“I’m going to start this year off right,” you tell yourself. “I’m going to lose weight, drink less soda, consume more water, and get one of those ear wax smart swab thingees.” It’s about to be a brand new year full of possibilities and opportunities for change. But what about your tiny house? Doesn’t it also deserve to be the best it can be? Would it be great if you could team up with your tiny and hit some of those “one and done” projects? Do not allow anything to get in your way. Now, drop and give me 20! And while you’re down there, pick up the crumbs that the dust buster always misses. We’re gonna whip it all into shape!
DROP THAT UNWANTED WEIGHT
Your house is a hog no matter what the square footage is. It consumes kilowatt hours and leaves remaining volts in its wake. Get control of it by cutting back on your energy use.
Start by cleaning the filter in your mini-split unit. If yours has a heat pump, that dirty filter can throw off the thermostat as well as block warm air from filtering properly. You are not exempt if you have a wood stove though. Clean all the ashes and soot out of the belly. Then purchase and use a dry creosote remover chimney treatment kit. It’ll turn that creosote that has lodged inside your pipe into a powder for easy clean up either by damp rag or vacuum.
If you want to really slim down though do a leak check around your windows and doors. If there is some loss of heat through the glass you can add a heat shrink window pane insulator. That will work well for a season and if done right can still keep your window looking attractive. If your door seems to be letting cold air in add a layer of adhesive-backed foam weather stripping.
GIVE YOUR LUNGS A BREAK
Just as you gave up smoking the second you graduated from college, your house wants to breathe well also. Why not treat it to a few plants that help filter the air during the closed-up winter? You can consider adding a garden mum or a spider plant or a ficus or a peace lily or a boston fern or a or, or, or…the list just goes on. Without the use of any chemical or electricity you can breathe a little easier all winter long as well as add a little color to the grey days forthcoming.
You’ve put it off long enough. You’ve tried several times before but you just can’t seem to lose that stack of old Architectural Digest magazines. You literally weep when it is suggested to turn your 30 rat’s nest bath towels into rags and instead invest in 2 or 3 really nice, plush, quality ones. But it is the new year. It is time to de-clutter like you mean it! There are a million ways to do it that are a healthy mix of purging and stashing. Whatever you decide to do, do it with vim and vigor. Here’s a jumpstart tip. Get a hanging shoe organizer. Attach it to the wall, the back of the door, the side of a pantry cabinet, etc. No! It isn’t for shoes now. That $20 shoe shove can be used to store keys, notepads, and cell phones. It can hold the essential kitchen tools. It can help organize jewelry. The possibilities are endless. If you really want to press hard without working up a sweat, purchase a clear organizer so you can see what you put in the pockets. Remember though. New year. New you!
HAVE A SEAT ON THE WAGON
Jan. 1 was unkind to you. The champagne from the night before hung around like a sorry ex-boyfriend. Even the thought of drinking makes you dry heave a little. Well, drink less than. Oh, and tell your house to drink less as well. In fact, cut down on water usage to show you’re serious! Face it. Our tiny houses are thirsty. The average American household can consume up to 400 gallons of water each day. That is about $700 per year in water and wastewater costs. If you took a few minutes and replaced out your cheap DIY shower head with a low-flow unit that uses technology that reduces the amount of flow without losing pressure, you would enjoy your shower more but in less time. Then turn around and sternly tell your toilet it is time to shut his flusher. You are tired of hearing water run excessively just to fill the bowl after a flush. If you aren’t composting already, try switching your commode out to a low-flow toilet that uses compressed air and an electric water pump to flush less than 1 gallon of water per handle push.
PRACTICE STRESS-FREE LIVING
Who needs the worry of when your light bulb is going to burn out? Who wants to be concerned with whether or not you need to paint your siding? And why spend any time thinking about the wear and tear on your floor from the foot traffic of cabin-fever pacing come February? Make changes to your house that will take the stress out of living. Change out your bulbs to LED ones. They last infinitely longer and also use less energy. Quit painting every spring and have your siding switched out to fiber-cement siding. It is rodent proof, weather-proof, fire-retardant, and more! Paint it once and let it go for years.
There are so many ways you can ring in the new year right for you and your house. Most ideas take little more than a few minutes to execute but return incredible dividends. Make a pledge, take an oath, sign your name on the dotted line. Show your tiny house you’re serious about a long and healthy future together!
What projects are you planning to do around the house this new years in order to keep those resolutions? What have you been meaning to do that you are now going to get serious about? Let us know in the comment section below. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page or even subscribe to Tiny House Magazine for monthly articles on other tiny housers and tiny house options!