It’s one of the toughest birthday questions for any homeowner: what do you get your house for its birthday? That perfect new barbecue deck or kitchen remodel you’ve been dreaming about for it?
Whatever you get your family’s most important investment for its next stationary trip around the sun, you want to make sure it enhances your home’s value, health, livability and comfort levels. So think twice about that indoor Jacuzzi you’ve been yearning for. For your home may need something much more practical and essential.
“The first step toward a healthier home is to change how you think about your space and how you live in it,” Avery Newmark of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
Given how busy the average American is in these hectic, stressful times, it’s natural to sometimes neglect the place we call home. But as we spend more time at home during the cold winter months and weather another COVID-19 variant surge, it’s essential we consider what our homes will truly need to endure another long year sure to include hazardous weather. Remember, just as we age, so do our homes.
“Houses, like people, can be mistreated, neglected, misunderstood and abused, and, like, people, will show the ill effects sooner or later,” Forbes’ Regina Cole cautions.
And as we move into the promising new year of 2022, make improving your home’s environment and securing its future your No. 1 home improvement resolution.
“Every home can use a refresh, and there’s no better time to do that than now, whether you just need to change up the look of your living room, replace a broke appliance, or finally clean your garage,” USA Today’s Leigh Harrington notes.
The best way to keep your home healthy in 2022? Get it something it really needs for its birthday. Here are some great and practical birthday ideas for your home as it begins a new year of serving as your family’s home base.
Get Smart Gear to Save on Energy Costs
Resolve to allow your home to work smarter, not harder in 2022. Smart Gear like smart thermostats, smart lighting and smart appliances allow your home to provide your home’s fundamental energy at a lower cost and greater efficiency, which is a win-win for both your home and checkbook.
Clean Out Your Basement, Garage or Attic
A surefire way to improve your home’s air quality and finally part with that broken plaid-upholstery chair you’ve been meaning to get rid of for years. Decluttering your home’s storage areas (garage, attic or basement) will instantly improve its functionality. Also, just think of how much dust you’ll be sweeping out of your home.
“Start 2022 off with a cathartic decluttering of your hot mess,” Harrington jokes.
What’s the Golden Rule for deciding what to keep and what to pitch?
“Have nothing in your home that is not beautiful or useful,” Cole writes.
Build or Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space
The perfect, ideal socially distanced COVID-19 escape, your backyard offers a refreshing outdoor getaway. Spruce it up with style with new outdoor furniture that fits your budget and mood, and consider complimentary atmospheric pieces like shades, outdoor rugs, Adironack chairs and a bar setup.
Vent Your Bathroom to Prevent Mold
There are few worse ways to ring in the new year that discovering the presence of mold in your home. Mold literally has no redeeming traits: it’s destructive, gross and make you and your family very sick.
If your home does not currently have a humid air filtering system from your bathroom, consider installing an exhaust fan. Be sure your exhaust fan vents captured air to an exterior side wall or to the outside. Also make sure it accommodates the size of your bathroom.
Create Front Entryway/Mudroom Harmony
No Iowa indoor space more closely resembles a tornado impact zone during the winter than your home’s front hallway and mud room: Snow, mud, dirt, disheveled coats, boots, hats, gloves and shoes can make it an ugly, cluttered minefield. Installing a dedicated mudroom with a wall of cabinets, cubbies and hooks and a shoe bench can both organize your home’s goal line and keep winter’s harsher elements outside and contained.
Conduct an All-Appliance Health Check, STAT
Nothing takes a wrecking ball to your home improvement budget than like having to drop a couple thousand dollars on a new essential appliance like a refrigerator, stove or washer and dryer. Take a close look around your kitchen and laundry room to assess the health status of your large appliances. Check their ages, confirm whether they are energy efficient and if they have any needed repairs. If any show sufficient damage, you have found your home’s birthday present for 2022.
Access & Protect Your Home’s Air Quality
Your home’s breathability quality is one of the most essential services it provides your family. Every breath we take in our homes is breathed within its wall. Ensure your family is breathing clean, healthy air by assessing your home’s air quality. Look for the presence of radon and carbon monoxide, which can kill you. CO is especially a danger if you fuel your dryer, oven, fireplace or water heater with natural gas. Radon is an odorless, naturally occurring gas that can cause lung cancer. It often seeps through cracks and gaps in the structure of homes.
To prevent carbon monoxide from invading your family’s living space, set up alarms around your living area and basement. Nest, Abode and Onelink offer outstanding smoke and CO detectors. Old-fashioned plug-in style detectors work great as well. Radon testing kits are available at Amazon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
Even if radon and CO aren’t present in your home, it is a smart call to purify your home’s air, especially during the COVID age we are breathing in. Air purifiers transport air through filters to remove particles like allergens, dust mites, bacteria and viruses that can irritate your body and stink up your house.
Do a Full-Scale Assessment of Any Planned Renovation
Remember, some home renovation ideas sound much better in our dreams and on paper than in reality. Do a complete assessment on whether a costly and disruptive renovation will truly improve your home’s functionality, aesthetic beauty and livability.
“Begin with: do I WANT this or do I NEED this,” Cole recommends. “How will this process affect my family? Our finances? Is this the best thing for our house?”
Remember, your home is your family’s best friend and most important and used resource. Give it the things it really needs this year to keep working healthy and well for you and your family.
“Treat the elements of your house with respect and your house will reward you with shelter for years to come,” Cole writes.