away holiday gifts, and gather up boxes and wrapping materials to recycle. Clean and straighten the house, wash the bedding and vacuum.
Add lighting. Buy a new lamp, or increase the wattage of bulbs in existing lamps, to make rooms more appealing and functional in winter, when natural light is in short supply.
Create a healthy kitchen. Clear out your refrigerator and pantry of any leftovers, out-of-date ingredients and unhealthy foods. Stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy ingredients and foods for the new year.
Increase comfort. Make your home the perfect warm place by adding extra pillows, a colorful throw blanket or a rug. Placing scented candles or hiding a dryer sheet in every room can create a fresh smell and add to the cozy feel of the room.
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. You can also supplement your record with photos or a video. To learn more about home inventories, click here.
Compile documents. Create one file to store instruction manuals, serial numbers and important receipts, so you can access the information easily if something under warranty breaks or you need to fix a broken appliance.
Prepare for winter storms. Place flashlights and batteries in every room of your home in case a winter storm knocks out your power.
Organize your closets. Donate items your family has outgrown or doesn’t use. A good rule of thumb to follow is if your family hasn’t used it in a year, it’s time to get rid of it.
Use the downtime created by short winter days and cold weather in January to do the things you may have put off during the rest of the year. And while you’re at it, carve out some time for yourself to do some reading, try new recipes, start on an exercise routine, set goals or just relax and recharge for the year ahead.