Purchasing a home requires a lot of paperwork. Not only do you need to complete…
You know the saying: out with the old, in with the new.
With the start of the new year, it’s the perfect time to finally put 2021 behind you and start fresh. There’s no better place to begin than in the spot where many of us now spend the majority of our time: home. To help break ground on your winter cleaning, we’ve put together a few of our top tasks to knock off the list first.
1. Deep Clean The House. 🧽🧹
We’re not talking about a quick wipe down and vacuum…it’s time to put in some elbow grease and break out the vinegar. To save yourself time and prevent backtracking, it’s best to start high and go low. Wipe down your fan blades, curtain rods and get those dust bunnies out of the corners of the ceiling. Spots on the walls or any cabinets? Foam erasers will make them disappear like magic. Don’t forget to clean the areas you forget about the rest of the year: behind the fridge, in the fridge (wipe down all shelves and toss expired items), furniture and furniture feet, windows, HVAC filters/ducts/vents and all garbage cans inside the house.
2. Clean Your Closet 👚👖
Start by making three piles: keep, donate and trash. If you know you’re the kind of person who has trouble getting rid of items, bring in some friends for help and have a little fun with it–did someone say fashion show?! Rule #1: If it has holes, permanent stains or rips (rips that you didn’t buy it with), throw it out. Rule #2: If you haven’t worn it in the last year or longer, it’s probably best to donate it. Not ready to part quite yet? Turn all the hangers around in your closet. Whenever you wear an item, flip the hanger back around when you go to hang it back up. Any clothes on hangers that aren’t flipped by the end of next year: donate them.
3. Reduce & organize clutter. 🤷♀️🗑️
Organizing Consultant Marie Kondo once said, “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.” While you might question what exactly sparks joy for you, a lot of the items you need to eliminate will be a no brainer. Expired meds? Toss. Almost completely burned out candles? Toss. Duplicate takeout menus in the junk drawer? Toss. $5 you found in the drawer? Keep. For bigger items (think seasonal decorations and just about every item cramming up your garage space), consider if it’s been used lately and its usefulness (pure necessity or just another want). Once you’ve gone through everything, it’s time to get your organizing supplies: drawer trays, cube organizers, under bed storage, etc.
4. Get Your Finances In Order. 🗄️💵
Winter cleaning doesn’t just involve your house itself, but your financial house as well. While you’re busy deep cleaning and going through items, it’s just as important (if not more important) to look over your financial situation and re-organize your budget/goals. To begin, start by going through the stacks of papers, receipts and old financial documents that have been piling up on your desk or in the filing cabinet. Organize them into a keep, shred and maybe (maybe you’ll need it later, maybe you won’t) pile. Pro tip: Anything you’re unsure about or would like to have a backup for, keep a digital copy! To do so, simply download a free “document scanner” app, scan it and save it. With tax season right around the corner, it’s time to see how and where you can save. Thinking of purchasing a house soon? You might even be able to file for homestead exemption or a variety of other tax breaks as a new buyer. Realized you need more room in your budget? A refinance might help you reach your goals by potentially shaving off hundreds from your monthly housing spend.