New Year’s Resolutions: Get your House in Shape to Help's featured image

Have you made a resolution to lose weight, quit smoking, or start exercising in 2015?

These three resolutions are probably the most popular lifestyle changes people to commit to at New Year’s. Experts will tell you that it’s important to plan for success in different ways, and one way is to prepare your home to support the goal you make.

Here’s how:

  1. Weight Loss. Having healthy foods readily available makes it easier to get them into your diet. Removing the foods you don’t want to eat (such as high fat snacks) is a good idea too. Clean cupboards and the fridge of those foods, and stock up on healthy choices. For example, instead of chips and dip, keep cut-up fruits and vegetables for snacking (kale chips are a great healthier alternative to potato chips). Another trick is to put a motivational quote onto the fridge door; keeping your goal front and centre is important.
  2. Butt Out. Quitting smoking is a tough one – and it’s important to remove all evidence from the home including the smell of cigarette smoke. Walls and flooring are the two biggest areas that absorb smells. While setting out bowls of white vinegar can help, you’ll have to do some deep cleaning too. Wash walls with a nonabrasive, all-purpose cleaner (try a test spot in an inconspicuous part of the wall first). You may have to do this a few times if the smell lingers – and if worse comes to worse, you may have to re-paint. For carpeting, use a dry carpet cleaner with granules that are spread over the carpet and left for a while, then vacuumed up. Or use a deodorizer, which you sprinkle on before running the vacuum. If the odour still remains, use a carpet cleaning machine with a heavy-duty cleaner or call in a carpet-care professional.
  3. Start Exercising. Getting into the habit of exercise is easier when it’s convenient. Can you clear a space in your family room to host a yoga mat and some free-weights? Having the gear in a room you use often will allow the equipment to serve as a gentle reminder to do your workout. Alternately, if you want to invest more into your weight-loss success, you can convert the basement rec room or a spare room into an exercise area.  Start by de-cluttering and cleaning the room.  Repaint – use a bright, motivating colour. Update flooring if necessary with self-adhesive carpet squares so the floor is soft. On one side of the room, install a treadmill or stationary bike along with free weights and a bench. On the other side, put a sofa, coffee table and shelving for a home theater. Be sure there are blinds for privacy, good lighting, and a clear view from the stationary equipment to the TV – so you can use exercise videos or watch TV while you work out. Be sure there’s storage too so most of the gear can be stowed away when it’s not being used.