HOME RESOLUTIONS for 2019

The New Year is upon us so now is the perfect time to look forward to new beginnings. Attending the gym more often might be a personal goal many of us set at the start of a New Year, but for a change or in addition why not consider setting goals for your home too? Home resolutions can set you up for an organised year of home improvements that could coincide with your own personal goals. Why not give this set of suggestions a go towards improving your home for 2019.  You’ll probably enjoy it and give your brain a work out as well.

Out with the old, in with the new!

The first step is to declutter.  Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes you haven’t touched for years or outgrown? Is it about time those old toys and books could do with a new home? If so, focus on decluttering one room at a time as this is definitely the easiest way to move forward.  You will need to review everything and split into different piles to either throw, recycle, donate, sell or keep, giving the kept items organised space for the New Year.  The newly acquired space from the declutter will also give you the opportunity of displaying new items like a lamp or lovely vase but remember ‘less is more’ and gives the effect of more space! 

Assess and Prioritise

When considering home improvements, don’t rush into anything as you will need to assess what needs doing and what your priorities are.  Decide what is necessary and what is desired when considering improvements.  This may sound like common sense but without careful consideration investing your time and money into the wrong project could be costly. If your bathroom really needs retiling but you also want to redecorate your bedroom you must assess which is the priority. Not changing the colour of your bedroom isn’t going to cause any immediate issues, however neglecting damaged tiles could cause damp or leaks which could result in costly repairs. Always prioritise your work. 

Budget and Flexibility

Budgeting is vital when looking to do home improvements and essential at the planning stage.   Having decided on your priorities, work out a reasonable and achievable budget and try to keep to it especially if you are carrying out multiple home improvements.  If your improvement requires building work, shop around and gather a number of quotes to ensure the price is right. Be sure to negotiate one overall price from the beginning to avoid extra surprise costs. Be flexible with time scales as some processes may take longer than you expect. This is particularly important if you have a number of plans lined up.  Do not pay the full amount ‘up front’ if someone is doing the work for you.  Hold some money back to settle upon completion and when you are happy with the works done.  

Inspiration

Getting ideas for your ‘new look’ is very important and I always create a ‘mood board’ with cut out magazine pictures of curtains, flooring, general items and colours.  You can also paint patches on the wall with tester paint pots to check how the colour looks in different lights and buy cushions or small items of a particular new colour to see how they go together.  Magazines and online sources will provide thousands of inspirational ideas for your projects.  Take your time to make decisions for both you and your home as mistakes can be costly.  Online inspiration websites and apps include Pinterest and Houzz where you can gather and save home inspiration images into your own folders. 

 ‘Going Green’ does not only help to contribute to an environmentally friendly world but could also save you money. Your New Year resolutions could include:

-Make a point of recycling more.

-Change to energy efficient light bulbs and turn off lights when not needed.

-Check your heating system has been serviced and use thermostats to reduce heating in unused rooms.

-Compost as many items as you can.  This could help the garden too.

-Shower rather than bath.

-Turn off electrical goods and don’t leave on ‘stand-by’.

By ANITA HAIR


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