If you’re looking to improve your home and make changes that will make your life just that little bit easier, doesn’t it make sense to put together a very careful plan to keep track of everything, piece-by-piece? We’ve decided to make things even easier for you, by putting together a 12-month home improvement calendar. Many of these options are specific to the seasons, but overall you can mix and match to suit your life commitments and budgets.
January: Organise the Cupboards
This process makes keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions so much easier. By organising your kitchen cupboards, you can throw away all those unhealthy extras from Christmas and restock with the healthier foods you need to give your 2018 a great start. The good thing about this process is that you can kill two birds with one stone – not only are you clearing out the things you no longer need, but you can also label each area and put things in their own place. It may sound like a somewhat unnecessary hassle, but once everything is organised into the categories, you will save time and energy which you can refocus elsewhere, below are a few example categories:
- Healthy Options
- Baking Supplies
- Evening Meals
- Food Storage (grouped by food type)
February: Decorate the Bathroom
You spend every morning and every evening in the bathroom, and it’s often an area that gets overlooked in favour of rooms that you spend more time in. But, now Christmas is over and done with, it’s time to ditch the excuses and make the bathroom look as good as the rest of your home. Upgrading tired surfaces and replacing broken fixtures can do a lot for the feel of the room as a whole. Below we have listed some lost-cost, high-impact alterations that you could make:
- Paint the walls with mould and mildew-proof primers and paints to prevent damp buildup.
- Replace worn out taps on the sink, bath and shower. Choosing stylish metal brings more brightness to the room.
- Upgrade towel bars, toilet roll holders and lighting fixtures to bring consistency to the room.
- Replace the frayed towels with colourful options and even add nice soaps and candles to creating an inviting environment.
March: Replace Flooring
Over time floors tend to become scuffed and worn; this will especially true if you have little ones or you’ve had family over for Christmas. Replacing vinyl or even worn out carpet with glueless laminate boards is a budget-friendly way to add a lot to a room with relatively little effort. Laminate boards are really easy to install and work by clicking together. In fact, depending on the size of the room, you could have the job done in a day or so. Below are some things to bear in mind about installing laminate planks:
- Laminate planks look a lot like hardwood flooring and can make a room look very sophisticated if installed properly.
- Laminate planks are held together by a sort of tongue-and-groove construction so it’s really easy to click together.
- Laminate is scratch and stain resistant but could be damaged if water gets in behind the boards, which means special requirements are needed for bathrooms.
April: Wash External Windows
You’ve been avoiding it for months, maybe even years, but external window cleaning needs to be done twice a year: once in spring to remove grime left by the winter months and then again in autumn to remove pollen, insects and streaks from summer showers. Follow these tips for best results:
- Choose an overcast day.
- Dust the windows internally and hose down the outside windows.
- Use the sponge to wash the glass with warm water and washing up liquid.
- Wipe the panes clean with lint-free cloths, newspaper or kitchen roll.
- Wipe the edges and sills with a clean, dry towel.
May: Clean Out the BBQ
May marks the unofficial start to the BBQ season, as soon as we so much as hear of warmer temperatures coming our way, we’re outside trying to make the most of it. We have a love/hate relationship with the BBQ – on the one hand, we love to cook up tasty treats, but on the other, we have to clean it afterwards. Here’s how to clean a BBQ in 15 minutes:
- Disconnect gas and soak the grates in warm water and washing up liquid.
- Scrub under the lid.
- Clean the inside walls.
- Scrub the soaked grates and rinse with a hose or bucket of clean water.
- Carefully wipe inner heating elements with a soft brush and replace the grates.
- Clean externally to remove and grime and streaks.
June: Get Stuck into The Garden
Having a garden is something many of us take for granted, but during this time of year it’s great to relax outdoors, and that’s difficult to do if your garden is somewhat neglected. Not only is sorting the garden great for relaxation and for the body as a whole, it’s an activity the whole family can get involved in and you can also begin to get the garden prepared for the winter months and the following summer. Below are some tips for making your garden a great space again
- Cut the Grass. The new trend of letting your grass grow into a meadow may work for some, but it might not be a great idea if you have kids.
