1. Cut down on hoarding.
Even when it is not an extreme case of hoarding, holding on to certain household items for too long can be a risk. The National Fire Protection Association, a nonprofit organization devoted to fire safety, affirms that hoarding behaviors such as keeping newspapers, clothing and other flammable items can increase the chances of experiencing a disaster in the home. Make 2017 a fresh year by spending these first few days cleaning out all of the closets, basement, attic and any other areas of the home that have been cluttered with items that are no longer of any use.
2. Focus on energy efficiency.
The Alliance to Save Energy, a group that supports energy efficiency, explains that the average cost of utilities for homeowners is more than $5,500, and that relatively simple changes can greatly reduce that sum. The organization states that energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs can cut 30-80% of electric bills, while good habits also can have a substantive impact. Make sure you are turning lights and appliances off when they are not in use. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient iterations of these assets to save big this year.
3. Keep the entryway clear.
The front entrance into the house is often too cluttered. This could present a risk if there is an emergency and you have to get the family out quickly. Make sure your entryway is clear so that you do not experience a "front-door pile up." Use home management solutions to keep shoes, coats, bags and equipment organized. If you do not have a closet near the front door, consider installing one. This could make keeping this particular resolution all the more feasible.
4. Reduce food waste.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization that pushes for more intelligent management of natural resources, estimates America wastes roughly 40% of its food each year, which is valued at about $165 billion. That's roughly $1300 in losses per household per year, which is quite a chunk of change. Plan out your grocery shopping, meals and other elements of consumption to bring your household into the zero-food-waste category in 2017.
5. Improve defenses against disasters.
Natural disasters caused more than $1 billion in household losses in each of 12 weather-related disasters in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government entity devoted to climate research. Fix your roof, repair your foundation, storm-proof your home's exterior and tackle any and all other necessary home improvement projects to reduce disaster-related risks in 2017.