Maybe you’re looking to enhance your home to make the day-to-day just that little bit easier, or perhaps you’re considering selling your home this year and would like to improve its aesthetic appeal?
Whatever the reason is for wanting to shake things up, it makes things much easier if you arrange everything into bitesize chunks over the course of the next twelve months. Some of the points in the following blog are season specific, but in the main, you can mix and match tasks depending on your lifestyle and budget.
January: Arrange the Cupboards
The cupboards tend to end up in a whirl of disarray around Christmas time. By taking the time to organise your food storage arrangement in January, you can discard anything from the festive period that you don’t want and remove any unhealthy temptations that might end up derailing your 2019 resolutions.
This process is also a cathartic one, as you’re creating space, you can arrange your food, label it and put it in its own place. This might sound like a hassle you don’t need, however, taking some extra time to give your cupboard items their own home means you’ll save time and energy in the long run.
Here are a few suggested categories:
- Evening meals
February: Refresh The Bathroom
Every morning and evening you’ll spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom. But it’s often a room that’s passed off in favour of those you spend more time in.
But, if you’re trying to sell your home, the reality is that the bathroom is one of the key selling points and can make a difference in how quickly your home sells. There’s no need for a complete overhaul, but updating leaky taps and outdated hardware can really go a long way.
Below are some low-cost, high-impact solutions for your bathroom:
- Give the walls a lick of paint – using mould and mildew-proof primers prevents damp buildup.
- Replace old taps on the sink, bath and shower. Choosing metal taps brings more light into the room.
- Change towel bars, toilet roll holders and light fixtures to create a consistent feel to the room.
- Replace old towels with beautiful, bright materials, add lovely smelling soaps and candles. Even if you don’t plan on using them, they can create a warming embrace for any viewing potential home buyer.
March: Replace Worn Flooring & Carpets
Over the course of time, flooring and carpets are subject to wear and tear; especially if you’ve got little ones running around. Replacing vinyl and worn out carpet with glueless laminated boards is a great way to add class and style to a room without breaking the bank.
Laminate boards are easy to put down and work by just clicking together. It’s simple enough that you could have a small to medium sized room completed in a few hours.
There are a few things to bear in mind about laminate planks:
- Laminate planks can look like hardwood flooring and will make a room look very sophisticated if installed correctly.
- Laminate planks are connected by a tongue-and-groove construction, which is really simple to join together.
- Laminate is scratch and stain resistant but should any moisture get in behind the boards it will damage them, which is why special requirements are needed for bathrooms.
Of course, if laminate flooring isn’t for you, then a nice, thick carpet can really create a cosy feel, especially in bedrooms and living areas.
April: Wash External Windows
You’ve avoided cleaning your windows for months, perhaps even years, but April is absolutely the perfect time to get it done – it’s starting to get drier, and it’s not too hot and let’s face it, dirty windows aren’t going to impress potential buyers.
Ideally, the windows need to be cleaned twice a year, once in spring to remove the grime left behing after the winter months and then again in autumn to remove pollen and insect buildup and streaks from showers in the summer.
For best results:
- Wait for an overcast day.
- Dust the windows on the inside and hose down the outside ones.
- Use a clean sponge to rinse the glass with warm water and washing up liquid.
- Use a cloth, some kitchen roll or even a newspaper to remove any dirt and grime from the window panes.
- Then wipe down the sills and edges with a soft, dry towel.
May: Scrub The BBQ
May marks the start of BBQ season, many of us love to make the most of the warmer weather when it comes our way.
There’s a good chance your BBQ has sat over winter, with much of the grime and grease still present from last summer, but scrubbing your grilling equipment needn’t be as difficult as it seems:
- Just disconnect the gas (where applicable) and soak the grates in warm, soapy water.
- Scrub under the lid and along the inside.
- Scrub the grates and rinse them down with a bucket of water or the hose.
- Wipe the inner heating sections very carefully with a soft brush and put the grates back on.
- Clean the facia and any other sections where grime and streaks may be present.
June: Prepare the Garden
Gardens are something that many homeowners take for granted, but trying to relax of a summer evening becomes increasingly difficult if you’ve neglected the garden.
Sorting out the garden is something that the whole family can get involved in and is fantastic exercise.
