We all could not be more excited to put 2020 officially behind us! The new year is here and we are continuing our 2021 Home Maintenance series with our best tips to protect your investment.
While January may be a cold and dark month it is also a time for new beginnings all around. Make the most of it by protecting your home from harsh winter weather. Here are some ideas to get a jump start on your top projects for the year.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
It is important to keep pipes from freezing so that they don’t burst and lead to costly repairs. Make sure your pipes are well insulated. If you have travel plans, keep your heat set to a minimum of 55 degrees. If pipes are prone to freezing, leave faucets dripping slightly overnight or when away from home. You may also want to open cabinet doors beneath sinks to let in heat.
Stock up on Ice Melt
We made it through our first snowfall of the season, but make sure you are prepared for more. Keep plenty of ice melt or rock salt on hand in preparation for future storms. Look for brands that will keep kids and pets safe without doing damage to your walkway or yard.
Watch for Snow Buildup on Trees
Snow can cause tree limbs to break, which can be especially dangerous if they are near your home. Use a long-handled broom or rake, make sure to periodically remove excess snow.
Take down Holiday Decorations
As we finish out the holiday season we start to think about putting away all of the holiday decorations. While the cold weather here to stay, take some extra time to organize the decorations and prep for next year.
- Wrap delicate ornaments in tissue paper and wrap string lights around cardboard to prevent tangling.
- Consider giving away ornaments that didn’t make it to the tree this year and repair or toss broken items.
- Label all of your boxes to make it easier when pulling them out of storage at the end of 2021.
- If you are not quite ready to say goodbye to all of the decorations, leave some twinkle lights in place. They can add a cozy feel to your home and can add extra cheer in the middle of winter.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
We like to keep our home cozy in the winter which means running the heat and fireplaces more often. It is especially important during the winter to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Use the test button on each device and change batteries as needed. Or consider replacing your smoke detectors with 10-Year Worry Free Sealed Battery Smoke Detectors to reduce those low battery chirps.
Clean Bathroom Tub and Sink Drains
Over time, hair and debris can build up in your bathroom drains which impedes the flow of water. Back ups in your tub or sink can cause standing water which leads to mold and mildew. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Organize and Declutter
Take advantage of extra time indoors this January and get organized. Here are some places and items that are good to think about this time of year:
Conquer boredom with an alternative to screen time by making sure your board games and cards are ready for play. Pull out everything you have and check that each set has all of the pieces. You can also donate games that your family might have outgrown.
Kids Play Areas
While you are checking into the games on hand, give a little extra attention to kids play areas. Make sure broken toys are either repaired or tossed. Clean any hidden surfaces and add baskets, buckets or crates to corral like items. It might be a good time to consider adding something extra to these areas to entice little ones stuck indoors. Think about adding a chalkboard or whiteboard wall, you can find paint to do either at your local paint store. Or consider a stage for acting, a play tent or tepee or a tumbling mat.
Cold Weather Accessories
Stay toasty warm with plush, thick socks, cozy hats, scarves and gloves or mittens. Check sock drawers and entryway baskets and hooks to take stock of what each of your family members has. Toss any sets that are missing their partner and make a list of any items you need to replenish.
Yours or a Family Members Wardrobe
Make a fresh start with the new year and clear out the clutter. Remove items that are no longer able to be worn. Items that are still in good condition can be donated. Specialty items like formal dresses or business attire can be donated to non-profits. Feel free to reach out for a connection if you need it!
Kitchen cupboards and the Pantry
Remove items from one area at a time and toss stale and expired foods. Make sure to wipe down shelves before putting everything back in place. Let the refreshed spaces motivate you to stick with your health resolutions for the new year.
Give Potted Plants some TLC
With all of the extra heat, your home might be a little on the dry side. Give some extra love to any potted plants you have by adding humidity to the air around the plants. Especially when it comes to citrus trees and ferns. You can either use a humidifier or simply spritz them with plain water occasionally. Check out Winter Care Tips for Houseplants for some more helpful houseplant tips.
Do you have more questions about our January Home Maintenance Tips and how they affect the value of your home? Give the Emmily Longenecker Team a call at 717-450-7090, we are always available to answer your questions.