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5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home!

As January approaches, you vow to lose weight, save money, or spend more time with family and friends. But what about home improvement goals?

In the spirit of new beginnings, APD Roofing has created some resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean, and green place in the new year.

The following are our five best home improvement resolutions for the new year and how to achieve them:

1: Simplify a lot of things

A clutter-free home is one of the best and least expensive ways to improve your mood. Most of us accumulate a lot of stuff every year. The more you keep, the more cluttered your cabinets and drawers become, making it hard to locate the things you use and enjoy most. (Clutter also makes your house look dated and dirty).

This year, go through your house room-by-room and donate anything you don't use, wear, or love. Next, think twice about what you bring into the house. Fill your home with the things that make you feel good and raise your energy level. Get rid of the things that drain your energy or are broken.

Organize useful items such as DVDs, remotes, and those kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets. Group similar items together on sleek trays.

Clear your counters of everything you don't use every day. Then sit back and enjoy the feeling of less stress in your home.

2: Keep it safe and sound

Is your house safe despite its beauty? There are a few things every homeowner should do to ensure that they are not living with a health hazard or fire risk. Check your house for radon first. As you breathe in the colorless and odorless gas, the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs cause lung cancer to develop. Approximately one out of every fifteen homes has elevated levels. With test kits costing as little as $20 at your local hardware store, there's no excuse not to get started now.

Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor along with a fire detector while we're talking about deadly gases. When a chimney or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide can enter your house and kill you. The cost of this test is similar to that of a radon test - $40 or more - for such an important safeguard. Keep an eye out for dryer lint. You probably clean the little trap inside the door, but most people forget to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. It may seem innocent, but lint is highly flammable, accounting for more than 15,000 building fires a year. Make sure your house is well ventilated. Sometimes people don't vent their attics and bathrooms to the outside (or cover their vents with shingles). That makes you a prime candidate for mold.

When considering a remodel - and your home was built or remodeled before 1978 - you should test for lead paint and asbestos. You must handle it properly during removal, or you may inhale particles.

3: Lower your bills (and lower your carbon footprint)

People often think that going green requires solar panels or a hybrid car. It just takes a little old-fashioned common sense. The first step is to reduce your energy use at home:

- Take your mother's advice and turn off the lights when you leave a room.

- When you leave the house, turn off your air conditioner and set your heater to 55 degrees.

- Replace light bulbs with LEDs and install low-flow showerheads.

- Dry some of your clothes on the line and wait until the dishwasher or washing machine is full before running them.

- Turn off all power strips and/or set your home computer to sleep mode when not in use.

- Reduce the water you use in your yard. Install drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.

- Composting is a great way to reduce waste. Your garden will appreciate it.

4: Develop a system for cleaning your house on a weekly basis

Here are some tips for keeping the mess under control:

Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night - there are no excuses! The dirty clothes go in the hamper, while clean clothes are hung in the closet. Put everything back where it belongs.

Weekly: Clean your entire home using these tips:

- Store your cleaners, rubber gloves, and spare cleaning cloths in a portable carryall that you can move from room to room.

Put cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, sponge, scraper, a few cleaning cloths, and plastic bags in an apron that you wear when you clean. As you work around the room clockwise, hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free.

Concentrate on one type of cleaning at a time. It's much faster. Before spraying and wiping down the counters, for instance, wipe down fingerprints on all the cabinets. Next, wipe down the windows, mirrors, and appliances. Next, sweep the floors and mop them.

Make use of your family for optimum efficiency. If possible, divide the tasks among at least three parties: One of you can do the dusting/vacuuming and changing beds, one of you can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving you only to handle the kitchen and trash emptying. The advantage? The whole house can be done in 45 minutes, which gives you more time for the park or the movies on the weekends.

5: Prepare your home for entertaining

Most of us make a resolution to spend more time with family and friends each year. Why not give the areas you entertain in a little update so they make you feel like inviting people in?

You don't need to spend a lot of money on a new kitchen remodel. It only takes a few updates and a little rearranging to give your home a fresh new look. The addition of plants can make your home appear more "finished," They bring in new energy and help clean the air. And it's a great way to decorate if you're on a budget.

Adding large flowering agapanthus or potted palm in a bright ceramic planter complementing your existing color scheme will do the trick.

Adding a new accent color to your existing decor can make the room seem fresh. Update your look with an underused color in the room by adding a new pillow or throw. Colorful rugs or runners are also useful for anchoring a room.

Last but not least, arrange your furniture so that it faces each other rather than the television. This may open up opportunities for real conversation and connection in the New Year.

Contact us today or visit our website anytime. APD Roofing is more than happy to help you start anew.

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