Ah, January: a new year, new beginnings – and (ideally) a newly organized home. From cleaning kitchens to closets, to planning summer projects, here’s what homeowners should be doing this month. After all, the early bird gets the best contractor!

 

#1 Deep Clean the Kitchen and Organize Seasonal Storage

The holidays are rough on a kitchen. Give it a good deep cleaning now that the glittery dust has settled. Purge your pantry and frisk your fridge, passing what you can on to local food banks. Scrub the walls and kickboards, and even pull those appliances right out from the walls for a thorough vacuuming to prevent gunk (and stinks!) from accumulating.

 

#2 Wash Blankets and Comforters

Your family room blankets and guest room linens have probably had a lot of use during the holidays and cold winter months. Take time and wash all of them. You’ll love the softness and scent of freshly laundered blankets while you’re on the couch watching your favorite Netflix series while the snow falls.

 

#3 Plan Summer Projects NOW (Especially If You Need A Pro)

Decide and prioritize any landscaping, decks, patios, or other outdoor projects that need warm weather. If you’re DIYing, you’ll be ready to roll at the first hint of nice weather. That way, you’ll be less affected by any supply chain shortages and will have your improved yard ready to enjoy by summer.  If you’re hiring a contractor or other professional, getting your bids and contracts in place now will save you from competing with the spring rush (wait too long, and you may not be able to book anyone!).

 

#4 Create a Schedule to Clean All Your Home’s Filters

It’s not just your HVAC. The filters in your fridge, your vacuum cleaner, your dryer, your air filter, and other household items need to be changed or cleaned at least once a year to be effective, usually more often, especially your dehumidifier. Check manufacturer instructions for all the filters in your home and create a master schedule; then add them to a calendar app to remind you.

 

#5 Create A Home Inventory List and Replenish Medical Supplies

Home accidents and *disasters* can and do happen.  Be prepared with a current home inventory list, which includes photos, in the event you need to file an insurance claim. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and energy trying to remember all the items you lost when there is a fire or flood. It is also a good time to add more bandages, burn cream, and antiseptic to your first aid kit. Not only should you stock up on cold and cough remedies and vitamin C for flu season, but in these pandemic times it’s also essential to have test kits, a reliable thermometer, and a pulse oximeter.