According to the Forbes Health/OnePoll survey conducted in October 2023, improving physical fitness is a top priority for folks making resolutions for the new year. Forty-eight percent of respondents reported improving fitness as their top goal in 2024. This is followed by 38% prioritizing improving finances, 36% looking to improve their mental health, 34% prioritizing weight loss, and 25% wanting to make more time for loved ones. (Forbes.com)
I’m guessing this means we are going to see even more folks hitting the pickleball courts this year, and they might even be doing it with their families to combine the goals of fitness, weight loss, and spending time with loved ones.
Being more active is always on my list of resolutions and, going into my fifth year as a widow, spending as much time as possible with loved ones is a priority every day of the year. For 2024, I am thinking that I also want to focus on home organization and continuing my seemingly never-ending list of projects around the house. If you, too, also seem to always be in home repair or home improvement mode, here are some resolutions for you and me to consider adding to our lists this year.
1. Use local contractors.
If your house project list includes maintenance, repairs, or renovations that require a professional, support your neighbors and the local economy by hiring local contractors. If you plan on completing home improvement projects on your own, head to one of our local hardware stores, nurseries, or the lumberyard for the materials, tools, and garden features you need.
2. Support local businesses.
If redecorating your home or improving organization is more in line with your goals for 2024, shop local to help build community and support the local economy.
3. Donate your gently loved clothing and household items to local charities.
Clearing clutter is always on my to-do list. One of the bigger projects I am planning for this year is to finally really clean out and organize the garage. As I slowly work on this project, I have come across so many items I no longer need. If you could also stand to let go of belongings you no longer need or use, consider clearing your clutter for a cause by donating them to local organizations that help folks in need. For example, donations to 2nd Helpings Thrift Store (841 East Ojai Avenue) help provide lower-cost necessities for local families while also supporting the important services HELP of Ojai provides.
4. Set up home maintenance reminders.
Add reminders to your phone, calendar, or other preferred system to help you remember regular home maintenance tasks. This includes tasks like changing your furnace filters every one to three months, cleaning your refrigerator coils every six months, cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year, and having your chimneys cleaned and inspected before you start using your fireplaces each winter.
5. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
It is best to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and to check the batteries every six months, but, since I know you are not testing them monthly, let’s at least get it on your list of home maintenance resolutions to check them now. Then, see #4 above and set up a reminder to regularly perform this very important home maintenance task.
Happy new year, everyone! May 2024 bring you health, joy, love, prosperity, and adventure however you define each of those.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
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