post off: what’s your new year’s home resolution? here are my five

So it’s January 7th yet and I haven’t really thought about resolutions yet. I thought I would use this post to carve out a few things that we have been talking about doing to our home this year. It’s so easy to forget all the things you casually toss off at dinner “We really should get a generator this year” or “What about in-wall insulation?” that having a starting list would really help.

Here are a few things that I would like to accomplish in our little dwelling in 2013.

1. Find a new way to display our kid’s artwork. As Isadora gets older, her masterpieces are becoming, well, more masterful! Right now we display the best of the best in her room, but there’s a bit too much in the mix there — what with photos of friends, local artwork and a rotating selection of posters on her closet door. (Yes, it’s starting already! Luckily we’re in the Magic Tree House phase and not a Justin Bieber one yet.) I like this wall that I spotted on It has a mix of frames, canvases and cut-outs.

2. Make our attic a fun place to hang out. We finished our attic off when we moved in two years ago and honestly we haven’t done much to it since then. It holds our old couch, a cast-off rug and bare white walls. Isadora loves playing up there even though it’s colorless, and it’d be great to start moving some of her toys upstairs.

3. Organize our kitchen. Our place usually looks pretty tidy — until you open a cabinet. Pots and pans are stacked haphazardly and the pantry is worse. We keep buying foods we don’t need because they’re buried. We’re wasting time and money and it’s got to stop!

4. Make our backyard livable for the dog and us. Last year we spent a lot of energy (and money) planting pretty things around the border of our yard. Then we got a dog. Now we have a bunch of mud holes where there used to be plants and the grass is a spotty, clover field mess. How to fix? I don’t know — rocks? But we gotta figure something out.

5. Be ready for the next Sandy. This one is probably at the top of the list. We had a real wake-up call in October when the storm hit our area. We were insanely lucky to not have any property damage to our house, but we realized how little supplies we had to live without power for a few days. We are stocking up on water, firewood, non-perishables and more. We have hired an electrician to help us get set up for a generator, and must get that done before July. That’s our goal.

I could go on, but I don’t want to over-commit and then feel guilty that I wasn’t able to keep my resolutions.

What about you? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions for your home? Please share!

From our partners

We can help keep each other on track with these resolutions! There’s a lot of overlap. What did you decide for the generator? Are you getting a portable with a switch, or going all in? We’ve decided on a medium-size portable with a switch. Also, add to your list: help built the neighbor’s chicken coop (husband already offered!)

I love your art wall. None of my kids did anything artistic, so I didn’t have to worry too much.

Since I started soaping again, I need to organize my supplies, curing soap, and with the new business, mailing supplies. It’s taking up much more space than I anticipated. But, in a good way. :)

I wish you luck with your resolutions. They all sound almost fun. Organizing gives you such a wonderful feeling when you’ve finished.

Mary S

Google “dog-friendly landscaping” and there are lots of ideas. For us in the Northwest, we are planting dense (with plants that love the PNW like heather and lavender), adding a lot of areas with bark (plain mulch doesn’t stand up to our dogs; more like wood chips for us) and also putting in pavers in certain areas. There’s always going to be some wear and tear, but it’s getting better.

And I have a huge list otherwise: New roof for the house. Finish the basement floor. Set up my basement office. Build an overhang for the patio. I should add “Write about them for Shelterrific” to the list!

Angela M.

Thanks guys! Chickens in 2013! I’m so excited. Can we chronicle them on Shelterrific? We love the chicken debate here.

And Mary, thanks for dog-friendly landscaping tips. We’ll have to chronicle that too. And writing more for Shelterrific? Yes, please!

I had to laugh at point number 4 :D I got seriously the same problem with my dog, we found a solution, our hole backyard is now stones :) and it looks cool :) and the dog got no problems with it :) You can make a decorative backyard with flower pots etc, just try it out :)