You’ve buttoned up the house against the cold, and you’re in the dead of winter without even a glimpse of spring in sight. With the shortest days of the year, January can certainly live up to its bleak reputation — but this season also encourages slowing down, simplifying and getting cozy. Take advantage of the momentum a new year brings to clear out clutter, start a healthy habit, and make plans for the year ahead. 

Take a deep breath and dive into the following chores. The good news? Most are inside chores, so you have no “It’s too cold!” excuses.

  • Holiday decorations: organize, pack & put away
  • Kitchen cabinets: clean & polish
  • Fridge: vacuum behind & clean coils
  • Stove & oven: clean
  • Electric: clean circuit breakers
  • Fire extinguisher: place near kitchen, check charge
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: inspect, clean and test  (January is a good time to replace the batteries in all your detectors.)
  • Plumbing: clean main water line shutoff valve exterior
  • HVAC: vacuum & dust
  • Garbage disposal: crush ice (sharpens), baking soda & citrus fruit rinds (freshens)
  • Range hood fan: check & clean

It’s always easier and cheaper to maintain a house than to repair it—sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars. Follow these tips for a refreshed and revived home, and let us know what other tasks on your list.