here come the new year’s resolutions. . .
It’s that time of the year where a lot of us smarties think it’s a good idea to make some New Year’s resolutions. Whether we stick to them? Well, that’s a completely different story…
Either way, it’s not the worstttt idea to have a home checklist on hand to tick off some tasks that’ll help you big time as a homeowner!
We’ve collated a handy list of odd jobs and important stuff just for you smarties:
1. Consider refinancing your home loan.
If you’re passed the settling in stage, or your mate has mentioned he scored a super low mortgage rate – it might be time to add refinancing to your list of new year’s resolutions. But, there’s no need to rush into anything, we suggest shopping around, collecting different quotes from different banks and comparing home loan rates to pick a lender that’s right for you. Orrr just hit up the finance geniuses over at The Loan Co, they’ll run you through all the options available.
2. Go green and plant some more!
Look, sometimes we forget about adding colour and life to our homes (guilty). We get soo caught up in buying furniture, or matching linen, that we tend to fall short on tidying up the garden or investing in some cute plants for outdoors & around the house. And, WHO KNEW how expensive they can be (we certainly didn’t). But luckily, there’s that handy tool called Facebook Marketplace where people tend to sell their off-cuttings and plants, neat huh?! If you’re one of the minority not currently on the old Facey, then you can always have a quick search on the likes of Gumtree. On the other hand, if you’ve got cash to splash, there’s a bunch of plant nurseries around, as well as Bunnings! Adding some greenery can completely transform a space, not to mention they’re good for the soul and help us breathe better, ahhh. So add it to your new home checklist!
3. Set up a maintenance account.
To keep you feelin’ ahead of the game, it’s a smart idea to create a separate cash stash to store funds for things like future bills, emergency home repairs and all that not so fun stuff. It’s recommended that homeowner’s, like yourself, set aside 1% of the purchase price of your home each year for routine maintenance, because if your washing machine goes on the blink, there comes a hefty cost along with replacing such appliances… Good thing is, you probably won’t need to repair everything at once, but it’ll save you a lotta stress by having some money set aside for when these inconveniences do come around… and they will. You may decide to cut costs elsewhere (e.g. money for takeout or purchased coffee) just to transfer the money usually spent on something else, into your maintenance fund. If 1% sounds like a lot, don’t worry, you could choose a certain amount each week or month to be automatically transferred into a separate account, it’s time to flex those #financesmarts.
4. Renovate an area of your home.
In our books, there’s always room for improvement. The garage that’s overflowing with junk? Yep, that could be done. The spare room that’s STILL full of cardboard boxes of miscellaneous stuff? Yep, that needs sorting. Backyard sandpit? Time to get to work. Now you get why we say there is ALWAYS something to be doing around the house, ahhhh, the joys of being a homeowner! Whether it’s reorganizing the pantry, labelling some cute new containers you got from Kmart with those even cuter printed labels (ok you get the picture). Or decking out the backyard that needs a little loving. If you’ve got the cash to spend or time to kill, it could be the perf time to fix things up during the summer break.
5. Shrink your bills (& carbon footprint).
NOW is the perfect time to make steps towards being a more eco-conscious citizen, in a world where climate change is becoming increasingly noted as something to be concerned about. Don’t panic, because we’ve got a few tips to go greener this New Year…
- Switch your bulbs to energy-efficient types
- Create a homemade compost bin
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances (hint: look for “energy star” label)
- Chuck out single-use items (e.g. plastic straws, bottles, bags etc) for reusable items
- Turn off lights & aircon when you leave the room or house
- Use the laundry line to dry your clothes
- Unplug appliances that are not being used
- Use a quick wash cycle when washing clothes
- Take 5 minute (not 15 minute) showers
- Wait until dishwasher is full to pop it on
- Go paperless and do everything online (send emails, not letters)
6. Declutter & deep clean the house.
This is for all of us smarties that tend to just do a “quick” clean up, now’s the time to reorganise messy spaces & deep clean the oven that needs some major lovin’ (if you know, you know). Since it’s the new year and all, we’re hoping that most of you have some free time up your sleeve to get stuck into the nitty gritty, and if not, there’s always the weekend! Whilst it can seem overwhelming to dive into a room that resembles a bomb site and you just don’t know where to begin, the trick is to break down the process into smaller, more manageable tasks and tackle each section one at a time – your annual cleaning regime never looked so good, until now!
Declutter before the deep clean:
First off, we suggest decluttering BEFORE deep cleaning, begin tidying up clutter that does not belong in the room and can be tucked away, then tackle the stuff behind closed doors another day (aka the messy robe). Clearing the clutter to begin with allows you to see surfaces more clearly and therefore makes it easy for the cleaning component. You could even create storing system using storage bins & boxes to separate each into “Keep,” “Chuck” and “Put in Storage.” Consider donating the stuff you don’t want to keep, or ask your loved ones if they’d like your hand-me-downs (I’m sure your sibling would appreciate it).
Start high, then go low:
The next part? It’s time to clean with starting high then going low, from the ceiling and light fixtures to the walls and floors, just using water for above eye-level and surfaces close to the floor using warm water and a lil dish soap to help with more dirt & dust which is generally found at ground-level.
Dust bust the rest:
Wipe all the remaining hard surfaces (wood furniture, shelves, draws etc) with a soft cloth and furniture cleaner and use a duster brush for things like lamp shades, ornaments and softer pieces.
Tackle the floor:
Hopefully, you already give your floor a once over in the main living areas at least once or twice a week, otherwiseeee it could be lookin’ a lil extra filthy (but we’re not here to judge). Firstly, start by vaccuuming the entire floor, moving furniture out of the way to get into every inch of space. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and mop using the appropriate cleaner to get those floors squeeky clean & polished to perfection!
Now, it’s time for us smarties to put it into practice (or at least attempt one of the above). But also, we wish you a prosperous and fresh year full of success, and obviously we’ll be hanging out to hear whether you ticked any of the above off your new year’s resolution list!