by James & Morris Carey, The Associated Press
Unlike traditional personal resolutions that are typically embarked upon cold turkey on Jan. 1, New Year's resolutions for your home can consist of a doable list that you will work to accomplish throughout the year.
The last thing that you want to do is sabotage yourself (and your partner or family) by setting unrealistic expectations. Your resolutions should consist of projects that can be accomplished during the year with available resources.
The New Year is a time of renewal ” maybe you're ditching the ice cream and promising to call your mother more often. But you're not the only one in need of some improvement. This year, think about your home.
Whether you're worried about utility bills or the environment, this is a resolution for everyone's list. Some energy conserving upgrades to consider: install a programmable thermostat; replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting; prevent drafts with weather stripping around doors and windows; install low-flow shower heads and aerators; fix leaking faucets; install Energy Star appliances; install energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment; upgrade insulation, and install replacement windows.
It's never been easier to be green when it comes to your home. Environmentally friendly building products and materials are available for virtually every category ” windows, doors, siding, decking, fencing, roofing, lumber, flooring and insulation, to name a few. Think green the next time you make a home improvement purchase. Chances are the material will last longer and you'll feel better about it.
Your home should be a refuge from the stress of work and the world. We suggest that you resolve to make your home as comfortable as you can for you and your family. This can include adding comfy couches and seating; using a splash of color here and there with paint, fabric or flooring; getting rid of clutter and opening up the space in your home; allowing in more natural light with updated window treatments; and organizing closets and storage. Create a special place in the garden as a retreat. Add a water feature ” the sound of trickling water can be very therapeutic.