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A New Year Checklist For Your Home

If you’re looking to start a-new this coming year, why not have a checklist of things you can do for your home to give it a fresh start to 2019? There’s nothing better than a clean home, and it’s a great way to begin a brand new year.

START WITH THE LITTLE THINGS

Many of us, whether we rent or own, tend to overlook the little things. But even the little things can make a huge impact on our homes. Add these to your home’s new year checklist:

Check batteries on fire/smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. We hate hearing the chirp of a dying smoke detector in the middle of the night - be proactive and change out all the batteries now!

Clean your clothes dryer. Vacuum out lint from the dryer vent. Too much lint can be a fire hazard if it’s accumulated over time. Also, if you have too much lint build up, your dryer may not even work at maximum power.

Clean vents and registers. Things can get stuck in and even build up in your home’s vents and registers. Wipe down vent covers and vacuum out the register to help remove dirt and debris.

Vacuum under all and flip most mattresses (you CAN vacuum your mattress!). Mattresses are often overlooked when it comes to TLC, and they shouldn’t since they’re used every day!

Vacuum your fridge coils. For many of us, we rarely move the fridge out of its place, meaning that you could have a nice buildup of dust behind, under, and on top of it. Don’t forget about the outside of your fridge this new year.

Clean your home's faucets. Most faucets in your home have a small metal or plastic screen to block the passage of grit and other particles. Take time to rinse those out. You might be surprised at the increased water flow the faucet will now have.

NEXT STEPS

These next tasks are often forgotten, but they’re simple and will add a new level of clean to your home.

Rotate and clean ceiling fans. Dust accumulates year-round, regardless of whether fans are being used or not. Wipe down the blades, and rotate clockwise in the winter; counterclockwise in the summer.

Clean out the pantry, fridge, and freezer. If you haven’t cleaned out your fridge, freezer, or pantry, now is a great time to do so. Bacteria can grow in your fridge. If you haven’t wiped it down in a while, do your health a favor and clean it out.

Change furnace air filters. If you have a forced-air furnace, and you haven’t changed out the air filters in a long time (or ever), now is the time to do so. The air filters prevent many pollutants from entering your living spaces, and if they haven’t been changed in a while, there’s a high possibility your furnace isn’t working at peak efficiency. That added strain on the motor can shorten its life. It is important to note that most should be changed more often than annually.

If you have a wood fireplace, have it professionally cleaned. This is important for those living in winter climates. Chimney maintenance is vital, and by cleaning it you’ll guarantee no blockages or buildup of Creosote, and it will work at maximum capacity.

DON’T FORGET OUTSIDE

When it comes to new year’s tasks, don’t forget to look outside! These next tasks are also important, as they’ll ensure the exterior of your home is in full working order.

Check weather stripping around doors and windows. Weather stripping is important because it keeps things out of your house (think rain, moisture, bugs and other stuff), and it keeps interior air inside. Weather stripping is important - do an audit and replace as needed.

Clean out your gutters. Cleaning out your gutters not only helps with leaf and debris buildup, it will also prevent gutter flooding in cases of extreme inclement weather.

Repair or replace damaged window screens. If you have window screens that are torn or broken, you should replace them. Window screens are not only helpful, they also add to the curb appeal of your home.

Clean out any dead or dying plants from your garden beds. If you have a yard, now is a good time to clean it out, especially if you live in a climate where fall and winter have taken a toll on your plants and shrubs.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to start thinking of things you’d like to work on or replace in the coming year. Think about how long tasks will take, the costs for any materials, how much time you’ll need to complete the tasks, and the best time of year for it to happen. If you’re looking to make some resolutions for yourself this year, don’t forget about your home! Happy New Year!

The Watsons are active in local communities and have lived in the Northwest Suburbs for over 40 years. Their knowledge and experience will get you the results you want! ~ Jayne Smith, Palatine, IL