Some of the more common new year’s resolutions include finally giving up smoking or shifting a few of those Christmas pounds. Another popular option is to do more work around the house, even though this often goes slightly more under the radar than its more health-conscious alternatives. With bank holiday season on the horizon, however, the new year is certainly the time to give thought to little jobs that can be done to give the house a lift in time for spring.
Paint the ceilings
Not the simplest of jobs in terms of physical exertion (the arms are sure to feel leaden afterwards), painting the ceiling is one of those quick tasks that provides a vast improvement when completed. Just going over old paint with something new and a little fresher will keep the room’s overall colour scheme perfectly in tact, but make it appear lighter and more airy right away. For those who smoke, this is even more of a beneficial task as it will stop ceilings from becoming yellowed from the nicotine.
Tend to the garden
With summer on its way, those who are lucky enough to have a garden can look forward to long evening spent outside enjoying the fact that those days of it being pitch black at 4pm are long gone. It can be hard to relax, however, in a garden that’s overgrown or just a little untidy. Instead, spending the early spring giving the area a good once-over should help ensure that any touch up work ahead of any summer heatwaves is short and simple, leaving more time for a drink or two under the sun.
Replace cupboard doors
Another task which requires little outlay in terms of cost or time but pays dividend where results are concerned is replacing cupboard doors. Families who have spent out large amounts on Christmas just gone may not have the luxury of replacing all of their bathroom or kitchen units, but get that sinking feeling whenever they look at them. There’s no need for dismay, though, as the simple task of replacing just the doors can give the view of having put in a whole new suite, even if it’s just a quick screwdriver job. Similarly, leaving the doors in tact but replacing the handles can give new life to tired, old storage.
Treat your timber
Whether it’s on walls, floors, wardrobes, beds, storage units, garden furniture or anything else, many of us have a small forest worth of wood around the home. With busy lives and even busier Christmases, however, it can be easy to forget that some of these may need to be treated in order to look their best and last long into the future. This two-fold reason, though, should be enough to encourage those with wooden fittings to get out their paintbrushes at some point in the new year. Then, with the treatment done, woods will not only look much better, but be much better protected against the rigours of daily use as well.
Re-tile the bathroom
Whilst this is more of a weekend job than an afternoon one, tiling the bathroom can give the place an entire overhaul and make it look brand new. Tired tiles or ageing grout only end up making bathrooms look dour at best, awfully old-fashioned at worst. Stripping them away and changing for something a little more modern, colourful or just fresh, however, can lift the entire bathroom and help create something that doesn’t look fresh out of a time warp.
Brighten up bannisters
Another job similar to painting the ceilings (although much easier on the arms) is brightening up bannisters. Those with staircases will often find that simple over use from using it every time anyone goes up or down the stairs can leave even the purest, most brilliant white paint looking much greyer. Some really unloved bannisters are even plagued by chips, cracks or missing individual bannisters to give a broken, disjointed look. For this, finding – or even, for the rather handy, making – a replacement, filling the holes and giving it a lick of paint should be relatively straightforward but the end result is an almost immeasurable improvement.
Spruce up the doors
Internal doors can also be done the same time as the bannisters, as they are often finished in the same white or cream paint. Likewise, from months or years of daily use, they can become tired-looking and dirty, which only a good scrub or entire re-paint can sort. When there, old, tarnished handles can also be replaced, thereby giving it the look of a whole new door, even if it just required a little sugar soap, some paint and a shiny new handle.
Deep clean the carpet
Occasionally, homeowners will do away with their quick flick around with the vacuum cleaner and give their carpets much more of a scrub. Those wanting to take the process further still may wish to deep clean the flooring to brighten up the place and give colour back to steadily blackening carpets. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available which can help do just this, from DIY chemical kits that can be used with most cleaners to much more sophisticated equipment which can be rented for a day or weekend.
Top-up loft insulation
This is certainly not a job that will give your home a visual sparkle, but one that helps homeowners feel happier and more comfortable once it’s done. Loft insulation will indeed last for years – as the stories of poor biodegradability will attest – but it can still lose some of its efficacy over time. For those who have insulation with age that’s measured in decades not years, a top up might be on the cards. Thankfully, only those who need to see what’s underneath need to rip up the old material. Instead, simply laying newer insulation over the top should help add to the older material, thereby making the occupier both warmer and more well off.
Give metal back its lustre
Door handles aren’t the only metals around the house which can be lifted with a little treatment. Shower heads, taps and sinks often start to look messy if left for too long. Furthermore, those living in areas with very hard water need to be especially on top of this, as large levels of lime in the water can lead to the scaling which not only looks unattractive but can even damage the fittings.
It’s easily rectified, though, with just some kitchen and bathroom cleaner, gloves, an old rag and some even older clothes. Doing all of this across the kitchen and bathroom should then give the whole place much more of a sparkle, without too much time or money expenditure.
These are all simple tasks that can be done over the course of just one weekend. Therefore, if sprucing up the home is indeed one of your new year’s resolutions, there should be no reason to renege upon it.
Author: George Mitchell