A new year is the perfect time to look at your home and lifestyle with fresh eyes. Perhaps you want to get your home organized after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, purchase new items to replace your outdated appliances or decor, create a cozy spot for curling up with your favorite books, or look for an entirely new home in 2022. No matter your goals, this inaugural issue of Good to Be Home can help.
For many people, the holiday season is the busiest time of year. So it can be hard to get your home and life back to some semblance of normalcy come January. The enclosed guide offers tips for storing away seasonal decor safely and cleaning suggestions to help you ease back into a more organized schedule.
The season of buying and gift-giving may be over, but this month is actually a great time to purchase specific home items at a major discount. Check out the list of great deals you can find on everything from major kitchen appliances to bed linens and more!
Winter is the best time of year to make your home a cozy and inviting space, and creating an at-home library is a great way to add a comfortable nook for unwinding. Learn how to make your own with the tips inside this issue.
If the past few years taught us anything, it’s that home should be a refuge and a place we can feel at ease. Whether you’re looking to make a move for your expanding family or relocate to the country for better access to nature, 2022 could be the year to find the home you’ve been dreaming of.
May the new year bring positive changes to your life and home. It’s a pleasure to send you this magazine!
After weeks of being holly and jolly, your holiday cheer can become a holiday headache when it’s time to get your home back to normal. However, your postholiday organization doesn’t have to be stressful. Use these tips to pack up your seasonal decor and prepare your home for the months ahead.
When packing your holiday items, consider reserving boxes for separate areas of your home. Keep items that decorate your living room in one box, items that go in your kitchen in another, and so on. This will help cut down the time spent unpacking and setting up your holiday decor in the future. Also, use clear plastic totes (you may still want to label each one) so you can easily see what is in each container when it comes to decorate again at the end of the year.
Before putting away your holiday lights, check each strand to ensure all the bulbs are still functioning. If some don’t light up, either replace the bulb or replace the entire strand of lights. Store your lights by winding them around a store-bought holder, a hanger, or wrapping paper tubes. Secure them with twist ties, and place them in a box.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to store small ornaments, repurpose egg cartons for an easy DIY option. Wrap delicate ornaments in tissue paper, and place each in a separate egg divot. Place each egg carton in a storage container, but make sure they are stored near the top to prevent breakage. If you have ornaments that are not fragile, you can repurpose a holiday tin you received as a gift as a festive container.
A tree bag is a helpful purchase if you put up an artificial Christmas tree. These bags help protect your tree from moisture, dust, and pests while in storage, and some varieties will allow you to store your tree fully assembled. To find a bag that fits your tree, measure the circumference and height while considering the tree’s fullness. If your artificial tree is very wide or full, bump your bag selection up a size.
Don’t let the end of the holidays dim your giving spirit. If you’re looking to cut back on the number of holiday items you have, try donating items such as:
After weeks of baking and cooking, your fridge and freezer may need some attention. Remove and toss anything expired or empty. If you have remaining leftovers, you may want to plan meals for the next few nights to make use of them. This is also an excellent time to clean your fridge, so remove all the items and wipe down the inside and outside, removing any spills, leaks, or crumbs.
Depending on what gifts you received for the holidays, you may want to reorganize your home to accommodate the new items. If you received new clothing, this could be the perfect time to revamp your wardrobe. Add the gifted clothing to your collection, and remove the oldest items from your closet, whether coats, shoes, or shirts. You can donate any items you remove that are in good condition to charity. If you received new electronics or furniture, get rid of older items and sell or donate them to avoid taking up unnecessary space.
Whether you hosted family members from out of town or entertained guests with a holiday party, January is a great time to give your home a deep cleaning. There’s nothing better than starting the new year with a home that’s clean from top to bottom. These tasks are a good place to start:
Even though the holidays are over, winter is here for several more weeks. This can be a great time to take some precautions to help your home stay spic-and-span for the months ahead. If you live in an area where inclement weather is an issue, set up a boot tray near your door to store wet footwear. You should also have a space to hang any wet clothing, and utilize mats and throw rugs in your entryways. Place towels near your doors to help you clean up any water or mud that gets on the floor. This is also helpful for wiping a dog’s dirty paws after a winter walk.
