By Kathryn Weber
Put a decadent indulgence like an elegant new bathtub on your home resolution list this year.
Too often, when we set resolutions for ourselves, we fall through. This year, why not set resolutions for living instead? A resolution to improve your home carries a lot more motivational steam than one for, say, dieting. Here are 10 resolutions you'll have a good shot at fulfilling in 2011:
1. Add decadent comfort.
What's an indulgence you'd love to have? How about a steam shower or a fireplace by your bathtub? Maybe you'd love a TV in the kitchen to cook along with your favorite screen. Pick one and go for it.
2. Put your home on a schedule.
Everyone is pressed for time and our homes and yards show it. Hire a cleaning and lawn service and maintain a regular schedule for both.
3. Green times three.
Look at your appliances, water and cleaning agents. Can you replace old appliances with newer, more efficient ones? You also might have some water-guzzlers (like showerheads) around the house that could also be replaced with water saving models. Lastly, replace harsh chemicals with earth- and air-friendly cleaning products.
4. Beautify outdoors.
A new flowerbed or water garden can revitalize your landscape and make the yard more inviting. If you don't have a water element in your landscape, that might be a good starting point.
5. Update your technology.
Maybe it's time to go wireless. Hire a technology expert to give your home a quick review and add new features like a home music system. Mount your TV surround sound system instead of leaving the speakers stacked around the set.
6. Clean thoroughly.
Hire a cleaning company to wash the stains from the roof and pressure wash the driveway, porches, walkways and siding. If the grout on your tile floors is dirty, have it cleaned and sealed by a carpet cleaning company. Make an appointment to have your air ducts cleaned.
7. Tame the garage.
Lots of homeowners have closet organizers and the pantry is orderly, but the garage is a nightmare. Get that pesky mess under control once and for all.
8. Get audited.
Ask your local energy company and police department to perform energy and security audits of your home. The fire department can help you create an evacuation plan and suggest ways to improve fire safety.
9. Details, details. Add new decorating touches.
It's amazing how a small detail, such as a colorful vase, can make a room sing. Add crown molding, frame a large bathroom mirror, or mount lighting sconces to create a big effect with minimal effort.
10. Refresh your look.
Maybe you need to replace worn furniture or dated light fixtures. Try replacing a heavy rug with a sisal one, or pull a vivid color out of the rug and paint an accent wall with it. Change out beige lampshades with colored ones.
Resolve to make your living space more livable and enjoyable this year. It's a resolution you'll look forward to keeping.
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