- Weeds will be growing as quickly as the flowers by this point, so it’s time to get the trowel out.
Top Tip: If you’re removing long grass and weeds, it’s really important to remember that they could be home to insects. Insects and birds are vital to a ‘total ecosystem’ of a garden, therefore it’s important to replace what you have removed with plants and flowers.
July: Clean Conservatory or Social Spaces
As the weather starts to perk up, you’ll be hosting more and this often means long evenings relaxing with a glass of wine with the people you love. During the winter period, social spaces like conservatories can begin to resemble a glorified storage area, but sorting through all the things that have been dumped there during the winter means that you can create a great social space.
- Sort through your things in the same manner you would with any room. What will you keep, give away or bin?
- Find more appropriate places for items. For example, gardening equipment can be stored in a shed or garage.
- Rid yourself of the clutter. Get rid of those Christmas presents you never used and the board games with missing pieces.
August: Refresh the Home with a Lick of Paint
Providing it’s not too hot, this time of year is great for internal painting because you can leave windows and doors open for ventilation. It’s a great time to think about experimenting with colour too as brighter options will give the room a bit of a lift during the cold, dark winter months. Here are some tips for preparing any room for painting:
- Wash down the walls with sugar soap to remove grime, grease and dust. This helps the paint settle more quickly.
- Lightly sand down any woodwork to create a smoother finish – this helps the paint hold more effectively.
- Fill any cracks or holes and smooth down.
- You can now buy stain-blocking primer which will help hide any unsightly stains.
- Tape off edges to doors, windows and skirting boards.
September: Prepare Your Home for Winter
Maintaining your home is a year-round task, but getting ready for the cold snap is probably the biggest and most important of all of the tasks we’ve mentioned. Perhaps you’re contemplating when to turn on the heating, but before you do ensure these tasks are completed:
- Inspect and bleed radiators to remove any air pockets.
- Use filler to replace any weatherstripping that may have come loose around the windows (internal and external), you can lose hundreds of pounds every year through inadequate insulation.
- Inspect your doors, replace any doors that are damaged or ineffective at keeping in the heat. Our internal doors range is extensive and we’re sure to have a solution that suits all tastes and budgets.
- Have your central heating system tested to ensure there are no leaks and it is working effectively.
- Clean gutters and downspouts to avoid overflow and ice blocks which can push water underneath roofing tiles.
October: Update Your Kitchen
If you’re entertaining over Christmas and New Year then it makes sense to get all the necessary updates done early.
- Check all taps work correctly and replace if needed.
- Decide how and if you will decorate the kitchen.
- Create a cooking schedule. Making this as early as possible will take some stress away during the run-up to the big day.
- Get your ingredients. There's nothing worse than scrambling around for those things you really need just days before the 25th.
- Check you have enough plates, cutlery and chairs.
- If you don't use your oven much, then it's a good idea to test it by using it much more frequently.
November: Prepare for the Festivities
December is a very busy period and there’s not always time to do those extra finishing touches that you always plan but never get around to.
- Clean the carpets with a carpet cleaner.
- Stock up on Christmas essentials – it wouldn’t be Christmas without Quality Street, after all.
- Move furniture and make space for the tree and other decorations.
- Bring all the decorations out of storage and replace those that are broken or outdated.
December: Deck the Halls
Isn’t this everyone’s favourite time of year?
- Put up the decorations.
- Decorate the tree.
Because you’ve prepared a lot of the essentials ahead of time, you’ve made some free time to get the family involved in decorating, making decorations, baking and generally getting the house cosy for Christmas. This calendar is of course not an exhaustive or definitive list: some jobs can be moved around depending on the weather, budgets and whether these jobs actually need to be done, for example, you may have already revamped your bathroom.
Setting out a plan means that you can keep track of your budgets and move things around depending on your commitments and goals. If you’re looking to restyle your home the smaller things make all the difference and if you’re looking to replace your doors or could just do with some advice visit our Lutterworth showroom or contact us today.