3 Things You Should Do To Be The Best Homeowner This New Year
Now that 2020 is here, I can’t help but reflect on the past 10 years of homeownership. My home has certainly evolved since the bright ceramic kitchen tile, incandescent bulbs and inefficient appliances of 2010. But have I been a good homeowner? And what makes for a good or best homeowner, anyway?
I guess it’s kind of like being a good parent — you have to listen to your home’s cries for attention and patch it back up when things fall apart. You should also treat your home with love, giving it the care it needs to look and feel its best.
With that in mind, I’m focusing on being an even more attentive and proactive homeowner in 2020.
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and celebrate the New Year (and the new decade) with these functional (if not festive) home improvement activities that may elevate your homeowner status to “best”:
Take care of annual home maintenance projects at the start of the new year
It’s hard to keep track of those “once every three to five years” responsibilities. If you don’t remember, it probably means the effort is vastly overdue.
The start of a new decade is the perfect time to schedule maintenance and take care of DIY home improvements.
Even if you anticipate a later-in-the-year job, like refinishing your deck in the summer, get the ball rolling in January. Get some quotes and book the services in advance, or figure out what you need to do it yourself.
The New York Times has an Annual Home Maintenance Checklist that details what to do, and when, but here are a few ideas to consider:
- Clean out your dishwasher filter. (Yes, there is one, and yes, it’ll be gross).
- Patch up holes in the wall and window screens.
- Apply caulk to any gaps around your windows, doors, showers and bathtubs.
- Inspect your foundation, roof, siding, patio and deck for signs of damage.
- Get your septic tank, heating ducts and clothes dryer exhaust cleaned out.
- Wash your duvets, comforters and pillows and rotate your mattresses.
- Schedule an HVAC tune-up.
Declutter your storage spaces
Don’t wait until spring to get your spring cleaning vibe on. Once January rolls around, binge watch a few episodes of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix for inspiration and motivation, then establish a plan.
Let 2020 be the time you tackle that tower of boxes filling up the garage or the so-called “guest bedroom” downstairs (you and I both know it’s just a black hole for all your extra stuff your in-laws keep sending over).
I recommend focusing on one shelving area, jam-packed closet or cluttered living space each month. Don’t forget to put each activity on your calendar and budget enough time (and labor — Marie Kondo has the cutest tips for cleaning with the kiddos).
Then, follow these basic steps to a happier home:
- Take everything out of storage and gather it into a big pile where you can see it all.
- Keep only the items that “spark joy” or serve an important function.
- Arrange those pieces back in the closet or shelf, using storage bins and baskets to keep things organized and easy to access.
- Donate or sell the rest — just be sure to get it out of the house.
Safeguard your appliances and home systems with a warranty
Slide into the new year ready for any household malfunctions that come your way with the best home warranty plan. NerdWallet recommends locking in a home warranty especially before your appliances start to fail.
Do some research to find a plan that meets all of your needs. Before signing up, make sure you understand the scope and limitations of the coverage, including out-of-pocket expenses and the claims process. Additionally, look for exceptional customer support and extra perks, like homeowners’ resources and a mobile app. (Like the HomeServe App, you can keep all of your owners’ manuals and warranty details in one place on your smartphone. Once you’ve digitized everything, you’re all set to recycle those dog-eared, water-stained paper manuals. (See also: “Declutter your storage spaces.”)
Make 2020 a Happy New Year by being prepared for the unexpected. With a plan from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe you can offset the costs of covered repairs for your appliances and home systems.