Photo by Faiz Prasla on Unsplash
It’s time for New Year’s resolutions and even your house is making a list. Check out the things your house wishes you would do this year.
1. Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Materials used in modern furniture burn fast (and can emit poisonous fumes). The National Fire Protection Association says you should install a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every level of your house. That may seem like overkill, but seconds count in a fire – the sooner you are alerted, the more time you have to escape.
And, accidental non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning kills over 150 people in the U.S. yearly. The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends at least one CO alarm on each level of your home and near bedrooms. Luckily, you can find combo alarms at most home and hardware stores.
Already have detectors? Be sure to check batteries monthly and change per manufacturer’s directions.
2. Gutter Detox
Your house hates when its gutters are clogged with leaves and seeds, because rain and melting snow can leak into the basement. In fact, many wet basement problems can be traced to gutters.
3. Use Your Range Hood
That exhaust hood over your cooktop? Use it every time you cook. The exhaust fan not only pulls cooking smoke out of your kitchen (where it can settle on cupboards), it removes ultrafine particles that can come off of burners. Your house likes clean air!
4. Add More Plants
Photo by Faria Anzum on Unsplash
Speaking of clean air, did you know that indoor plants increase the oxygen levels in your home and help get rid of indoor pollution? Yep, that’s right, according to the University of Georgia Extension. Your local garden store will be able to help you find the right plant. And good news: some plants like to be neglected!
5. Stop Using Sponges in Your Kitchen
Your house doesn’t want that filthy sponge touching its counters. Kitchen sponges are germier than household toilets, according to this study. Seems like salmonella and E.coli bacteria, among others, thrive on sponges. And sanitizing in the microwave doesn’t actually destroy all the bacteria.
The study authors recommend using a new sponge every week. If you opt to reuse sponges, leave them out to dry and use separate sponges for dishes and counters.
A more economical solution is buying washcloth bundles at discount stores and using a clean cloth daily. Launder them separately from your clothes in the washer in the hottest possible water and tumble dry thoroughly on high.
To clean up after particularly risky things like raw chicken, use paper towels.
6. Pretty New Numbers, Please
Your house will enjoy getting noticed with a new set of swanky house numbers. They’ll add that curb appeal everyone talks about. Plus, delivery drivers will find you more easily!
7. Paint the Front Door
Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash
Speaking of curb appeal, a crisp coat of paint in a standout color (along with those new numbers) will make your house feel beautiful and ready for a selfie. Painting the door is a one-day project in most instances, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
8. Test Drive Paint Colors
Speaking of paint, before you commit to a color, spend the extra dollars to buy small test cans and paint swatches on the walls (or door). Trust, me you’ll be glad you did. Paint always looks different once it’s on the wall. You’ll save money in the long run, and your house will feel better.
Check out the “GRAY” swatches in this photo—the paint chips were gray, I swear! I needed 8 trial runs to find my perfect gray (Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, 20% strength).
9. Give the trash cans some privacy
Your house gets embarrassed with those garbage bins standing right there next to it. Store the bins in the garage or hide them with a lattice screen or L-shaped fence.
10. Check local codes before a big project
The last thing your house wants is to hear is the local inspector citing you because your new fence violates city code. Many cities, townships and HOAs have rules about fences, decks, and other outdoor structures. Not to mention things that may require permits, like water heater and furnace installations. Check first, so you don’t pay later.
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