Going into a new year with a clean slate is something we all strive for: new routines, new mindsets, and everything in-between.
Something we may not realize is that gradual change is often the key to success and will have a better end result than trying to make changes all at once. While also true for personal habits, we think this is a great way to approach your home, too!
Updating small, everyday things we use but don’t typically focus on can make a huge impact on our homes. Giving our living spaces a refresh can not only help you feel more organized in general, but it can feel less daunting when you do one project at a time. Switching things up definitely doesn’t have to break the bank, so here are some month-by-month home improvement ideas to help you give your home the love it needs, one step at a time.
Which of these will you be trying out this year?
January: Organize your pantry and refrigerator
This one may be the most obvious to start with, but here are some good suggestions on how to make your pantry and fridge feel organized and sparkling clean:
Don’t forget to check out our full list of easy kitchen organization tips!
February: Update your bathroom(s)
Give one of the most used rooms in your house a nice refresh by painting the walls, installing new cabinets or updating hardware, replacing faucets and fixtures, upgrading accents such as towel bars, toilet paper holders, door knobs, and electrical outlet plates. Take it to the next level by installing modern lighting fixtures to match and add pops of colors by bringing in new towels, soaps, and candles.
March: Liven up a room with paint
March is a good month to give any or all rooms in your home a paint job, because it’s finally warm enough to open windows for ventilation and speed up the drying process. Prep is most important part of the paint job, so just follow this guide:
April: Wash all windows
Did you know that your home’s windows should be washed at least twice per year, spring and fall? It’s simple, but can be a tedious process if you have a lot of windows. Here are some tips:
Short on time, but have some extra budget? Hire a local business to take this task off your hands.
May: Prep your outdoor spaces
Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to get your outdoor space ready. Follow these steps:
Here are a few more budget-friendly ideas to spruce up your outdoor space.
June: Install a backsplash
Give your kitchen or bathroom a stylish focal point by installing a backsplash to show off a bit of your character. Flip through magazines or go online for inspiration and then do the following:
A good tip: the more complex the project, the better it is to bring in an expert. In many home improvement cases, it is best to spend a little more on labor rather than on the time and expenses that repairs would require.
July: Revamp your garage
Depending on who uses it most, your garage needs a lot of care and organization between storing seasonal or large items, fixing household items, or simply parking your vehicles.
Get started by setting priorities: will your garage be used for your cars only, or will it double as storage? Do you have enough tools to consider installing a workbench, or perhaps would you prefer to create a space for exercise? Once you narrow down your end goal it will be easier to know what to do.
Next, sort through everything that is currently inside your garage and decide what to keep, donate, or throw out. Categorize what you left behind into main interests, like gardening tools, workout gear, business inventory, craft supplies, etc., and keep it organized using labeled bins or shelving.
August: Painting the exterior
This month is perfect to get out there and refresh your home’s exterior with new paint, whether it be the entire house or parts of it. A few good tips to get the job done efficiently and quickly:
September: Get your home winter-ready
This month is a busy one, so it’s best to get started quickly. Getting ready for cold weather needs to happen at just the right time of year, when you’re done using the air conditioner and before it gets too cold to go without heat in your home.
Some quick tips for your winter-ready home to-do list include:
October: Add a programmable thermostat
If your home permits, switch to a digital thermostat model that automatically changes the indoor temperature. Smart-home technology can handle a number of tasks, including cooling and humidifying. Not only does it help you control your home, it can also save you money on your annual bill. You can set certain temperatures for when you are sleeping, awake, or away from home and avoid using unnecessary energy.
If you’re looking for simple option, try a system where you can control the temperatures on separate floors if you don’t live in a single-level home, in order to avoid higher costs.
November: Add some character
Ready to show off that decorating personality? As the season changes and days are cooler and shorter, this is a great time to add some joy to your home. New crown molding, or painting existing crown molding, is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to add character to any room.
Here are just some ideas to get you started:
Other options that will make your home feel more luxurious without breaking the bank include:
December: Clean out your closets
It’s time to get rid of clutter and organize that closet for the new year! Tackle your closet first and ask other members of your household to do the same by sorting items into four categories: keep, donate, recycle or sell, and toss. Only keep clothing and accessories that fit and have been worn in the last year. Styles that are timeless, like plain tops and denim, should be saved, as should anything that is of sentimental value.
Limited on space in your closet? Consider dividing and storing your wardrobe by the season, keeping your spring/summer and fall/winter clothes on rotation.