Spring is the perfect time to clean things up and make a fresh start—but really, any time is a good time to commit to creating a healthier home. The best habits to cultivate are the ones that allow you to enjoy your home to the fullest. Regardless of when you start, here are some new home maintenance habits to put into rotation to reach your goals.
So maybe you’re sick of hearing about Marie Kondo and her mantra, “Does it bring you joy?” Even so, millions of Americans are pack rats. We’re literally trapped by our possessions—so much so that it’s getting harder to find the things we need (phones, car keys, glasses). It feels great to get rid of unwanted stuff that is just taking up space: clothing, magazines, cookbooks, files. Devote an hour a week to decluttering or try living by this rule: every time you buy something new for the house, get rid of one thing.
No matter what the time of year, it's always a good idea to keep your home well-maintained and healthy by using eco-friendly cleaning products. A lot of household cleaning products aren’t good for our health. An "old reliable" basic cleaning product is one made with vinegar and baking soda, but many cleaning manufacturers also offer green lines of products. You can choose your favorite brands. Castile soap is another good choice. Made from 100% plant oils, it’s great at cutting through grease.
A home maintenance calendar can be a handy tool for cultivating healthy home maintenance habits. Start by making a list of maintenance tasks, then spread those tasks over the course of the year. Tasks may be as simple as removing lint from the clothes dryer or as ambitious as patching the drywall in the basement. Post your calendar somewhere you’re sure to see it, but won’t be annoyed by it. :)
Pro tip: Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Nothing derails a meticulously assembled maintenance calendar like an overly labor-intensive task right out of the gate. Go big by all means, but do it gradually.
Season of rebirth, season of new contractors? There’s something to be said for a fresh point of view in the springtime. Start by asking friends or neighbors to help you expand your network of contractors. Nobody is suggesting you forsake your tried and true handyman, but it’s important to remember that you have choices, and that a fresh face may offer fresh thinking (or a better value) that helps you achieve your goals.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. The same could be said of home improvement projects. Whether it’s repairing a leaky bathroom faucet or installing a new kitchen, a little initiative can go a long way. Take a step, then take another. You might just end up with a new deck, a fresh paint job, or a new and improved home office.
Contrary to what your bank tells you, you don’t have to take out a home improvement loan to undertake a home improvement project. You can avoid the loan officers and the interest rates by setting aside a few dollars each week for future home repair and maintenance tasks. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly your funds add up. If you absolutely must go to the bank, consider investing your monthly savings into an investment account that’s in your best interest.
Being a homeowner is a full-time job. The right habits can help you keep your home in tip-top condition, and a well-kept home isn’t simply more valuable. It’s more enjoyable to live in, too!