Now that the holiday rush is past us, it’s time to take a moment and look back at important home improvement tasks for the start of the year. Most of these will boil down to ensuring your home is safe for the rest of winter, with some post-holiday housekeeping for good measure.
It’s better to start the year with simple tasks and organize the house before moving on to bigger projects. So let’s take a deep breath and check out what you can do to ensure your home is safe for the remainder of this season while keeping it organized and decluttered.
Make sure your heating is working efficiently
Whatever heating systems you’re using, they better be working because winter will not relent for a couple more months!
Your HVAC system might be due for a checkup, especially if you didn’t have the time to do so before winter. Replacing your filters and cleaning your ducts are simple ways to improve your indoor air quality by a lot.
If you’re using a fireplace, be sure you still have enough firewood in stock. It’s better to get some more early than get stuck with no firewood during a particularly cold day. While you’re at it, check if your smoke detector is working properly, and replace the batteries.
Decluttering is always one of the first things I like doing before moving on to bigger projects, and since we’re at the start of the year, there’s no better time than now.
You can start by dismantling your Christmas and New Year’s decoration and storing it safely for the end of this year, as well as taking your tree away.
That alone should help you get started, but feel free to declutter in a more general sense. Anything you feel is excessive or getting in the way should go. There are many effective ways to get rid of clutter, you just have to find a method that works for you.
After that, you should focus on some proper cleaning. Just the basics for now: sweeping the house, cleaning surfaces, and vacuuming carpets. There will be time for a deep cleaning later, but personally, I don’t find the middle of winter the best time for that!
Snow and ice clearing
Most regions in the US are still under snow, and the outdoor care required to keep your home safe should be a top priority.
This involves shoveling snow from your driveway and sidewalks to start with. It’s a matter of safety above all, but keep in mind that in some regions you can get a fine for neglecting it, so all the more reason to keep it in check.
Also, be on the lookout for ice and snow around the edges of your roof. The weight can cause some serious damage, as well as allow it to melt. Water damage is no joke.
If you struggle with this task – which most people would – you can always hire a snow removal service instead. Much more convenient and saves you a lot of time and energy to focus on other tasks!
Check your winterization
Assuming you took the necessary winterization measures last month, now is a good time to check if everything is still working properly. Be sure your outdoor pipes are actually off, and that your faucets are still protected.
Walk around the house and check for drafts that could be influencing your heating system, and get cracks properly sealed and insulated.
Last month I talked about ways to prepare your home for the winter – it’s worth checking it out if you missed it!
This is another post-holiday cleanup you might want to do. Your fridge might still have some leftovers from the holidays and it’s time to get rid of those for good – save what you can do and throw away the rest.
While you’re at it, clean the outside and inside of the fridge too. Between cooking and storing greasy food (or just a bunch of people opening and closing the fridge all the time), it’s due for a deep cleaning.
If you’re looking to save some time for yourself this month, remember that you can get free quotes for house cleaning services! It’s an easy way to kickstart the new year with a clean home, which you most certainly deserve.