- Get Rid of Clutter
Clutter can build up unnoticed until it becomes a problem, and these mountains of school papers, mail, and catalogs can put even the most laid-back homeowner in a bad mood. Take a day to purge the entire home from clutter, or create a schedule in which you go room by room with your family and decide what to throw and what to keep. Often, the solution will be as simple as clearing the kitchen counter, making space for incoming and outgoing mail, and finding a dedicated place for the kids to put their school forms for you to sign.
In your home office or workspace, consider shredding old papers, throwing away old files, and digitizing paper records by creating PDFs of important documents. A PDF merging tool is useful for combining files that go together and arranging them to help you find documents more quickly.
- Clean Your Fireplace Before Winter
If you’re not well-versed in the world of fireplace maintenance, you may be surprised to know that chimney sweeps exist in the real world — but without the harsh conditions of the profession as it is depicted in movies. This service, when performed correctly, removes the soot and debris from your chimney and removes blockages from the structure to keep it safe for winter use. It may cost from $100-$300 when you hire a qualified professional.
Perhaps your kids are getting restless without a playroom, or maybe you want to finally spend the money to paint and carpet your home office now that your temporary work-from-home job has become permanently remote. You might want to create a bonus living space for your family, such as a game room, or perhaps to function as an additional living room for your teenagers.
Building out a room is not necessarily DIY-friendly, but if you have experience in this area, it may be a fun family project. If not, you can hire a contractor or several professionals such as an electrician, a plumber, a drywall contractor, and someone to handle the insulation of the room (if this is an issue). To finance your project, you may have to dip into savings or refinance your home at a lower interest rate to make room in your budget for the renovation. You can consider loans as well. For example, if you are a U.S. military veteran, look into a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or the IRRRL, which can speed up the refinancing process and allow for minimal paperwork processing. Be sure to pay attention to VA IRRRL rates before making this decision; sites like PennyMac can help you learn more about this option.
Refreshing your home during the pandemic may not seem like a practical choice, but it often can be when you consider that many homes are not built to host work-from-home jobs, play, and family life every day. Weigh the monetary costs before making any big commitments and decide with your family if the changes are worth the investment.