Monday, December 29, 2014

Helpful Habits For Homeowners

It's that time of year again where we start thinking about resolutions and goals.  When you're making out your list of what you want to accomplish in the coming year, don't forget to include goals for your home.

Maybe you're planning to move.  Or maybe you want to tackle a huge renovation.  Or maybe you just want to get better at general maintenance.  Whatever you are trying to accomplish, you will be more likely to succeed at your goals if you write them down and establish good habits that will help you accomplish that goal.  We've suggested a couple that will help you out no matter what.

Habit 1:  Make your bed...every day.

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Making your bed is what some experts call a Keystone Habit, which is a habit that sets a chain reaction leading to other good habits which can ultimately transform your entire life.  Why is making your bed a keystone habit?  It takes very little time to accomplish, it gives you a sense that you've already accomplished something (a small win), and it sets the stage for productivity and happiness the rest of the day.

Habit 2:  Use your calendar

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Part of the reason we don't accomplish so many things regarding our homes is because we don't put those tasks on our calendar.  Spring cleaning seems to always get bumped to summer, then to fall then to winter and then we find ourselves going a whole year and still haven't cleaned the top of the cupboards.  Or you find that it's starting to snow and you still didn't put in that garden that you wanted to get started this year.  If you had a reminder on your calendar that you wanted to get these jobs done, you'd be much more likely to accomplish them.

Whether you use your phone, or your computer, or prefer a printed calendar, just use it!  Start by making a list of whatever you want to accomplish for your home that year, what steps are involved and how much time each one takes.  Then take a look at whatever else you have going on in your life that year.  If you have a big graduation party planned for the end of May, that would probably not be the best time to be in the middle of a bathroom renovation.  Plan out each step and put it on your calendar.  Block off weekends to get the work done.  Mark deadlines on your calendar for tasks that need to be accomplished before the next phase of the project needs to start.

Habit 3:  Break big goals into many small, attainable goals

Let's say you want to tackle a big renovation.  That's a big task!  But it can only get accomplished if you actually get started on it.  Make a plan of tasks that need to be accomplished to reach the final destination.  For example, you might break down this big renovation into a few major steps like Planning, Budgeting, and Execution.  Then break each of these steps down further into many manageable tasks.  Get each of these down on a calendar so that you can see what needs to be done each month, and each week and each day.  There's nothing like crossing off a item on your checklist and knowing that you're one step closer to your goal.

Habit 4:  Start a house fund

When it comes to maintaining our home, sadly many of us wait until something breaks to fix it and then we find we don't have the funds to cover it.  So we scramble to find the money, many times going into debt to do it.  A much better way to handle maintenance is to set aside a little money every payday for your house fund.  This way there will be money in there if any unexpected problems arise and also for regular maintenance tasks that help prevent many of those unexpected problems in the first place.  Make a list of maintenance tasks for your home, decide how much it costs for a year of maintenance, then divide that amount by your pay periods and start setting aside that amount every time you get paid.  Before you know it, maintaining your house will be an easy habit because you have the money and the schedule for when it needs to be done.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

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