If you’re like most people when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, you aim for self-improvement goal like exercising daily, getting organized, eating better, reducing personal debt. Things you’ve been putting off for a long time and that require diligence to succeed.
This year instead — or perhaps in addition — you can resolve to improve your home. A completed home improvement project, even a simple one, makes a noticeable difference that lasts the whole year — and beyond — without any further effort from you.
For example, you can resolve to:
Lay the groundwork. Is it all too obvious in your house just where people walk? Maybe it’s time to refinish your wood floors or replace carpet that has seen better days. A refreshed expanse underfoot brightens the whole room.
Throw on some color. Wake up a guest bathroom or a wall of your kitchen with a fresh new paint color, maybe a jewel tone or pastel shade. Add pizzazz with some bold wallpaper in the dining room or along a stairway.
Light it up. Lower your utility bill and help the planet by replacing some fluorescent bulbs with LEDs. Or light up a shadowy span of countertop with a stick-on LED strip under a cabinet. Replace a dated fixture over your dining table or kitchen island with an engaging pendant light to add new visual charm.
Lighten up. Clean out a storage space. Maybe start small by clearing off that table right inside the door where mail and papers collect. Empty the “you name it” drawer in the kitchen. Go through a linen closet and take frayed towels and sheets that are worn or no longer fit any bed you use and donate them to the animal shelter for bedding. Get three things out of the basement or garage and donate them to Goodwill, recycle or trash as appropriate. That will lighten your load a little, and might just jumpstart the next project.
Look ahead. Think about what you’re going to want in the next five to ten years. Will your kids soon be teens? Maybe start fixing up a basement area where they can watch movies with friends. Are there changes you can start now that will make your home more age-friendly as you head toward retirement? It could be as simple as replacing round door knobs with levered handles. Or, more ambitious, re-do a first-floor bathroom with a beautifully tiled no-threshold shower.
Whether a quick DIY project that takes a few hours or a larger full room renovation, whether you do it yourself or bring in a building professional —home improvements reward you with results you can enjoy all year while you challenge your willpower to keep up your New Year’s self-improvement goals.