Sunday, January 1, 2012

Make New Year's resolutions close to home


As each year comes to a close, people begin to make resolutions - typically, vowing to start something new in the year ahead, such as lose weight, get a new job, start volunteering and so on. Making resolutions is easy; the hard part is keeping them. However, there are a few things you can do at home that might actually help you achieve some of your New Year's goals. Start 2012 on the right foot with this list of easy home updates and tips to help conquer your New Year's resolutions.


Develop better eating habits
* Research shows that people tend to eat less when surrounded by the color blue. Repaint your kitchen or dining room in a blue hue to help naturally suppress your appetite. And, painting is a great way to tone your arms if you also resolve to get in shape. Once the paint dries, clean out your pantry and replace any high-calorie or fatty foods with healthier options.


Help the environment
* Growing concern for the environment prompts many people to resolve to be more green. Your refrigerator runs all day, every day, which accounts for a large percentage of your home's energy usage. Keeping your refrigerator's thermostat set between 38 and 42 degrees will help save energy and keep your food from spoiling.


Give to others or volunteer
* Clean out your closets and collect any gently used items you and your family no longer use or need. There are a number of national and local organizations that accept clothing donations; some will even pick up the items directly from your home. Beyond clothing, consider giving previously used toys, games, books or materials for crafts to the local hospital or day care center.


Spend more time with family and friends
* After a long day at work or school, not to mention all of life's other activities and events, the last thing you want to do is spend your downtime cleaning your home. Look for household products and tools that keep cleaning time to a minimum.
The AccuClean(TM) whole-home air filtration system from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning attaches to your furnace or air handler to reduce dust accumulation in the home by more than 50 percent, which means you'll spend less time cleaning and have more time for your family and friends.


Learn something new
* One of the most common resolutions centers around conquering a fear or trying something new. Take a look at your home and challenge yourself to tackle home improvement projects on your own.
Finish an unfinished basement, build an outdoor play space for the kids or renovate a bathroom. Not only will you conquer any do-it-yourself fears, but any revamp of your home will only add to its value and resale potential.
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