Even though Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow and Spring will be upon us soon, we still have a few cold days left to ride out. This weekend instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix documentary, spend the weekend getting your home in order and show it some love, so it loves you back :)
- Choose 10 Things: It's easy for stuff to pile up in your home over the winter months, but take the time to sort through them and pick ten items you can part with and donate, repurpose or throw them away. 90% of clutter is the result of delayed decisions. Make decisions, move forward, and get the energy moving. It's amazing how making a small decision like this can free your mind to tackle larger projects.
- Rearrange: When we move into a home, we often aren't sure how we will live in the home. Take the time to change the layout in a room if needed. When we rearrange our homes, they look new and fresh. It's your choice which room to start with, sometimes starting small can open the door to tackling the larger areas.
- Clean: I know you are thinking; cleaning is no fun! But it's essential to keeping your home running in tip-top shape. Get out your ladder and wipe down ceiling fans, light fixtures, and other items up high. A deep clean inside the home will bring to light issues that might require repair. If you are inside your warranty, it's urgent to submit repair tickets before the warranty expires.
- Maintenance: Performing a few simple monthly maintenance tasks on your home can prevent costly repairs down the road. A good rule of thumb is to budget one to three percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover typical homeowner maintenance. Each month you should check HVAC system filters, most should be replaced after six months or sooner. Look for leaks around toilets and sinks. Inspect grout and caulking, touch up any cracks. This keeps them looking nice while avoiding water seepage. Check the kitchen vent hood filter, clean or replace per your model and manufacturer. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, batteries should be replaced every six months. If you have a sunny day, inspect the exterior of your home, and note any issues with foundations, vents, gutters, or drainpipes. Proper care of the exterior items can greatly reduce major issues. Your monthly checklist may change based on seasons or weather patterns. If you have time, create a checklist for the next six months.
- Zone Your Space: Now is an excellent time to reevaluate how you're using your home. Do you host family get-togethers weekly or movie nights with friends. Or possibly the opposite; do you work from home and rarely have friends over? Ensure your home is supporting your daily life, and not the activities that only happen once or twice a year.
- Color It Up: Color is back in! We have spent the last decade in a wash of white and gray, but the new decade is bringing pops of color in a variety of shades. An easy way to bring color to a room is to paint an accent wall, just one wall in a room. Once you have decided what wall you want to paint, you need to decide on the color. Take inventory of the color of your adjacent walls, furniture, and trim. Head over to Sherwin-Williams.com to find a color that will suit your home and taste. Sherwin-Williams makes it easy to visualize colors with their ColorSnap®Visualizer. Want to go bold with blue, try Sherwin-Williams Naval SW 6244, it pairs well with just about any other color or neutral. Are you craving a more earthy tone? Try Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay SW 7701, it pairs well with beiges and also warmer grey tones. Don't be afraid to experiment; you can always paint over it.
- Add Art: If you've been afraid to hang art on those new walls, now is the time! A space becomes a home when you style it with your things. Family photos grouped in a collage can instantly bring warmth and love into a room. Your child's art can also make a statement piece, have it professionally framed to bring it to the next level. Some of your neighbors will even wonder how you can afford such original art.
- Light It Up: Rooms feel larger and more grown-up when you introduce several different light sources. Consider adding table lamps, wall scones, or a floor lamp to your living room. Laying of light is particularly important in the family/living room, where people tend to gather and engage in a variety of activities. Having several different lighting points provides adequate lighting for your family's various activities. You can also add accent lighting to highlight your favorite architectural element or piece of furniture in a room. In rooms such as a kitchen or home office, you may want to consider adding task lighting. With the advancements in LED lights, you can easily add LED lamps, bulbs, and tape lights that are controlled with your phone or even Alexa. Don't be afraid to experiment with light and how it can improve daily life.
- Scents: If the only thing you smell is your kid's sweaty gym bag or maybe the kitty litter, try adding electric air fresheners or diffuser sticks. Odors can affect our moods and work performance. This is based on associative learning; we often associate certain smells with specific events. Ensure the scent of your home brings on happy memories and solidifies future positive memories. Your children will likely remember home by the way it smelled, so pick your favorite scent and use it consistently.
- Indulge and Enjoy: Did you choose the upgrade to the freestanding tub? Then why haven't you taken a bath in it! Or maybe you upgraded to the second story bonus room and you don't ever sit in that room. Be sure to indulge your choice of upgrades, and don't be afraid to enjoy them. There was a reason you wanted the upgrade, don't hold back on using it. It's the old saying, "do it now, sometimes later, becomes never".
After all of this, you may be tired, but your home will be busting at the seams with love. Always remember, if you show your home some love, it will pay you back with respect and a lot fewer repairs.