Give your home some New Year's resolution love

Date: 15 January 2018

One of the great things about being away on holiday is that you are officially unable to do any home admin. No housework, no DIY, no gardening. Fantastic! - Until you get back to reality. Make it a resolution to give your home some attention and we promise you’ll be feeling all smug in no time.

The key to achieving some actual momentum on this New Year’s goal is to choose your projects carefully. Don’t go for the big ones.  You’re after those easily achieved instant reward jobs (and ones that don’t cost a fortune after all that Christmas spending).

Once you’ve got a few of those under your belt, you’ll have more motivation to target the biggies. Here’s our top 5 instant gratification home DIY’s:

1. Waterblasting.

Obviously, do check with your local council first that you’re not still on water restrictions….plenty of areas are, but if you get the all clear - this is hands-down the best instant gratification job because you see the results instantly on your deck / paths / fences / driveways. Decent commercial waterblasters can be hired from $70, just make sure you ask for a lesson first.  Extra points go to those who then re-paint or stain straight away. Nicely done.

2. What’s your washing line looking like?

It’s often the least thought about space in outdoors landscaping, but it’s a highly used area (especially if you’ve got young kids!) and it’s nice to do something on your home that’s just for you and not for street appeal or general maintenance.  Even more important for apartment dwellers with small wall mounted lines on their balconies, but applies to the big family home too. Firstly, dust off the cobwebs and deal to any algae, moss or mildew. Then, think planting.  Fence/wall nearby? Consider a highly scented climber such as star jasmine. As well as the bonus of scenting your clothes, it prevents any dirt on the wall making its way onto large items like sheets or towels flapping in the wind. Another idea is to invest in some large pots or wine barrels and plant some scented plants such as lemon trees, lemon verbena or lavender.  Take 2 minutes to assess your pegs. After our extremely wet Winter, they may be showing signs of rust if you leave them outside.  All little changes, but makes doing the laundry a much nicer experience.

3. Handle the jandle in the kitchen.  

Got an older kitchen with handles that do your head-in?  Swap them. It’s actually really easy to do: unscrew one of the handles and look at the screw holes left behind.  One hole is a simple, easy replacement without needing to measure. If there are two screw holes, you just need to measure the distance between the centre of each hole.  Take your measurement (and the actual handle, just in case) to the hardware store. Another trick is to use some easily peelable painter’s tape – pop that on the drawer/cupboard face after you’ve removed the handle, then poke through the centre of each hole with a pin. Unpeel the tape, put it on some cardboard/paper then measure between the two holes. You can take that template to the hardware store too, to line up against new handles.  When you buy new handles, this is normally the measurement on the packet. If in doubt, just ask the hardware shop staff or here’s a great guide too.

4.Hook it up

The humble hook has a lot to offer for organisation, in pretty much every room. Bathrooms, kid’s rooms, playrooms, entry halls and laundries are the obvious targets. Getting often used things out of the way and onto the wall is an easily overlooked home organisation solution. And with such great options now available in NZ - why wouldn’t you? If you really want to extend yourself, this is a great DIY using oversized dowelling.

5. Welcome home

As the first thing people see, your home’s entry point deserves some attention. But it’s not just about other people. You’ll get satisfaction coming home to a tidy, presentable, welcoming  space too. Here’s some simple ideas to make a big difference:  

  • Spend a weekend afternoon with some favourite tunes or podcasts and get some meditative painting time in to refresh your home’s entry point.
  • Got some pots by the front door? Do they need an update? What about the plants in them?
  • What about a stylish house number? A great way to make a statement: whether modern and oversized, or traditional in polished brass. You can even get fantastic weather-safe decals now too.
  • Doormats are unsung heroes - preventing dirt being tracked inside. If yours is looking a bit worse for wear there are so many great options: whether quirky, trendy or traditional is your jam.
  • How’s your outside light looking? The light fittings are surprisingly affordable to replace - just make sure you follow this advice and consult an electrician.

Last of all, one of the most important quick and smug DIY’s ever? Check your smoke alarms and put new batteries in. 

Tags: Property, CoreLogic, Auckland, Wellington, Housing, Real Estate, Property Market, Buying