Your body and bank account aren’t the only ones in need of a change. This year, instead of focusing on losing weight or saving money– make a New Year’s resolution you can keep. Your apartment needs some love too; make 2013 about keeping your home comfortable without spending too much (or any) cash.
Do a Deep Clean
Sure you keep the floors swept and dishes done, but what about the less noticeable areas that collect dust? Start the year off by doing your apartment a favor— a serious deep clean. Wipe down all the baseboards and door frames. Using soft soap and water, clean the top of the fridge and the cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom. Dust fans and vents with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner, and wash lighting fixtures (after turning them off). Look around and ask yourself when was the last time you shook the bathroom rugs out or washed the living room draperies. Even if items don’t look dirty, they could be full of dust and ready for a serious deep clean.
No More Postponing
If you’ve been putting something off, saying “I’ll get to that later,” later is now here! Hang at least one picture you’ve been wanting to hang. Put up the bamboo shades you bought to switch out with the old plastic blinds that came with the apartment. Rotate your mattress. Take your pile of items waiting to be donated to Goodwill. Tackle those sewing projects that have been sitting in a pile waiting to be mended. Instead of setting lofty goals this year— just do what you said you’d get around to.
Clutter can cause stress because it inhibits the flow of daily life. Entryways tend to be the most congested area of an apartment or home, mostly because that’s where we take off our shoes and dump our belongings at the end of the day. Even if it’s stuff you regularly need and use, find a way to organize it. Start by mounting hooks to the wall to hang coats, purses or school bags. Place a multifunctional ottoman near the entry table so you can have somewhere to sit and take off your shoes, then store them in it until later. Set up a system that works for you so you’re more likely to stick with it for the entire year.
Showering is one of the main ways we use water, and it accounts for nearly 17 percent of American residential indoor water use, according to Epa.gov. This year, tackle water waste (and save money, too) by going green. Install low-flow shower heads and water faucets in your bathroom and kitchen to save water and heater energy— which in turn will lower your utility bills. Low-flow shower heads can be purchased at home repair stores and start at about $10. The EPA suggests using products that bear the WaterSense label— proof that the product uses no more than 2.0 gallons of water per minute. Standard shower heads use 2.5 GPM.
What’s your New Year’s resolution this year? Let us know in the comments below!