Happy New Year! Now that 2022 is here, you’ll want to focus on your New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve resolved to improve your home, get more sleep, or focus on your health, then you are in luck. January is a prime time to find deals and lower prices on many household, fitness, and health items that can help you achieve your goals.
If you didn’t get the holiday decorations you wanted in December, no worries. You can purchase holiday lights, ornaments, artificial trees, and other seasonal decor at steep discounts now. However, there are plenty of people who shop these postholiday deals, so act quickly.
Interest in organizing products spikes in January as people resolve to get their homes and lives more structured. Retailers capitalize on this demand by putting products like bins, organizing systems, and shelving on sale to attract consumers. If you swoon over photos of organized closets filled with sleek labeled boxes, now is the time to shop.
Bedding and towels traditionally have been on sale in January since 1878, when department store owner John Wanamaker slashed prices on bedsheets to make up for disappointing holiday sales. So if you’d like new sheets and a warm comforter to help you sleep better this year or plusher towels for your bathroom, consider stocking up this month.
There’s a rush among consumers to install new flooring before the December entertaining season. That demand drops significantly after January 1, and new product will be in stores soon, making it a good time to invest in new flooring. If you plan to buy and install new hardwood floors, vinyl tile, or carpeting now, you’ll pay less, and it might be installed more quickly.
Working out more, eating better, and losing weight were some of the top resolutions among American adults in 2021, according to a YouGov survey. You can find discounted prices on all kinds of exercise and health-related equipment in January, such as treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, hand weights, yoga mats, and bathroom scales. Gym memberships are often discounted too.
New styles of indoor furniture are released in the spring, so you can find discounts on existing inventory this month as stores make room for new product. If you shop toward the end of January into February, you will find better deals on last year’s models. If you don’t get the chance to shop right away, you’ll also find furniture sales around Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day.
This is an ideal month to purchase last year’s models of washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers at a discount. However, new refrigerators come out in May, so you might find an even better deal on last year’s models then.
After the buying rush surrounding Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the winter-holiday season, retailers will look to unload their existing inventory of laptops and desktop computers. That tech item you’ve been wanting might be within your budget now.
Flatscreens, especially those that are 48 inches or larger, go on sale in January leading up to the Super Bowl. Consumers can find discounts on TVs for 30 percent or more. January is also the month to snag discounted home theater items, such as soundbars, speakers, and surround-sound systems.
Inclement weather can discourage people from looking for a new home in the winter, making sellers more likely to accept a lower offer. Typically fewer properties are on the market this month, so there could be fewer homes to consider. Prices usually jump up in the spring, so don’t drag your feet if you are looking for a deal.
Books can take you to faraway places and different times, and reading them is an ideal way to relax and escape. So why not create the perfect environment for storing books and reading in your home? Libraries are wonderful places, but they aren’t always open, and you can’t always cozy up with a blanket and coffee in a public library. If you crave more reading time, a home library could be a worthwhile investment for you.
If you fall into one of these categories, you could benefit from creating your own library.
This is an obvious one, but if you love books, maybe even just the smell of old books and the charm of having them on shelves, then don’t wait another minute—get to it!
If you have rare collectible items you’ve always wanted to display, this is your chance to shine. Rare books, antiques, and everything in between would make for perfect additions to a home library.
Creative people often rely on an encouraging environment to help them brainstorm and create freely without distraction. A library could be a space to fill with inspiration, such as drawing books, writing guides, and music sheets. You’ll never want to leave the artistic atmosphere of your library.
Keeping kids interested in their education is important. Make learning fun by creating a home library geared toward everyone in your household. Teach kids about reading, caring for books, and organizing them. Let them decorate their own corner or shelf at an appropriate height, and reward them with new books when they keep their shelf in order. Be sure to use this space, too, because children learn by example.
The location of your library is just as important as what you fill it with, so here are a few guidelines for picking the perfect place in your home.
The key to any successful at home library is proper storage. You’ll need a room with clean walls free of clutter. If you have an unused or lightly-used room with built-in shelving, consider transforming this space as you won’t need to install additional shelves.
It can be helpful to set up your library in a room with windows to let in natural light and have a view of the outdoors. However, if you’d prefer a darker, more secluded space, be sure the room has enough outlets for a few task lights.
