10 New Year's resolutions for your living space

Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.

By Kathryn Weber

Too often when we set resolutions for ourselves, we fall through. This year, why not set resolutions for living instead? A resolution for your home carries a lot more motivation steam than one for, say, dieting. If you feel that way, too, here's 10 resolutions for your home that you'll have a good shot at reaching in 2011.

1. Add decadent comfort. What's an indulgence you'd love to have? A steam shower or fireplace by your bathtub? Maybe you'd love a TV in the kitchen to cook along with your favorite television chefs. Pick one, and do it.

2. Put your home on a schedule. Everyone is pressed for time, and our homes and yards show it. Hire a cleaning and lawn service, and get on a regular schedule with both of them.

3. Green times three. Look at your appliances, water and cleaners. Can you replace old appliances with newer, more efficient ones? You also might have some water-guzzlers around your house that could also be replaced with water savers. Lastly, replace harsh chemicals with earth and air friendly cleaning products.

4. Beautify outdoors. A pretty new flower bed or water garden can revitalize your landscape and your enjoyment of it. If you don't have water in your landscape, that might be a good starting point.

5. Update your technology. If your computer is still wired to the wall maybe it's time to go wireless. Hire a technology person to give your home a quick review and put in some new updates, like a whole home music system or mounting your television surround sound system instead of having the speakers stacked around the TV.

6. Clean deeply. Put a thorough cleaning on your home's resolution list. Hire a cleaning company to wash the stains from the roof, and pressure wash the drive, porches and walkways and siding. If the grout on the floors in your home is dirty, it can also be cleaned and sealed by a carpet cleaning company. Have air ducts cleaned, too.

7. Tame the garage. Lots of homes have organizers in the closet, and the pantry is orderly, but the garage is a nightmare. Get your garage under control once and for all.

8. Get audited. Contact your local energy company and police department. Most have staff who will come to your home to perform security and energy audits. Fire departments can help you create an evacuation plan and suggest ways to improve your home's fire safety.

9. Details, details. Find places to add small decorating touches. It's amazing how a small detail (like parsley on a plate) can make a room sing. Add crown moulding, frame a large bathroom mirror or mount sconce lighting to create a big effect from a small effort.

10. Refresh your look. Maybe you need to replace worn furniture or dated light fixtures. Try replacing a heavy rug with a sisal one, or pull a vivid color out of the rug and paint an accent wall with it. Change out beige lampshades with colored ones.

Resolve to make your living space more livable and enjoyable this year. It's a resolution you'll actually look forward to keeping.

For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her Web site, www.redlotusletter.com



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