New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Looking to make some changes around your home this year? Start with one of these New Year’s resolutions from the Domestic CEO.

Amanda Thomas,
January 2, 2012
Episode #044

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Happy New Year’s resolutions!

If you’re like most people, January 1st brings ambitious promises of bettering life for yourself and those around you. This year, instead of again promising yourself that you are going learn to speak Latin, why not focus your energy on improving things around your home? If you want to save money, live better, and improve your relationships, this is the episode for you..

Now, setting the goals is just the first step in reaching your goals. No matter which New Year’s resolution you decide on, whether it’s one of these, or the old standard of losing 15 pounds, make sure that you are prepared for everything it will take to reach your goals. My colleague Get-It-Done Guy has a great episode on this called How to Set the Right Goals. I highly recommend you check it out…right after you finish this episode.

Tip #1: Save Money (on Groceries)

Many of us like to set a financial goal for the New Year. We get to wipe our budgets clean from the last year, and start over. If you are looking to save money this year, I would like to suggest looking at your food budget first. I’ve worked with a number of people through the years to help them get in a meal planning routine, and I continue to be amazed with the amount of money a family can save with just a little bit of planning and organization.

Even if you don’t cook at home every night, planning your dinners on paper will help you focus where you want your money to go. It gives you a visual plan to follow to keep you on financial track. Imagine cutting your food bills by 40%. It’s not uncommon for a family of 4 to see savings like this when they simply take the time to plan their meals for the week. If you are currently spending $200 a week, even just being able to cut that back to $150 would give you an extra $2,500 PER YEAR. If you would rather spend 30 minutes each week planning your meals so you can save enough to take a pretty decent family vacation, check out my episode How to Plan Family Dinners. Also, Money Girl and I did a joint episode on How to Save Money on Groceries, so make sure you check that out as well.

Tip #2: Keep a Cleaner House

If you want to get in shape, you know that you need to work out on a regular basis. Those muscles don’t build themselves, right? While it can be a pain (literally!) to start working out, it gets easier as you continue on. Running 3 miles may seem impossible, but if you commit to running on a daily basis, pretty soon 3 miles will be your warm up. Just ask Get-Fit Guy!

Well, the same thing applies to keeping your home clean. It may seem like a near impossible task to keep a clean and tidy home all the time, and it may be really overwhelming to get started, but if you commit to doing a little each day, it will get easier too!

If it’s been a while since your home has had a good scrubbing, you may want to hire a professional to give everything a once-over. Sometimes we all need a little boost to get over the hump of getting started with a new habit, so think of it like hiring a personal trainer for your home. After everything has been cleaned thoroughly, it just takes a little time each day to keep it that way. By doing small things like washing your dishes at the end of each night, or picking up all the toys as soon as the kids are out the door in the morning, your house will start to feel cleaner immediately. If nothing else, these small tasks can at least give your house the illusion of clean.

If everything is kept organized and tidy, once a week you can give your house an extra workout by running around with a duster, rag, and vacuum. The episode How Often Should I…? gives my recommendations of the bare minimum for most cleaning tasks that should be done around your home. And just in case you need a little extra incentive, here’s a little fact I discovered recently: You burn over 230 calories per hour vacuuming. So you can kill two birds with one stone by keeping your house clean and knocking off those pesky pounds.

Tip #3: Entertain More

I like this resolution for a few reasons. First, it forces you to keep your house cleaner. No one likes to bring guests into a dirty home, so if you commit to having guests in your house at least once a month, you will force yourself and your family to clean up on a semi-regular basis.

Now, I do need to warn you that, in my experience, many men do not have the same level of guilt when it comes to bringing guests into a dirty home. They may have the attitude of, “My friends like me for my personality, not my cleaning skills.” If you live with such a man, he may think you are crazy for making everyone run around to get the house clean before your friends arrive, but don’t let that stop you from asking him to help. You might just have to find other, more creative ways, to thank him for helping you with your crazy cleaning spree.

The other reason I like this resolution is because scheduling events in your home gives you an opportunity to focus on building relationships with the important people in your life. With everyone on social media these days, combined with hectic life schedules, it’s easy to go months or even years without seeing your friends. While you can keep up with their pictures on Facebook, nothing will ever replace face to face interaction with those closest to you. Scheduling a social event in your home each month, whether it’s a cookie baking party with the girls, or dinner with other couples, you will continue to nurture the important relationships in your life.

Now that you have a few ideas, it’s time to pick a New Year’s resolution for yourself. If you need some more ideas, hop on over to see what Get-Fit Guy, Nutrition Diva, and Get-It-Done Guy are suggesting this week. Do you have a great story about a New Year's resolution gone wrong (or right)? Post all the details in the comment section below or on the Domestic CEO Facebook wall. You can also find me on Twitter, where I’m @TheDomesticCEO.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Grocery Bill, Mop, and Entertaining images from Shutterstock