It’s hard to believe it’s the last full week of January already! We are in the midst of Winter and sure, spring is coming, but there’s no need to wait for spring cleaning to get your home looking its very best. Many of us focused on fitness and self improvement for our New Year’s resolutions, but maybe it’s time to think about some home improvement, too. Here are some helpful tips to get your home in shape as we enter the second month of 2017:
1 Declutter. The start of a new year is also a great time to do some decluttering. Put those long nights to use and go through your closets, cupboards, drawers, etc. Consider tackling one room per week to make it seem less daunting and donate unwanted items to a local charity here in town. As tax season nears, make sure your office is well organized to make year-end goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t be afraid to tackle that bedroom closet of yours. Investing in some baskets and shoe racks can really help tidy up a closet (we love under-shelf baskets). If you haven’t already, think about keeping your favourite accessories and clothing in sight so they are easier to keep in rotation. This will help you asses what clothing you really need when Spring finally arrives. Most importantly, a well-organized home will help contribute to a sense of calm – and accomplishment.
2 Safety first! Change your smoke detector battery and check your CO detectors. This is a task that needs to be done annually. Be sure to replace the batteries and make sure your smoke and CO detectors are still working properly. It is recommended that you replace your detector every ten years to ensure it is working at its optimal capacity. This is also a good time of year to check in on your fire extinguisher. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher and it should be located in an easily accessible location. If it needs to be charged again, have it re-charged or purchase another one to keep your family safe for another year.
3 Deep clean! Clean the lint traps. This is another annual task that should be performed to ensure your home is operating at its best capacity and reduces risk of fire. Clean lint traps and the hood above your stove and fans in the bathroom. While you’re at it, clean your humidifier. The cold winter months can be harsh on your skin and on the air quality of your home. Be sure to clean the humidifier so that it will continue to combat dry air for the duration of the winter.
4 Create space to work out. Sure, the weather has been great so far this winter. But some days it’s just too cold to get outside and exercise. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to get in shape? Think about creating a space in your home where you can get a workout in. Maybe it’s a corner in your home office, a space in the TV room to do some yoga, or even a home gym in a spare room. Do whatever works for you! But, creating a designated space for you to exercise may help you stick to those fitness resolutions.
5 Organize your pantry. Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. Those cans and boxes that have been pushed to the back won’t stay good forever. Do some meal planning around the items that are going to expire the soonest and you may also see your grocery bill dip over the next week or so. Think about replacing your spices, too! They may seem immortal, but over time, spices lose their potency and ability to flavour your food as intended. Be sure to keep them sealed in air tight containers. A general rule of thumb is that whole spices should be replaced after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years and dried leafy herbs after two years.