Here are a few tips for making your garden a great space:
- Cutting The Grass – Your lawn won’t have grown much over winter, but as the warm weather starts to creep in, you’ll find it grows very quickly. It’s essential that you’re delicate with the grass, if you mow it when the weather is too warm, it can expose the soil, sucking up the moisture, which can kill the grass. On the other hand, if you’ve got kids, then you’ll need to make sure you find a good height that prevents the garden turning into a meadow and protects the soil from the summer heat.
- Weeding – At this point weeds will be growing, which means that they’ll be taking away valuable moisture from the plants and flowers. Remove them.
Just bear in mind, that in removing weeds and long grass, you may be destroying key food sources and habitats for numerous insects such as bees, and birds too. It’s important to replace what you’ve removed with flowers and plants.
July: Tidy Up Social Spaces
Now summer is in full swing, it’s likely that you’ll be more inclined to entertain, which means you’ll require space to do so.
During winter, areas like conservatories and decking can begin to look cluttered and neglected. But, by tidying these social areas, you can create a great space to entertain and spend time with your friends and family.
Firstly, it’s important to sort through your items and decide what you will keep, give away or discard. Finding a more appropriate place for items is also a good idea, for example, gardening equipment will be much better off in the shed or garage than sat on the deck.
The most liberating part of this process is the fact that you can get rid of all the clutter that’s been knocking around all winter that you don’t need.
August: Give Everywhere a Lick of Paint
Assuming the weather isn’t too warm, August is a perfect month for painting because you can leave your windows and doors open to let out the paint fumes.
It’s also an excellent time to consider exploring with different colours and patterns since brighter options will give the room a much-needed lift during the long, dark winter months.
To prepare a room for painting:
- Scrubbing down the walls with sugar soap will remove grease, stains and dust which helps the paint settle more quickly.
- Sanding down woodwork to a lighter, smoother finish, which will help the paint hold more efficiently.
- Fill and smooth down any cracks or holes.
- Using a stain-blocking primer will help to hide stains.
- Before painting, tape off the edges to windows and doors and above the skirting board to prevent flecks of paint landing where they shouldn’t.
September: Winter Preparations
Now summer has begun to drift away, and autumn starts to take over, it’s important to start preparing your home for the cold weather – probably the most significant and most crucial task in this calendar. The cold may be setting in, but there are several tasks you should undertake before you even consider turning on the heating:
- Bleed your radiators to remove any air pockets in the system.
- Use caulk or filler to replace weatherstripping that may have come away around the edges of windows. You could be paying far more for your energy bills if you’re relying on inadequate insulation.
- Test your central heating system to ensure there are no leaks and its working correctly.
- Muck out your gutters and downspouts to prevent ice blockages and overflow during heavy rain as this can push water under your roof tiles.
October: Spruce Up The Kitchen
Another important aspect on a potential home buyers decision is the kitchen and one that has seen better days won’t be likely to entice anyone.
Plus, if you’re not looking to sell, but are hosting over Christmas and New Year, then it makes perfect sense to get things done early.
- Check that all your taps are functioning properly and get them replaced, similar to what we suggested for February.
- Decide how and if you’ll be overhauling the kitchen entirely.
- Create a festive cooking schedule. It may seem early, but getting little details like this nailed down takes some of the stress away from the run-up to the festive season.
- Purchase all of your ingredients. There nothing worse than clambering around on the 24th looking for the things you thought you had, only to have to go out to brave the hordes in the shops.
- Test your oven, if don’t use it all that much.
November: Prepare For The Merriment
December is an incredibly busy month, and there’s always a few extra finishing touches that you just never get around to, which is why it’s best to get a head start in November.
- Clean the carpets with a carpet cleaner.
- Stock up on Christmas essentials – it wouldn’t be Christmas without mulled wine, after all.
- Rearrange your furniture and make room for your tree and other decorations.
- Take your decorations out of storage replace broken or outdated ones.
December: The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
It’s time to deck the halls, and isn’t this everyone’s favourite time of the year?
Because you’ve prepared a good deal of the essentials ahead of time, you’ve created yourself some time to decorate, bake and spend time with your loved ones.
This calendar is, as we’ve mentioned, is not an exhaustive list, some jobs may be dependant on the weather, your budget and how desperately specific tasks need to be completed.
Setting out a plan means that you can keep track of your budgets and move things around depending on your commitments and goals. When restyling your home, the smaller things make all the difference, particularly when you’re trying to sell.