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New Years Resolution(s): Deep Clean and Organize Your Home

Posted by Susanna Haynie on December 31, 2015
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Deep clean and organizeThe calendar turning to a new year is a time filled with goal setting and optimism. New Year’s resolutions seem to be a staple of our society (even though they are frequently abandoned). Regardless of whether or not most people accomplish the resolutions set out for themselves, there is great value in taking time to create a plan to better yourself. I propose that the same approach should be taken to set goals for what is likely your biggest investment, your home. The following are my top 5 recommendations to set for your house in the coming year.

Deep Clean and Organize Your Home

This recommendation applies to almost everyone, regardless of the current state of your home. In terms of “deep cleaning” I mean to go beyond cleaning for the sake of the naked eye and to take some time to organize. As clean as your house appears, you know yourself that you start on one end and by the time you get to the other you’ll start all over again. Having the junk removed from your storage areas is a great start (and will be discussed later) and you’ll feel better with more space available to life and not taken up by clutter.  Start your new year off with a cleaning and organizing plan, make a list, or add it to your calendar and check it off as you go through this coming month or even the new year. There are blogs with great pre-written plans: Simple Yearly {deep} Cleaning or if you are more ambitious The Home Owners Yearly Checklist.  Personally, I like to start cleaning or clearing what I haven’t touched in the past year. Maybe any or all of these:

  •  The dust on your floorboards
  •  The top of your fan blades.
  •  The air ducts and filters.
  •  All the drains in your home.
  •  Vacuum underneath your furniture.

There are many other overlooked areas in your house that should be cleaned at least once per year (and probably more often then that). The areas listed above are common amongst all homes and seem to gather a great deal of dust. Get these areas cleaned before the particles in the dust make their way into your body and get you sick.

Clear Some Space

You don’t have to be a ‘hoarder’ to have plenty of junk stored throughout your house. Closets, garages and sheds are the most common places that people seem to let junk pile up, even if it goes unused for long periods of time. It just happens. Do yourself and your home a favor and commit to decluttering this year. Go through your entire house, one room or even one closet at a time and determine things you do not use or things that need to be replaced. Outdated tools, electronics and furniture are often kept beyond their life span due to the value they hold. Begin turning these things into money and increasing the spaciousness of your home by starting with a garage sale. Anything left over after the garage sale can easily be cleaned out by either a junk removal company or your city’s bulk trash pick-up service. To keep things up – purge an item when you buy an item and have a dedicated donation corner, where you pile up items that you’d like to donate. Once a month or whenever that corner gets too crowded, throw it all in your car and drop it off at your local thrift shop. If you have enough maybe you’ll want to consider a yard sale.

Freshen Up Your Walls

Throughout the time that you have lived in your home, the paint on walls fade, get dirty over time or smudged. You can re-paint, giving your home a new fresh clean look or use a Magic Eraser(TM) to clean your walls.  Besides the common smudge marks, the paint on walls in high traffic areas can become chipped, scratched or scraped. Make time in the new year to go through and touch up (or repair) every wall in your home. Doing this will also make your house appear much newer and cleaner – fun to live in. Keep in mind that while this obviously is an expense, in time and money, you’ll be surprised what a difference this makes in your home.

Catch Up on Repairs

Home repairs are necessary, but very difficult to keep up with due to our busy lives. In order to get back on track with your repairs, it is going to require either a sacrifice of your time or money. I recommend taking a highly detailed look at each room in the house individually and making a list of things that should be repaired. Make sure to check all of the door hinges and windows to make sure they are operating appropriately. Also, move the furniture away from the walls to check for damage caused by furniture rubbing. In the bathrooms you should take a moment to make sure that all the drains are working correctly and that no pipes or faucets are leaking. In the kitchen, diligently check every drawer and cabinet and identify every issue. Make a list of all the “issues” then solve yourself what you can solve or hire a professional right away. Once you have a full list for each room in the house you can very simply and systematically get your house in top shape!

I See A Move In Your Future

If you are planning on selling your home this year, the first thing a REALTOR will tell you is to unclutter your home, make enough room for buyers to see themselves in your home. This would go beyond just sorting out but actually removing furniture that’s currently in your home. You can do this backbreaking task yourself or you can hire a local mover to do it for you. Either way, a staged home can fetch up to 18% higher sales price than not staged. Worth it? Absolutely. Once all is ready for the sale, you might want to consider to get an appraisal to avoid any surprises and a pre-inspection of your home. Once you know the value of your home it is easier to determine if other home improvement projects would be worth their return on investment.  Treat your current residence as your largest investment and a major part of your real estate financial wealth planning.

If you are thinking of moving to a new home this year, calculate the cost of moving particularly larger furniture items, versus just repurchasing this furniture in the new location. On our last move we had an older piece of furniture -not an antique in anyway- that would have cost me nearly $300 to move to our new home across several states with a moving company (calculated by volume and weight), I decided to get rid of it, and buy a new piece for our new home. Great decision!

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