With the holidays survived, now it's time to focus on you. Some may call it a "resolution," but that term can be intimidating. Instead, let's call it a to-do list of tweaks that can help improve our lives.
1. Organize your house
You don't need a Type A personality to recognize the importance of keeping your home organized. But knowing and doing are two different things. "Start small," says Jennifer Finch, owner of Ultimately Organized in California, Ky. "Pick out one room in your home that makes you the most anxious. Focus on one corner of that room first. Once that's done, move on to the next. Don't get inundated by the enormity of the project."
After setting your goals, be sure to schedule enough time to accomplish them, says Katherine Trezise, owner of Absolutely Organized in Cockeysville, Md. "If you have trouble making decisions about what to do with your things, you may find yourself looking at the same items over and over and mixing trash with treasures. Having a supportive person with you gives you a sounding board for decisionmaking and keeps you motivated to stick with the project."
2. Plan your dream remodeling
Are you champing at the bit to finish your basement or build that new family room? Whatever your budget may be, you'll most likely exceed it. Meet with an architect, structural engineer or interior designer to determine the scope of your plan and develop a realistic budget and timeline. Revisit your financial plan to make sure you have the funds to see the project through.
3. Pick a color, paint a room
A little paint goes a long way, doesn't cost a lot of money and can give your house some pizazz. If you don't want to make a total color commitment, select one wall as an accent wall to display your favorite hue. If you're unsure how to get started, you can always select a color based on your personality, or one that will complement what you already have displayed in the room. Grab some smaller, sample-sized cans of paint for a trial run and see what excites you.
4. Give your house a checkup
Your house needs a once-over at least once a year. "In general, a homeowner's worst enemy is moisture," said Alan Chase, owner of Chase Home Inspections in Knoxville, Tenn.
"Outside, all roof shingles should be examined periodically for any signs of loose, damaged or missing shingles that could produce a leak. All siding should be examined for signs of moisture intrusion that will develop into rot. All gutters and downspouts should be examined to assure adequate roof drainage away from the foundation. All surface cracks on driveways, sidewalks and patios should remain well-sealed to eliminate moisture."