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Making personal New Year’s resolutions is a common practice whenever January 1st rolls around, but why not include your home in your resolutions this year? Here are 5 suggestions for the new year.

Declutter your environment – It’s easy to throw unused items into a room, a closet, a garage or an attic in order to get them out of sight and out of mind, we’re all guilty of it! However, this mess can build up and there is no better time than the start of a new year to tackle a cluttered space. When you are going through the disorganized mess, make a mental note of what items you would like to keep, what things you can donate to a local charity organization and what can be recycled or thrown out. Websites like Pinterest have great ideas on how to organize any room.

Keep Your Family Safe – The start of a new year is a great reminder to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are all working properly. You can also make a habit of replacing the batteries at the beginning of each year. You should have a smoke detector installed between each sleeping area. You can learn more about smoke alarms by clicking here. Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odourless gas that can quickly kill you, your family and your pets. It is recommended that you put an alarm in every room that has a fuel-burning appliance like a gas furnace or a gas stove. It is also recommended that a carbon monoxide detector is installed in every bedroom. In 2013, the Hawkins Gignac Act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario which requires every home in the province to have a carbon monoxide detector installed.

Become More Energy Efficient and Save Money – If you have an appliance that is on the fritz, buy a replacement with an Energy Star symbol. Whether buying an oven, a dishwasher, a computer or a washer and dryer, an Energy Star product cuts back on utility costs without sacrificing performance. It’s also friendlier for the environment, so why not save money and help the planet? For more information on Energy Star products click here.

Conserve Water by Getting a WaterSense-certified toilet – We all have the tendency to take our tap water for granted, however it is a precious resource that we should preserve. The toilet accounts for nearly 30% of an average home’s indoor water consumption, and older, inefficient toilets with large tanks are wasting tons of water on a daily basis! Replacing these outdated toilets with a WaterSense-labelled toilet can reduce water consumption by up to 60% and also save you money on your water bill. Some municipalities even offer rebates for homes that upgrade to water-efficient toilets! To learn more about WaterSense toilets click here.

Give one room a make-over – Renovating an entire house is a daunting and expensive task, but giving one room a new look is easily achievable! Painting a room can give it a completely new feel for a very small price tag. Other ideas are updating the flooring, upgrading appliances or buying new furniture. The options are truly endless! So pick a room, set a budget and make a plan for 2014! Besides improving the look and feel of your house, it can also help increase your home’s value when selling.

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