By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
If you’re into making New Year’s resolutions, why not skip your usual “I will lose 20 pounds by June” pledge and choose one that involves your home? While more than half of all New Year’s resolutions will end in failure, according to the New York Times, you can increase your odds of being successful by choosing to do something that’s meaningful and attainable. Here are six worthy home-themed resolutions to consider:
1. Reorganize the garage
It’s supposed to fit two cars but it barely fits one because of all the junk piled on the floor. Get shelving units to store items and don’t forget about using the vertical space to hang things like tools and bicycles.
2. Install smoke alarms
Putting this off could have deadly consequences for you and your family members. The National Fire Protection Association recommends keeping those you love safe by installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
3. Purge one closet at a time
Decluttering is rewarding and you’ll probably get into it faster than you could imagine but you might want to start slowly. Rather than promise yourself to declutter an entire bedroom on Sunday afternoon, it may feel less overwhelming when you take it one closet or one drawer at a time. Getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need anymore to make room for the things you really do use and love is a good feeling.
4. Put a green plant in every room
This is even easier than using paint to change the vibe in a space. A home filled with live plants adds color, texture, and shape to the surroundings while making you feel closer to nature. You don’t have to be a horticulturist to maintain healthy plants. Hearty, hard-to-kill plants that do well in most home environments include philodendrons, Chinese evergreens, and pothos.
5. Reduce your energy usage
It not only helps the environment but also your wallet because your electric bill will drop. Among the easiest ways to cut energy usage: Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, don’t keep the lights on in rooms anyone is using, and insulate doors and windows so hot air doesn’t escape when temperatures drop and cold air doesn’t get away when it’s hot outside.
6. Throw away expired OTC medications
Go through your medicine cabinet or wherever you store aspirin, cold meds, cough syrup, and other occasional-use products to check for their expiration dates. According to the National Library of Medicine, this date is the final day that the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a medication. Discard any products that are well past their prime.