1. Set goals for your home
Write a list, develop a dream board, make a Pinterist board, or create a Houzz ideabook to capture your home goals for the year ahead. Would you like to downsize, go more minimal, be more daring with color, add some art or decor to make your house feel like a home, move to a bigger or smaller city, declutter your home, or finally determine a decorating style that feels just like you? It's all up to you but set those goals so you are focused for the year ahead.
2. Be clean & clear
Get a jump on spring cleaning and go through the home room-by-room to clear them of anything that you don't use, wear, or love and donate those items to charity. And resolve to do this periodically too, not just once or twice a year. Cleaning and decluttering (plus organizing) are one of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about, and breathe a little easier in, your home.
3. Add some green
Plants have been proven to improve air quality and increase productivity and creativity, by NASA no less! And it's another easy update that will make your house feel more finished and like home. They are a great way to make a statement, fill an empty corner, add some liveliness, and bring the outdoors inside. Just be sure to get some low maintenance and hard-to-kill varieties so that they will always look good, even if you have a brown thumb.
4: Go Green
In order to be energy efficient, do you need to have an electric car and solar panels? While those are nice, there are still plenty of other smaller ways to be energy efficient:
- Cut your energy usage by remembering your mom's advice to switch off the lights when you leave a room and turn off the taps when you’re brushing your teeth.
- Install LED light bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
- Try drying some of your clothes on the line (or a clothes drying rack) and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
- Water your yard less, fill some pots with succulents, and put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
5. DIY as a Family
How about trying some cool DIY or home improvement projects this year with your family? Just be sure to pick ones that will lead to bonding time rather than devisiveness and arguments (you'll know best). Not only will you get to spend some quality time together as a family, but you'll also be able to improve your living spaces or have something elegant to decorate your house with. These DIY projects are available in multiple skill levels and budgets. One idea is to make a planter box or raised bed, plant some veggies, and then spend some time in the garden together with your family. Preparing home emergency preparedness kit or making your entrance more inviting is also a great idea.
6. Be Prepared
California is always at risk of natural disasters such as fires or earthquakes. Are you prepared for an extended electricity outage or water shortage? You do have an emergency kit, right? If not, here’s a simple list to help you put one together or refresh your existing kit: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. You could also purchase some kits too. But please don’t forget to update those kits too by exchanging old water, food, and prescriptions for new ones.
7. Take a look at your digits
House numbers tend to be an often-neglected detail on the front of your house. But, they are crucial to get right. They add to the first impression guests and visitors get of your home, they help emergency responders or Uber drivers find your address, and they show off the style of your home. House numbers should be distinctive, well-suited to the architectural style of your house, and be well lit at night. So head outside to the street and take a look at your house numbers, especially at night. Perhaps you need better lighting, larger numbers, or something more stylish. Remember that you can put almost anything up there to get the job done, but you'll be missing a great opportunity to do something way more beautiful and interesting for your home's curb appeal and first impressions, while simultaneously making your home easier to find.