COIT’s Top 3 New Years’ Resolutions for the Home

New Years is when we resolve to do better and live happy, healthier, more productive lives.  Many people resolve to keep their homes cleaner, tidier, and more organized.  But without a more specific plan, those clean intentions are hard to lice up to.  Here are COIT’s resolutions for a cleaner home in 2015. 

1. Stop Blaming Yourself for Clutter

Feeling bad about yourself for being messy, lazy, or disorganized is not productive. It is more productive to focus on solving the problem then to buy into the idea that the home is messy because you have a personality flaw. When there is an area of your home that is perpetually messy, you need to change something about the space to add functionality. Are your shoes all over the place?  Chances are you don't have adequate storage.  Keys missing?  Mail all over the place?  Sound like you need to create an entryway/landing pad.

2. Create a Home Maintenance Calendar with Reminders

Check the smoke alarm batteries twice a year.  Change the air filters every three months.  Or was it every month?  Twice a year?  It is no wonder these infrequent tasks get forgotten, but they can be critical to the health and safety of your home.  That’s why our #2 resolution is to create a home maintenance calendar.  Ideally, you should create these reminders as action items in a digital calendar, though if your use a paper calendar or planner that will work too.  One of the benefits of a digital calendar is that you can copy and paste the reminders or automatically set them to reoccur in monthly, quarterly or bi-yearly.   


  • Seal tile that sees high use
  • Flush your hot water heater
  • Clean the dryer vent
  • Have a chimney?  Clean it once a year
  • Get your home’s air ducts professionally cleaned, especially if you have allergies
  • Inspect the fire extinguisher
  • Test your home’s sump pump if you have one

Every Six Months

  • Change the smoke alarm batteries
  • Clean gutters in the fall and spring to protect your home from water damage
  • Do you have an outdoor A/C Unit?  Clean the coils and grills

Every 2-4 Months

  • Some HVAC filters, check with your HVAC installer of manufacturer
  • Some water filters, check the instructions
  • Clean the range hood and fans
  • Check the smoke alarm


  • Some HVAC filters, check with your HVAC installer of manufacturer
  • Some water filters, check the instructions
  • Clean dishwasher drain bin

3. Give Away One Bag of Something Each Month

 Simplifying is hot right now.  But the idea of going though, sorting, and getting rid of everything can be overwhelming.  Set a reminder for yourself each month, pick and area or category, and fill one shopping bag with things you think you can live without.  This can be broad, like clothing, or narrow like sweaters.  Don't think that you have to make yourself clean out an entire area or category, the whole job; you can stop at one bag.  Items to consider: books, clothes, dishes, cooking implements, sports gear, old electronics, and toys. Old toiletries and medicines should be thrown away. Tip- don’t flush medicines down the toilet, as they can end up in the water supply.  Instead, either take advantage of a local medicine take-back day or empty the remaining pills it a sealed trash bag with unpalatable substances like kitty litter, coffee grounds, and scrap food. 

The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of what you want to accomplish in your life.  With a practical plan, you can have a cleaner, happier home without being overwhelmed and discouraged.