January is a great month for new beginnings and new habits, not just for you but for your house as well. Even in regions covered with snow and ice, there are plenty of projects to complete now or plan for the upcoming months. In fact, January is often a slow month for some home improvement professionals and the perfect time to gather information, interview, order materials or apply for permits. Many professional landscape companies use the winter home and garden shows to book out the rest of their year, making this the best time of year to plan an outdoor project.

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Start the new year off right by going around the house and changing all the filters that need replacement like the refrigerator water filter (this should be changed every 6 months), the furnace filter (every 3 months), the air conditioner filter (every 3 months), and any other filters in your home. To remember when to change them, choose a significant date (like your birthday or the first of the year) or use a piece of removable tape and label the date it should be changed.

Another great way to kick off home improvement in the new year is to tackle those rooms or spaces that are in serious need of organization. Not only will an organized basement, closet or garage make you feel less frustrated, by cleaning out these areas you’ll get the chance to spot any potential issues like water damage, electrical issues or pest infestation. Take care of those important issues first before you hang new shelves, paint or organize the space.

Here are some great maintenance projects to complete this month. Simply follow the links to read more about how to get these projects done.

Inside the home

  • Clean out kitchen range exhaust system and deep clean oven
  • Clean out the refrigerator and thoroughly clean small appliances
  • Change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguishers
  • Hire a professional to take down your exterior holiday lights if your roof is slippery or dangerous
  • Clean out closets and donate unused items
  • Check sump pump for proper operation

Outside the home

  • Keep lawn clear of branches and debris
  • Examine and de-ice gutters
  • Check exterior for water accumulation
  • If planning major landscaping work, start interviewing pros now
  • Check for ice on walkways, roof and read this tips about safely removing snow and ice without injury
  • Start planning your spring garden, order seeds
  • Consider attending your local home and garden show this month to get ideas for your landscape

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