The holiday season is slowly coming to an end, and the New Year is upon us! It's the perfect time for new beginnings and making resolutions. Most of the time we make resolutions that focus solely on ourselves or our immediate family. But this year why not incorporate your home in those resolutions? We've come up with some resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in the coming year.

1. Cut the Clutter

One of the easiest resolutions for your home is to clear out all of your  clutter. We can accumulate so many things over the years and after a while, our homes can begin to look busy or dated with added nick-nacks. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. To make the task of de-cluttering more simple break it down into zones, or rooms. This makes the task more manageable- clear out what  you don't use, wear, or love and have a sale or donate it to charity. Once you have completed the whole house consider what you bring in in the future, only fill your home with the things that make you feel good.

2. Shrink your Bills 

Who doesn't love saving a little money? A great way to shrink your home related bills is to "go green" at home. When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference. The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your own home. small steps can make a difference to the environment and to your pocket book. 

Lower your energy bills by switching off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off your air conditioner or heater when you leave the house. Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them. Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use. Reduce water by installing low-flow faucets and shower heads, and consider dialing back the sprinkler system in the summer. 

3. Make it Safe

Health risks and hazards can be avoided with these few simple steps.  First, ensure that all of your smoke detectors are working and have new batteries. Check your house for radon, with test kits costing as little as $20 at your local hardware store, there's no reason not to get right on that. While we're on the subject of deadly gas, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor. If a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and kill you. 

4. Keep it Clean

No one likes to clean, but it has to be done. So if we are going to do it we may as well make a schedule that simplifies our lives and frees up our time. Break chores down into tasks that need to be done daily/weekly/monthly, and enlist the help of your family to tackle some of the chores. Copy the maid service- keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room. And work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high to low. 

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