The holidays have passed, the decorations are down, the guests have returned home, and we’re still looking at a few more months of cold temperatures and long dreary nights… It’s easy to let the winter doldrums take hold. But it’s also a great time to tackle a handful of those household repair projects that you haven’t been able to get to the rest of the year. And the odds are it will boost your spirits when you can finally cross a few of those items off your to-do list.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Select just two or three projects you’d most like to tackle (as well as the budget and time you have to allot to them), and see these through to completion. Focus on indoor projects that won’t be delayed or made more complicated by the weather. Here are some suggestions, ranging from small to larger tasks:
Check doorknobs, hinges, cabinet pulls and drawer nobs around the house that may need tightening. Change out your furnace filter. Upgrade your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Reorganize a closet and other storage areas with an eye toward decluttering.
January is a great month for updating your home’s lighting. Maybe you’ve been contemplating adding recessed lights or under cabinet lights. Now would also be a fine time to install a ceiling fan.
Organize the garage, the area that most notoriously becomes a convenient dumping ground for everything that you couldn’t find anyplace else to store. Consider putting up shelves and possibly a peg board for hanging tools. Inventory those boxes, gardening implements and sporting goods to see what should remain and what needs to go away. Take the time to clearly mark boxes when you place them on shelves or return them to overhead storage so that you can know at a glance what they contain. It saves time and reduces frustration later.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and your budget will permit, winter is the perfect time to renovate your kitchen or your bathroom. Go as simple as adding a backsplash, painting walls, adding new cabinets, or if you like, go for something bigger—an entire remodel! If you’ve got more than one bathroom, then an upgrade is a minor inconvenience, at best. If you’re looking to change up your kitchen completely, then that will require a little more advance planning. Ensure that all the supplies are on site and that you have back-up cooking preparations in place before you begin, so that you don’t find yourself stranded in mid-remodel.
The best way to begin any winter home project is with a pencil and a pad of paper. Conduct a walk-through of your home, identifying and writing down all the things that could use some attention and tender loving care. Once the list is complete, prioritize the tasks you’ve identified. As mentioned earlier, pick the two or three that seem most important to you personally, and tackle those. Keep the list for reference further down the road. When these upgrades are complete, you can move on to the next items you’d like to see finished.
Handle those chores that you are most comfortable undertaking on your own; if your free time is limited or you have any doubt about your abilities to successfully complete the projects you’ve selected, call in the experts to ensure things are done quickly and correctly. Your local Handyman Matters office has qualified craftsmen who can efficiently undertake virtually anything you might have on that list.