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Five home resolutions

by Norma Vally

Buon Capodanno! Make any 2018 New Year’s resolutions, i buoni propositi per l’anno nuovo? I never have before, but this season I indulged with such reckless abandon even y “fat” clothes are snug. So for 2018 I’ve pledged a “less is more” resolution — eat LESS, exercise MORE. Simple, right? We shall see.

In the spirit of positive changes, I’ve given some thought to New Year resolutions for our homes. Promises need to be made for the care of our home so it can be a happy and healthy place for us to thrive.

Here are 5 home resolutions to help get our living space on track.

1) Streamline Surroundings — Take a look around at all the excess stuff we collect over the years. Pack rats of America, listen up! Yard sale, Craigslist, donate, throw away — let your home BREATHE. A clutter-free home fosters clarity and cleanliness.

2) Organize Creatively — Who likes digging through 9 circles of cookware hell to access the blender? My solution to limited kitchen space was a steel garment rack from The  Home Depot.  You heard me, garment. I hang pots from the clothing rod, keep utensils in the wire drawers, arrange cookware and appliances on the shelves, plus I placed a
beverage fridge in the open hanging space whose top became a coffee station!

Consider these storage/organization tips:

• Stack wooden cubbies or place a lidded bench by the entry to catch shoes and such.
• Hang ceiling brackets in your garage to hold storage bins and seasonal articles.
• Investigate the attic. Putting down a simple plywood floor and installing an attic ladder may save you a monthly storage bill!

3) Labels Matter —I admit to being a clotheshorse, but where labels really matter are in your home. Do you know where your water-main valve is or which breaker powers  which room? In that spaghetti wad hanging behind your TV, do you know which cable powers which electronic? Buy or make cable labels and valve tags! In an emergency, for
home repairs, or any electronic reconfiguring, having utilities and devices properly labeled will save you time and grief.

4) Maintain the Maintenance — A challenge to home maintenance is keeping track of it. When was your HVAC filter last changed, smoke detector batteries replaced, boiler inspected? Start a home “system check” schedule, keeping dates so you can notate the what and when. Use a calendar, or template (available on-line). Besides the date, note pertinent information like a filter size, or an inspection company you used, etc.

5) Eco-Healthy Home — A “green” home can offer a better quality of life via things like cleaner air purity and physical comfort, all while helping to preserve the environment.

Here are a few ways to get an eco-healthy home.

a) Grow oxygen producing, air purifying houseplants like heartleaf philodendron.

b) Weed out toxic cleaning chemicals and choose low/no VOC paints and building materials.

c) 20% -50% of home energy goes to creating artificial light. In addition to using high efficiency light bulbs, choose lighter colored wall paint to boost natural brightness.

d) Choose cork flooring! It’s a stylish sustainable material that absorbs shock and sound, plus it’s warm to the touch.

In keeping with my “less is more” New Year credo, following these home resolutions will help you STRESS less, and ENJOY more at home, throughout the year!

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