The New Year is around the corner and so are the 2014 resolutions. The winter season is a tough time to cultivate and nurture your motivation and determination. Productivity and motivation take a dive along with the winter temperatures. Winter is the time to cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, and hibernate until the spring thaw!
Stay cozy and productive by giving your home some much needed winter TLC. Fun, refreshing, and creative indoor home projects will boost your home’s value, reduce your energy bills, and keep the winter blues away.
Here are 10 winter indoor home projects for 2014!
- Clean Windows: Wash the inside of your windows with a natural nontoxic cleaner. Combine 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon natural liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend, spray, and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.
- Paint: Choose one or two rooms to paint in a new, fresh color. Plan for moving furniture into another room and plenty of dry time. Choose eco-friendly paints and remember to keep the room well-ventilated.
- Clean Kitchen Pantry and Refrigerator: Clean out expired goods and near empty jars and containers in your fridge and pantry. Repurpose jars and containers to store legumes, cereals, nuts, treats, and other dried goods. Begin the new year by making room for nutrient-dense, whole foods in your kitchen. Clean fridge and pantry with a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon of water for a nontoxic all-purpose cleaner.
- Install New Flooring: Freshen up your kitchen, hallway, mudroom, or bedroom with sustainable flooring. Not confident to jump right in? Take a class at a local home-improvement store. Evaluate the cost and time involved before you decide to take on this project.
- Insulate Pipes: Reduce your energy bill and heat loss by insulating hot water pipes. Wrap in layers of newspaper and secure with duct tape.
- Check Toilets For Running Water: Toilets can be a sneaky source of wasted water. How do you know if you’ve got a leak? Save water and money with this quick and simple test: Place several drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait 10 minutes to see if the color leaks into the bowl. If it does, you’ve got a leak! A defective flapper is usually the culprit.
- Add Green: Indoor plants will improve air quality and keep you connected to Mother Nature during the long, cold winter. Choose hearty plants such as Aloe, Christmas Cactus, and Lucky Bamboo. Add some green in the kitchen with herbs like mint, parsley, and rosemary.
- Change To LED Light Bulbs: 1/4 of the average home energy bill comes form electric lighting. Making the switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs can save money and energy. While LED’s are initially more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs and CFL’s, you will save over time. LED’s are long lasting, durable, cool, more energy efficient, and mercury-free.
- Organize Closets: Sort through clothing, shoes, toys, accessories, and take out what you haven’t used in the last year. Reuse, recycle, repurpose, or donate. Install closet organizers and new shelves to create clutter-freeclosets.
- Clean Up Mudrooms and Entryways: Salty and sandy boots, bulky coats, gloves, hats, and scarves tend to pile up in mudrooms and entryways. Install rubber flooring or add a recycled rubber mat. Use bins, shelves, hooks, cubbies, and containers for storage and organization. Keep cleaning supplies and towels handy. Care for your pets when they come in by wiping their feet clear of sand, salt, and snow.