Every new year brings an opportunity for a fresh start, but there’s something especially significant about the start of a new decade. After all, we tend to remember our history in terms of decades (how often have you heard something referred to as “so ’90s” or “a relic of the ’60s”?). With that in mind, as the 2010s come to a close and the 2020s begin, it’s worthwhile to consider what your life will look like during the next decade. Will you achieve a long-pursued goal such as home ownership or a new career? Will you make a major lifestyle change that improves your physical or mental health? Perhaps you’ll open the doors to personal creativity by learning a new art form or honing an existing one.
Whether or not you have big plans for 2020, the new year is a perfect time to get a jump on things, especially as it relates to your home, health, finances and other important life aspects. Consider the following ideas for jumpstarting your year (and decade):
- Get organized. Nothing says “clean slate” like an orderly home environment. Contact a professional to help you conquer the clutter in your closet, home office or garage.
- Get the year off to a healthy start by scheduling checkups with your general physician, optometrist and dentist. You should also consider scheduling a hearing test with a professional audiologist. Since hearing loss sets in gradually, regular testing will help ensure preventative treatment.
- Get the ball rolling on that remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about. Assemble your team (remodeling contractor, interior designer, etc.), establish your budget and determine permit requirements.
- Get a jump on your taxes by sending 2019 financial documents to your tax preparer as soon as you receive them.
- Get serious about water conservation in 2020. Replace your thirsty lawn with a drought-tolerant garden or artificial turf.
- Take your vehicle to a local auto repair shop for maintenance. Have its oil changed and its engine, tires, brakes, and lights checked. If it has been more than 30,000 miles since your vehicle’s last transmission service, consider getting a complete fluid and filter change.
- Update the look of your home with new window coverings. Choose from blinds, shades, shutters and other options.
- Do you have a long list of home maintenance and repair needs? Call a local handyman who can help you get your to-do list done.
- Schedule a home energy audit to assess your home’s energy efficiency and see where improvements are most needed.
- Are you planning to install a new swimming pool for next summer? Better get started now—a swimming pool project typically takes several months to complete.
- Convert your home’s electrical system to solar power while the federal tax credit and other incentives are still available. They won’t last much longer!
- Do you have a property that you need to sell? Contact a real estate agent or real estate broker to help you get the process started.
- Add some color to your life by updating your house paint, whether inside, outside or both. Read these pro tips on selecting a color scheme.
- Refresh your home environment with a one-time professional house cleaning. If you’re happy with the results, consider signing up for recurrent cleaning services.
- Are you remodeling your kitchen on a budget? Look into cabinet refacing. For a fraction of the cost of a new installation, refacing gives cabinets a fresh look while retaining their existing structure.
- Find love in 2020—buy (or, better yet, adopt) a dog or cat. Be sure to take them to a veterinarian for vaccinations and a health assessment.
- Get a new look (in more ways than one) by updating your eyewear to a more modern fashion. Visit a local optician to get professional guidance on choosing eyewear frames that complement your facial shape, hair and skin tone.
- Address out-of-sight areas of your home. Invest in an attic and crawl space cleaning service to eradicate dust and rodents and update insulation.
- Bring more sunshine into your life by adding a skylight to your home.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2020!