4 New Year’s resolutions for your home
When a New Year begins, it presents a wonderful opportunity to start afresh. You may have pledged to hit the gym more often, to focus on climbing the career ladder or to take up a new hobby, but often, self-improvement starts at home.
Below are four New Year’s resolutions for your home. Each one is designed to clear your surroundings and your mind of the physical and financial pressures that were holding you back in 2014.
It’s a scientifically proven fact that clutter affects your brain’s ability to concentrate and process information1. Researchers at Princetown University used MRI scans and other tools to track the brain’s response to ‘disorganised stimulus’, finally making sense of why it’s so difficult to muster up the motivation to start cooking dinner when the kitchen counter is consumed with dirty lunch dishes.
De-cluttering in 2015 is easy to do. Simply set aside one Sunday afternoon and dedicate it to sorting out your draws and cupboards. Shred unwanted paperwork and donate old clothes and toys to your local charity shop – it’ll give your household more room to breathe…or to fill up with new tokens and trinkets this year!
Give your home a MOT
In 2015, treat your home like your car by giving it a check-up – a home MOT, if you will.
By law, you must obtain a Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) annually. During the inspection, your Gas Safe engineer will check that all of your gas appliances are safe to use – a potentially life-saving measure that could protect yourself and your loved ones against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Go the extra mile by checking your water pipes and other fittings for leaks or damage too. The last thing you need half way through the year is a nasty and costly emergency, so by regularly monitoring your property and calling out a professional in the event of a problem, you’ll have a better chance at halting a potential catastrophe before it erupts.
Reduce your bills and your carbon footprint
The average household energy bill is over £1,2492 and doesn’t appear to be getting cheaper.
Whilst many people feel helpless to the price hikes imposed by energy firms, there are a number of simple things you can do to reduce your utility bills – and doing so could reduce the impact your home has on the environment too.
In 2015, try to tick as many of these money-saving, carbon-reducing practices off as possible:
- Turn out the lights when you leave a room
- Don’t overfill your kettle…but do fill up your dishwasher
- Insulate your loft
- Install solar panels
- Unplug any appliances that are not in use
- Choose energy efficient kitchen appliances
- Have a shower rather than filling up the bathtub
- Turn down your thermostat and throw on a jumper
- Fit draught guards around your windows and doors
- Shop around for a cost-effective energy tariff and switch suppliers if necessary
Most of us vow to spend more time with our loved ones as we welcome in the New Year, but as the months pass, we may struggle to find the time, funds or a babysitter!
Change all of that in 2015 by priming your own home for entertaining. It doesn’t require a huge refurbishment – just choose the rooms in which you do most of your socialising and do a little bit of rearranging and updating.
Plants are a great place to start, as they cleanse the air and breathe a new lease of life into a space. Pulling out the accent colours in your kitchen or living room can really makeover a space too. Simply choose an underused colour and decorate with splashes of that colour in the form of cushions, throws and rugs.
Perhaps most importantly, rearrange your furniture so that seating is orientated for conversation rather than faced at the television. You may be surprised at the conversations and connections that arise as a result!
1 Be Brain Fit, 2014. Unexpected Ways Clutter Messes Up your Brain. [Online] Available at: http://bebrainfit.com/lifestyle/stress/unexpected-ways-clutter-messes-up-your-brain/.
2 Telegraph, 2014. Five reasons your energy bill could rise in 2015 – and what to do now. [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/energy-bills/11307607/Five-reasons-your-energy-bill-could-rise-in-2015-and-what-to-do-now.html.
All information sources accessed on 30th December 2014.