Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Begin Again

Dec 29, 2014 02:11PM ● By Kerrie Kelly
January brings a fresh start and renewed hope for the year ahead. With the holidays behind us, now’s the perfect time to give your home the attention it needs to survive the season. Here are six “to-dos” to get your year off on the right foot.


1 / Refresh

Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed, your home can feel a bit empty. Fight the winter blues by giving your abode a good cleaning and boosting comfort with candles, cozy throws, warm drinks and good music.

2 / Organize

Did you receive new gadgets or appliances last year? Flip through that stack of old manuals and warranties—tossing out paperwork for stuff you no longer own—and send in forms to activate new warranties as needed. Store everything together in one binder or document box.

3 / Sanitize

Cold and flu season is at its height. Do what you can to keep illness at bay by regularly sanitizing often-handled surfaces. Tables and counters are obvious spots, but don’t miss areas like doorknobs, faucets, phones and other tech devices.

4 / Inspect

Get ahead of problems by carefully looking over your home’s exterior after each storm, especially keeping an eye out for tree limbs that have come down and any damage to your roof or siding; also, make sure rain gutters are free of debris.


5 / Protect

Insulate any exposed outdoor pipes or plants to prevent freezing. If you plan to be away from your home for a long period of time, have a friend or neighbor stop by to turn on your water to a trickle and cover your citrus trees. Find out where your home’s water shut-off valve is, if you don’t know already, so you can quickly turn it off if a pipe does burst. Lastly, change out the old batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

6 / Donate

Instead of packing new holiday goodies into overstuffed closets and drawers, take a few minutes to edit out similar items to donate. This goes for linen and shoe closets, too. The lightened load will allow you to feel 2015 ready!

Kerrie L. Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and the newly released ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023.