Some people might not have an entire room to dedicate to a home library. If this is the case for you, consider putting your library in your home office. An office and a library make sense together since you can also use this space to keep books you need for work. If you’re a teacher who is instructing virtually, this is a no-brainer as a resource and great virtual background.
Your home library can be as small, large, detailed, or simple as you want it to be. Keep these essentials in mind to make creating this space worthwhile.
The most important part of your library storage will be the shelves. There are different styles of shelving to consider, including free-standing, floating, and built-in. Choose your shelves according to your budget and style. If you’re indecisive about layout, go with free-standing shelving you’ll be able to rearrange. For a modern and unique look, invest in a few floating shelves to highlight your favorite novels. If you have your heart set on a particular layout and style, choose built-in shelves that will last longer.
The style and the amount of seating you include is a personal preference. Whether you’re looking to accommodate a few friends or want a solo space, make sure the seating is comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, you won’t be able to relax and you’ll end up relocating. Consider getting a recliner so you can really kick back.
Setting the tone of the room is all in the lighting. You’ll need accent and ambient lighting to create an inviting space. Give your space a warm, cozy feel with incandescent bulbs. LED lights are great too, but they tend to have a colder feel to them. Use floor and table lamps directly over your seating area to ensure you have well-lit spots to read.
If you’re looking for a traditional look, stain your shelves a dark color and add leather seating. For a modern feel, paint the shelves white or black, and add furniture in your favorite accent color completed with an accent pillow or two.
Infuse your personality into the library with pictures, artwork, collections, and anything else you want to display. This is a space to call your own. You deserve to love what is around you in the room, so consider displaying your antiques or favorite books with spotlights and stands.
A home library should be a personal oasis to escape and have the resources to pursue your interests. Get started with these tips—your dream library awaits!
For the past few years, the real estate market has been marked by unpredictability and, at times, overheated competition. This has resulted in some buyers bowing out after one too many disappointments while other potential buyers put off their homebuying plans in the hopes that things would settle down.
Whichever type of buyer you are, you may be thinking ahead and planning to begin a search for a new home. If so, it’s vital to prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Preparing yourself financially will be one of the most important aspects of your homebuying plan. While many potential buyers have a good grasp of the savings required for a down payment, they may not be prepared for the other expenses associated with homebuying, including:
Of course, one of the factors that has made the housing market so active over the past year and a half has been the record-low interest rates for home loans. As you prepare to purchase a home in the near future, you’ll want to keep track of those rates. While they are not projected to rise significantly, they are likely to go up, so it’s important to gauge the impact that upcoming changes will have on your bottom line.
Remember, the terms of your mortgage can be highly variable depending on your overall financial history and your creditworthiness. A lower credit score can have a significant impact on your interest rate and chances of approval. Be sure to check your credit report well ahead of time to ensure that there are no surprises and to make any needed adjustments.
In addition, be mindful that a lower down payment mortgage option may result in the need for additional mortgage insurance, raising your monthly payments. Take this into consideration as you plan your homebuying budget.
Planning ahead for your home purchase gives you a great chance to do some research on your chosen neighborhoods. While this includes proximity to work and neighborhood amenities, it should also include tracking the prices of comparable properties in your target area.
Talk with a real estate agent or broker to develop a baseline for current comparable home prices and historic trends in the neighborhood you’re interested in. Remember that there has been significant market movement over the past year and a half, with home prices rising at a record pace in many communities. Understanding this change in home values can give you a more realistic perspective.
In addition, you should work with a real estate professional now to develop a targeted search based on your neighborhood and property preferences. This will allow you to see when new properties come on the market that fit your criteria so you can begin to develop a sense of how values will change over the next few months.
Real estate inventory has been low in many places, driving home prices higher and resulting in multiple offers for most new listings. You may have experienced some of these competitive situations and backed off from your home search temporarily. If you continue to see low inventory levels in the months ahead, talk to a real estate agent about alternatives, including:
The homebuying process can be mentally and emotionally draining, especially if you have had some difficulties in the past with a previous offer. Consider the following mindset shifts to set you up for a more positive experience this time around.
A trusted real estate professional is a valuable resource who will be with you every step of the way to the closing table and beyond. Collaborate early with an agent or broker so that you are better prepared for your 2022 home purchase.