With all the holiday activities coming to an end, the New Year is a great time to give your home a fresh start. These tips can help you get your home clean, organized, and prepared for the winter months ahead.
Clear Out the Clutter
Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and odds and ends that accumulate over the holidays and throughout the year can add to the clutter in your home. New Year’s cleaning and organizing projects can give your home a fresher feel. Now is a good time to:
Wipe down the kitchen walls and ceiling: Use a sponge mop with dish soap and water to clean the ceiling. Use a cloth to wipe down walls and woodwork.
Turn your mattresses: Vacuum the box springs with an upholstery attachment when you remove the mattress to flip it. Wash your comforters, throws, and pillow covers to give beds a fresh smell.
Clean out your junk drawers, coat closet, pantry, etc.: When you tackle an area, take everything out, clean all the surfaces, discard unwanted items, and organize and replace remaining items. The best way to start organizing is to make piles of items to keep, throw away, give to charity, return, repair, etc.
Make Sure Your Home Is Safe
Properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can help keep your family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms, and 17% occur in homes with non-functioning smoke alarms. Dead batteries are the cause of one-quarter of the cases of smoke alarm failures.
The New Year is an excellent time to test your alarms and replace the batteries. Check the manufacturing date while you’re at it. Smoke detectors should be replaced after 10 years, while CO detectors should be replaced every five years.
Get Ready for Harsh Weather
January and February are the coldest months of the year in many parts of the country. You can stay warmer and save money on energy bills by preparing your home for colder temperatures and winter storms:
Clean leaves, dirt, and debris out of your gutters.
Weather strip outside doors and windows to help keep heat in and cold air out.
Get annual maintenance performed on your furnace.
Clean or replace air filters and humidifiers.
Install a programmable thermostat (if you haven’t already done so).
Hang thicker curtains or drapes to improve insulation.
Ensure You Have the Right Home Insurance Coverage
Your home is probably your largest investment. It is also the place where you and your family are likely to spend a great deal of time during the colder winter months. Although you take steps to keep your home safe, anything is possible—from a home fire or brutal winter storm to vandalism or an injured visitor. It makes sense to protect your investment with the right home insurance coverage. Our knowledgeable agent will be happy to review your current policy and help ensure you have the homeowners insurance you need to protect your home and belongings.
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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.
It’s the perfect time to remind ourselves to plan ahead for the ones we love.