1 / RefreshOnce the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed, your home can feel a bit empty. Fight the winter blues by giving your abode a good cleaning and boosting comfort with candles, cozy throws, warm drinks and good music.
2 / OrganizeDid you receive new gadgets or appliances last year? Flip through that stack of old manuals and warranties—tossing out paperwork for stuff you no longer own—and send in forms to activate new warranties as needed. Store everything together in one binder or document box.
3 / SanitizeCold and flu season is at its height. Do what you can to keep illness at bay by regularly sanitizing often-handled surfaces. Tables and counters are obvious spots, but don’t miss areas like doorknobs, faucets, phones and other tech devices.
4 / InspectGet ahead of problems by carefully looking over your home’s exterior after each storm, especially keeping an eye out for tree limbs that have come down and any damage to your roof or siding; also, make sure rain gutters are free of debris.
5 / ProtectInsulate any exposed outdoor pipes or plants to prevent freezing. If you plan to be away from your home for a long period of time, have a friend or neighbor stop by to turn on your water to a trickle and cover your citrus trees. Find out where your home’s water shut-off valve is, if you don’t know already, so you can quickly turn it off if a pipe does burst. Lastly, change out the old batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
6 / DonateInstead of packing new holiday goodies into overstuffed closets and drawers, take a few minutes to edit out similar items to donate. This goes for linen and shoe closets, too. The lightened load will allow you to feel 2015 ready!
Kerrie L. Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and the newly released ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit kerriekelly.com or call 916-919-3023.