5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

2011-year-resolution-400x400It’s hard to believe that 2015 is just a few days away. As the new year rolls in it might be time to consider a few changes in your life for a healthy, happier you. We all make New Year’s resolutions for our wallets and waistlines, so why not make one for your home?

1 – Clean your home. Give it a good purge to get rid of the stuff you’re not using, you don’t love, or is broken. Start with one room at a time, like your bedroom. Make separate piles for trash and donate. Do this for each room in your house, and you’ll notice how much cleaner and newer it looks.

For the items that aren’t “pretty,” like shoes, CDs, DVDs, etc. store them away and keep them together. If you keep similar items together your home will feel less cluttered, and it will be easier to find things.

2 – Save energy. Simply turning down your thermostat, closing your window shades or curtains, or using less water will help you not only reduce your carbon footprint, but save you money in the long run. Replace bulbs with more energy efficient ones, and always remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

3 – Make a list of projects you’d like to accomplish. You should always be maintaining your home. If you make a list at the beginning of the year, you can start planning ahead to focus on the areas where you need to spend your money. Once you know where the money is being spent, and what projects need to take place, it will be much easier to plan them out and keep your budget under control.

4 – Create a cleaning schedule. Dust, dirt, and grime builds up everyday in your home. Part of the reason you love your home is because it’s your sanctuary. So make sure you do some sort of cleaning maintenance each week to keep your home in order, and to keep the chores from becoming overwhelming. Clean bedrooms, and empty trash weekly. All dishes must go in the dishwasher, or be cleaned every night – no excuses! Dust, vacuum, and sweep dirt away at least once a week, or every other week. This will prevent allergies, and keep your family safe and healthy.

5 – Buy a plant. Plants breathe new life into a space. It’s true, that some even improve the air quality of your home (try aloe, spider plants, golden pothos, weeping fig, and azaleas). You’ll be amazed at how buying a plant can transform your drab space into a serene, welcoming environment.


Holiday Gift Guide for Your Neighbors

Whether you just moved into a new home, or have been in your home for a few years the holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with and thank you friendly neighbors who have generously let you lend their tools, helped rake your leaves, or babysat for your little one. Here’s a list of a few ideas to spread some cheer this holiday season:

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Baked Cookies & Candy

Whip up a batch of the best and yummiest – chocolate chip, gingersnap, sugar, chocolate thumbprint, or peanut butter blossoms. Try to get them when they’re hot, and fresh out of the over. It will be sure to put a smile on their face! Or, try your hand at some candy – peppermint bark, truffles, taffy, toffee, or homemade marshmallows (severed with a jar of hot cocoa).

Fruit Basket

You can also go the “healthy” route. Get an ordinary weave basket, and fill it with the prettiest apples, oranges or clementines, and pears that you can find. Stuff the sides with tissue paper or burlap, and tie it with a big bow. You can also sprinkle in some nuts (Brazilian nuts, chestnuts, walnuts, almonds).

Personalized Ornament

Use the first letter of their last name, and decorate a nice ornament for their tree. Hang a string from it, and put a nice little note on it.

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Homemade Food in Jar

Give them a hot chocolate kit, pancake kit, cookie-making kit, or make something from scratch like jellies, salsas, jams, or a special dip. Presentation is always important, so make a cute holiday sticker, or personalized note that will leave a lasting impression.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!