When we think of New Year resolutions, we more times than not, think of personal goals. Losing that COVID 19 poundage, exercising more, carving out quality time for yourself, setting and sticking to a budget. Why not set goals for your home as well? Follow these suggestions to make your home a less chaotic, smooth running machine in 2021!
Begin the year off with a promise to your home and your health to check the furnace filter every month. If you have pets, the allergens and dander can really clog up the filter. The only way to determine if the filter needs to be changed is to check it monthly. A good rule of thumb from familyhandyman.com: If you can't see clearly through the filter when you hold it up to the light, it's time to switch it out. So mark your calendar and get checking. An Indoor Air Quality test will also give you a better idea of what may be floating around in your home. If you have allergies or asthma, knowing how to prevent mold and dust from getting out of control will keep you healthier in the new year.
Have your spices seen better days? Do you still have tins from the early 90s for that one recipe that was just so-so? Well, it's time to sort through those old, decaying, foul-smelling seasonings. There are so many options to organize your spices. From the lazy Susan to a tiered rack, this blog has some fantastic ideas and where exactly to begin this journey.
MARCH/How Does Your Garden Grow?
You probably think March is too early for gardening. And, it can be pretty dicey out there weather-wise in Indiana. However, when the ground is workable, not frozen or terribly soggy, it is time to till that garden. Every year around St. Patrick's Day, my dad would be out planting peas and potatoes. As any good farmer does, make sure to keep the Farmer's Almanac planting guide close.
Now is also an excellent time to test your soil. Find out what nutrients your soil lacks and educate yourself on the right type of fertilizer to add.
Spring may have sprung in March, but the weather is beginning to warm up enough for you to open those windows to air out the funk of winter isolation. Before you begin cleaning your home, set up a weekly cleaning schedule for everyone to follow and to avert the overwhelming thought of 'Ugh, I have to clean again". One of the kids says they are bored? Check the cleaning schedule. There are many, many schedules online to get you started. Find the one that works for you. Plus, there's an app for that!
If you just can't fathom cleaning the house yourself, Zen Cleaning is an amazing company here in Bloomington.
Get out the pressure washer and blast away the green mold growing on the side of your house and deck. It's amazing how new your patio, walkway and driveway look after a quick power wash!
Don't forget the windows. Remove the screens and wash them down, then scrub the grime away from the windows. The bright sunlight will have you wearing shades inside the house and allow your house plants the needed light for growth.
JUNE/Nooks and Crannies
More specifically, the nooks and crannies behind your refrigerator, in the dryer vent, behind the washer and dryer. The coils in your refrigerator attract dust. Too much dust causes the refrigerator to work harder to cool the contents inside. It is recommended to clean the coils twice a year, but we all know that is not always going to happen. However, you could save as much as $10 month if you clean those coils regularly. Cha-ching!
Clearing out the lint from the dryer vent does not just mean the lint trap inside the dryer itself. Cleaning the vent that travels from the dryer to the outside of your home is essential as well. About 2,900 fires from dryers are reported each year. It's a fairly simple and inexpensive task. You can purchase a vent brush at your local hardware store.
JULY/Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Repurpose
Take advantage of the air conditioning inside your home and rummage through the forgotten closet in the guest room that hasn't seen guests in, oh, about a year. The best way to tackle this daunting task is to make four piles: donate, keep, recycle and garbage. In your keep pile may be items you can repurpose for other areas in the house. Or, get a jump on holiday gifts and make something amazing for your family and friends. There are so many locations in Bloomington to donate gently loved items. Some of the orgs will even schedule pick ups for your items. Hop on the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Partnership (formerly Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale) FaceBook page to list curb alerts.
AUGUST/Cooler Days Ahead
Don't wait until the nights are cooler before you think about your fireplace. Whether you have a gas fireplace, or a wood burning fireplace, now is a perfect time to have them serviced. A clean fireplace will run more efficiently and safely through the winter months and help you avoid any hazards. You can easily clean parts of the fireplace yourself.
SEPTEMBER/Stop the Draft
Winter Is Coming. Yeah, I know. That's getting old for some of us GOT fans. But, it's still appropriate. If the seal around your doors is looking a little shabby, and not in the chic kind of way, replace it with some new weather stripping. If you noticed frigid air seeping in around windows and doors during the previous winter, you may need to put in a little extra effort to thwart old man winter.
OCTOBER/Fire Safety Month
Time to test those smoke alarms and carbon monoxide testers. Now is as good a time as any to upgrade to a smart smoke alarm/detector. If you are like me and have a tendency to set the kitchen on fire in every home you've ever owned, make sure you have fire extinguishers nearby. Avoid these hidden fire hazards in your home.
NOVEMBER/Take a Stroll
Once you have cleared out the dead foliage out from around your house and preferably before the weather gets too cold, take a walk with the intent of checking out your foundation and drainage. There are several different types of cracks and can be quite serious. Drainage, or lack thereof, tends to be one of the main causes of foundation cracks. Make sure your landscaping and downspouts are moving water away from the house to avoid foundation issues. And, if you see a crack, seal it up.
DECEMBER/End of the Year
After the Thanksgiving holiday and before the end of year holidays, purge those items that have been hiding in the dark recesses of the fridge for months. Do you have cottage cheese with a best by date of Jan 2020? Time to throw it out. Unless, of course, it is for a school science experiment.
The freezer tends to have the most overlooked items, so don't forget that area. Meatloaf from the 90s? Toss it. No one likes it that much anyhow.
Pantry items tend to stay fresher longer, but I'm sure you have that specialty item you planned to use five years ago that has gotten pushed to the back time after time.
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