It’s that time of the year again; that magical time when we resolve to do something different for the New Year! I’ve thought about it and have come up with 3 resolutions for myself. I hope that sharing them here will help keep me accountable! 1) Spend less, save more; 2) Stay fit and healthy; and 3) my personal motto is: to be significant in other people’s lives to help them be successful.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all made a New Year’s Resolution for ourselves. I thought I would do something different this year. I have my personal New Year’s Resolutions, but what about a New Year’s Resolution for my home? I challenge you to come up with your own New Year’s resolutions for your home. To help get you started, I have come up with 12 Resolutions for 2012, one for each month!
- January – Clean your House and get organized. Make sure you get the fridge and freezer cleaned out from your holiday gatherings; get all your gifts and decorations put away; and get a deep cleaning in for the New Year.
- February – Don’t get discouraged! Plan a Vacation J (It makes a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one!)
- March – Have your Irrigation system turned back on for spring and summer. Now would be a good time to invest in a rain sensor which only waters the landscape when needed and stops your system from watering when it’s raining. This will save you money on your water bill. This is also a good time to plan your year’s landscaping projects: refreshing the bark, adding hardscape walkways, water features, plants, designing a new landscaped yard. Make sure you get on a landscapers calendar now because the summer months go by too quickly and they get booked up fast. I would recommend Controlled Rain, LLC for all your landscaping and irrigation needs.
- April – Get your Heat Pump or Air Conditioning Unit Cleaned and ready for the summer season. I recommend One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to clean and make sure your system is working at its best to keep you cool and comfortable through the hot months ahead.
- May – Have your Windows Cleaned so you can admire the spring scenery from your windows. I bought a Pacific Northwest Bird guide years ago and still love sitting in my living room and trying to guess which birds are enjoying my bird feeders. My favorite bird is the chick-a-dee, because they sing so much!
- June – Clean Your Roof. Make sure all the moss is removed and that there was no damage from the winter storms. If you find damage, now is the time to get on a roofers calendar. They too get book up in the summer months.
- July - This is a good time to go through and winterize your home. Get your Windows and Doors caulked so your home can be airtight for next winter, and check your insulation in the attic and under the house. If you wait till winter, you will freeze trying to get this done and the caulking won’t dry.
- August – Clean your Gutters. It’s time to get ready for the rain and winds to blow all the fall leaves back into your gutters. Make sure you check the down spouts too.
- September – Have your Furnace Cleaned and inspected to ensure it is ready for the winter season. Of course, I would recommend One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to do an 82-point inspection and cleaning on your furnace. Also, now is a great time to change your filters to keep your furnace from breaking down. This will save you money on your power bills and any potential repair costs.
- October – Have an electrician do An Electrical Safety Inspection on your home. This helps make sure your home is safe and can eliminate potential hazards to your family. Also, this is a perfect time to have a whole house surge protector installed to protect all of your home electronics, including your heating system, well pump, and appliances. I recommend our friends over at Mister Sparky to do any type of electrical work in your home. You can also request that they check your smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly.
- November – Don’t forget to Winterize your Irrigation system. When it freezes outside, your irrigation pipes can freeze and burst making for a spendy repair job. Here’s a Controlled Rain video link on winterizing your irrigation system.
- December – Clean up the leaves, fallen limbs, and debris from your Yard. Take advantage of one of those nice, sunny chilled days to get some fresh air and spruce up the yard.
Good luck and Happy New Year.
During the busy holiday season, a lot of items get neglected. We are just too busy to think about everything!! Here's a short list to remember for your safety of your home.
- Blow out all candles before going to bed and never leave lit candles unattended.
- Make sure you keep your tree watered well to avoid drying out making it a fire hazard.
- Be sure to get your furnace maintained and change your filter before your guests arrive. Not only will this reassure a warm cozy home for the holidays, it will help with dust control too.
- If it's slick on your walkways, be sure to put down sand or salt to prevent falling injuries.
- Make sure your chimney is cleaned so you don't have a devastating fire.
- Remember space heaters get very hot and can harm children and pets if left unattended.
- Lint traps are a fire hazard and can easily be forgotten when in a hurry.
- If you forgot to change the battery in your smoke detector when you changed the clocks, it's not too late, do it now.
- Cookies right out of the oven are nice and yummy, but the cookie sheets are hot.
A lot of homes are left unattended and are very vulnerable to burglaries during the holidays. In addition to locking doors and windows, you can:
- Use a timer to turn lights on and off.
- Leave on a TV or radio.
- Let neighbors know when you'll be gone and ask them to take in newspapers and mail, and to remove snow (if needed).
- Look through your windows and make sure your treasures aren't visible.
- Don't mention leaving your home on social media websites.
Have a safe and happy holiday. Merry Christmas!!
Are you feeling sad? Experts say that 5-10% of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And many more suffer from milder winter blues.
Common symptoms of SAD are low energy, social withdrawal, sadness and despair, difficulty concentrating, and cravings for high carb foods such as pasta. These symptoms are most prevalent during December and January where light is in short supply. Here are a few items to help with feeling SAD.
Lighten up by opening the curtains or take a brisk walk outside for some rays. Or you can always switch out your light bulbs to the natural light bulbs.
Fuel well by eating a balanced diet and avoid the cravings for high carb, surgary foods. Sweet and starchy foods cause your blood levels to spike and then plummet, making your cravings even more fierce. It is recommended to eat 20-30 grams of protein per meal to help boost your mood.
Supplement by taking a multi-vitamin and adding extra Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium supporting a healthy heart and immune system. Most people report improved mood after taking Vitamin D3 supplements.
Move it by get out an exercise: walk, run, or bicycle outside if possible for extra light. Physical exercise increases the oxygen flow to the brain and diminishes the body's response to high stress.
Change it by making sure you replace your furnace filters on a regular basis to help with the air quality in your home.
Stress less by scheduling fun things to do that give you pleasure not stress. Like playing a sport, scrapbooking, reading a book, going to the movies, etc. Also, alone time helps energize the mind and body too.
Schedule sleep by keeping your body on track with your sleep patterns. Set your alarm to wake up after 8 or 9 hours. Open your curtains and wake up to the early-morning light. Good sleeping habits keep your biological rhythms steady.
Get help if you can't shake the SADness. Keep a journal so when you meet with a therapist, they can help guide you better so you can cope through these dreary long winters.
Be happy by enjoying the wintertime as much as the summertime. Don't hibernate until spring. Find fun stuff to do in the winter that will get you out of the house and on a different routine. Have fun experimenting with life.