- Pamper your home with a deep clean, declutter and purge.
- Schedule yearly reviews and maintenance to keep everything in tip-top shape.
- Make improvements that have the best ROI for resale and for you.
- Keep a record of your home updates for easy reference later on.
If you love love, you’ve probably heard about the five love languages. But when was the last time you showed your home some affection? Considering the amount of time, money, energy and resources you spend on your abode, it’s probably a relationship that deserves some TLC. These five tasks will get your home in order, looking and operating better than ever and feeling the love.
1. Physical touch: Clean, declutter and purge
Give your home a “spa day” by deep cleaning your space. Get behind your appliances and sweep or vacuum up any crumbs and cobwebs that have gathered, dust your vents, wash your floors and take care of any other areas you might have been neglecting. Light some candles or run a diffuser to give that fresh scent and spa-like experience, but swap out the soothing music for something upbeat to stay motivated. Then, keep your home nice and tidy by following up with weekly cleaning tasks, and make notes in your calendar for monthly and quarterly tasks so you don’t forget and fall behind.
Declutter and free your home from chaos and unneeded items so your home can better function for you and your family. It will also help you save money, appreciate what you have and lessen your stress and anxiety.
Make sure you don’t forget to go through and purge any items that have passed their expiration date:
- Personal items: Mouthwash, makeup, lotion, and medicine should all be reviewed. (Be sure to safely dispose of any medications.)
- Home items: batteries, hydrogen peroxide, disinfectants and bug repellants all have expiration dates or lose their efficacy after being opened.
- Food and beverages: Condiments and dressings, spices, baking soda and powder, bottled water, alcoholic beverages and pantry items all have a way of lingering in your fridge and cupboards without your notice.
- While you’re at it, replace any items that may have become unhygienic: disposable razors (replace every 3-4 shaves), toothbrushes (replace every 3 months), loofahs (replace every 3 months), and kitchen sponges (every few weeks).
2. Acts of service: Schedule maintenance
The pitter-patter your heart feels when someone does a task for you is the same for your home. It’s not necessarily glamorous or a grand gesture, but it’s needed and appreciated, especially since yearly maintenance can prevent larger, more expensive issues from popping up. Here are a few tasks you should check off your list or schedule for the future:
- Review and update your homeowner’s insurance policy
- Inspect your HVAC unit and chimney
- Clean gutters, exhaust fans, refrigerator coils, dryer exhaust
- Check on items that may need updating/repair: foundation, roof, walkways, windows, trees and landscaping
- Test and update safety features: fire and carbon dioxide alarms, fire extinguishers, safety kits and home security systems
3. Receiving gifts: Make improvements
Some new decor or a fresh coat of paint may be all you need to freshen up a room and make it more functional. Other home projects (DIY or other), are much more involved, take up a significant amount of time and can cost a pretty penny.
Before you pick up a sledgehammer or pick out tile, consider what your ROI will be. The most recent Cost vs. Value report lists out some common home projects and the percentage of cost recovered at sale. At the top of the list is:
- HVAC conversion (electrification)
- Garage door replacement
- Manufactured stone veneer
- Entry door replacement
Meanwhile, midrange bathroom and kitchen remodels rank at 66.7% and 41.8%. The data shows that in many cases, smaller updates pay off more than larger ones. For instance, replacing hardware versus doing a kitchen remodel.
Keep in mind that while it’s good to understand ROI trends, it’s all relative to your home. If your kitchen cabinets are falling off the hinges, your ROI will be higher regardless of what the stats say. You should also consider your personal ROI–how much will the improvements impact your life and increase your home happiness?
4. Words of affirmation: Keep a home record
Start recording all things related to your home for easy reference. A few items to add to the file are:
- Renovations: Note what was done, when, for how much and any improvements that made an impact to your home’s amenities or features (more square footage, extra bathroom, etc.).
- New appliances: Be sure to keep any warranties and instruction manuals.
- Maintenance dates: Jot down when upkeep and tune-ups are done, who was called and any notes that may come in handy (for example, if a service person says your dishwasher will need to be replaced in the next few years).
- Decor: Include identifying features such as the manufacturer, name and item number. Remember to add your paint brands and colors, as well.
Having this list will help you keep things straight when it comes to home upkeep and prevent you from doing rework or scratching your head when questions pop up or updates need to happen. This record will also be a huge asset if you decide to sell.
5. Quality time: Make your home work for you
Enjoy your time at home. Whether that’s having a morning coffee on your deck, hosting a game night or cooking up a four-course meal, your home is best loved when you’re making the most of its features. Consider what you can change to make your home work best for you. That might mean turning the garage into a fitness space or adding a dual vanity to the kids’ bathroom.
If your list of don’t-likes surpasses your list of loves when it comes to your house, now might be the best time to consider making a move to a place you can truly call home. Start by reaching out, and together we can begin searching for a home you’ll love.