Your home's New Year's resolutions

By Tom Phelan - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Wed., Jan. 2, 2013
- Contributed Photo

New Year's Day is usually the time when many people make their resolutions for the coming year. The percentage of people who actually realize resolution success at the end of the year has to be infinitesimally small.

Several years ago, I shifted more toward a non-committal "maybe I can do this in the new year" technique. Making resolutions at the beginning of a year was silly. Why not just make them several times during the year? If you can be serious about them, you will make them happen - maybe before the year is out, maybe after. Making a resolution means being resolute.

So if you could have a conversation with your home, what would you suppose its resolutions would be for 2013?

One of the common resolutions many people make is to lose weight. If your house needs to lose weight, perhaps you can help it keep that resolution. Weight has a lot to do with bloating - being overstuffed.

If you have lived in your home for a number of years, you might have accumulated excess in many areas. You have clothes stored that you haven't worn for years, and never will wear again. Cart them off to Goodwill or the Salvation Army store, or any other charitable drop-off point that will turn them into something good. Better yet, lay all those clothes out, take pictures of them, make a quick list, and write them off as a charitable deduction on your 2013 tax return. Resolve to turn your excess clothing into something positive, both for yourself and for someone else. Consignment stores offer another quick fix for storage glut. Most will take clothes with brand name and designer labels. You should be able to find motivation down one of those avenues.

Even if you have lived in your home just a short time, but moved there from a place in which you were settled for 10 years or more, you probably just moved boxed up belongings that never got unpacked. Maybe that excess freight takes up a significant portion of your attic or basement. How about turning that massive stack into your own version of “Storage Wars”? List it online as a wholesale lot, or plan to set it out in the driveway on the first nice day of spring with a sign that says, "Highest bidder takes it all." If it's already in bulk, get rid of it in bulk.

That unused ski equipment in the garage, attic or basement may not be the latest style and technology, but it may be sound and functional enough to get someone up on skis for the first time or the first time in a long time. The internet and curbside are both good outlets for it.

That fold-away exercise equipment that remains in the basement will be snapped up in a minute. Check out the Good Neighbor section of the ReminderNews, where readers are frequently looking for such things.

If your children have been out of your home for a few years, chances are excellent they are using your living quarters as their personal storage locker. Every season they stop by to visit, and happen to drop off the winter clothes and leave with the spring and summer wear. Sound familiar? You can handle this any way you choose. Just do it!

How many boxes of plastic trophies documenting their youthful sports exploits are tucked in the back of the closet in what was formerly "their room?" Did they go away to school, and do you still have one or more trunks of “Grade A" genuine, just-can't-do-without-it junk? Slide those out into the driveway on a nice spring day with one of those "highest bidder takes it all" signs. Invite them over to enjoy the purge.

If there's one resolution you can help your house with, be resolute about helping it lose weight. Then you can sit back, and listen to your home breathe a sigh of relief.

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