De-Clutter the Drawers
|Photo Credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com|
At least once a week, pick a single crowded drawer or closet in your house and get to it. Take a trash can with you, along with a box for possible donations, and start tossing anything you no longer use, need or want. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t reached for it in a year or more, get rid of it.
Engage Energy Efficiencies
Your house is a glutton for energy, and the bills can be painful. Gain control by trimming energy use. Try out energy efficient bulbs, ensure windows and doors are shutting completely, and consider taking a look at your HVAC duct work Ducts are notorious for leaking energy through holes and loose connections, so take a look at those easily accessible, and seal leaks using duct sealant — called mastic — or metal-backed tape to seal the seams, holes, and connections.
Reduced Water Waste
The average household uses about 400 gallons of water each day, or almost $700 per year in water and sewer costs. Making a few simple changes, such as installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could trim up to $200 from your annual water bill. Add to that energy from reduced costs to heat water, and your yearly savings could reach $300 or more per year. Think about installing low-flow shower heads and toilets, and maybe reconsider that second shower of the day.
Kill the Kitchen Mess
|Photo Credit: Real Simple|
Do you actually use all the tools and contraptions in your kitchen? Limited counter space in a work-heavy environment means that rarely used fixtures like a stand mixer or that fifth wooden spoon should probably live elsewhere. Store the most used items (spatulas, whisks, toasters) front and center or in a jug or drawer closest to your main work area. Put any extras in a labeled box elsewhere or move larger, less used gadgets to the basement or harder to reach cabinets. Challenge yourself to consider how often you really use everything in your kitchen.
Plan Out Priorities
|Photo credit: Militello &Sons|
Thinking about a remodel, addition or new furniture? Take some time in January to plan out your home wish list for the year, prioritize, review finances and start saving as needed. Research the home improvements most necessary, or most likely to return on their investment when you sell. Look at calendars to determine the best time to work, or the most cost-friendly. Get started on making the best, most efficient and most savvy home on the block.
We’ve got lots of great plans for 2013 here at Hillsdale Furniture, and we can’t wait to share them with you!