The new year is the perfect time to do some good ole’ home maintenance. Here are some items for your January Home Checklist.
1. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. With more heater use and wood fires in the fireplace, it’s crucial to do this now. Use the test button on each device and change batteries as needed.
2. Protect pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, which can be expensive to fix. Insulate any exposed outdoor pipes. If you’re going out of town this winter, ask a friend or neighbor to turn on your water to a trickle. Also, find out where your home’s water shut-off valve is so you can quickly shut off the water if a pipe does burst.
3. Remove heavy snow from tree branches. Heavy coats of snow can cause tree limbs to break. This is uber dangerous if it’s near your home.
4. Take down holiday decorations and package them well. It’s always sad to take down your Christmas decorations, but they need to stay special for only December! Be careful when packaging them, and remember to label them so it’s easy to decorate next year. Wrap the fragile ornaments in tissue paper, and wrap string lights around cardboard so you don’t have to spend tons of time untangling them the next year. Consider giving away ornaments that didn’t make it onto the tree this year, and repair or toss broken items. Take down outside Christmas lights as well.
5. Clean your home. Well. You don’t have to wait until spring to do the cleaning! Start off the year right by getting your house cleaned. Remember to sanitize hard surfaces such as counters, telephones, laptop computers, etc. since it’s the cold and flu season!
6. Declutter and organize. Make a fresh start with the new year, and clear out the clutter. Clear your pantry and toss foods your kids will never eat, or ones that have expired. Go through your books and children’s toys. Clean out your closets and get rid of stuff you didn’t wear last year (January is official closet organization month!). Donate what you don’t need anymore with the less fortunate, or sell it.