The New Year has arrived – Happy New Year – we want to wish you a very safe and successful one. When January arrives, it is time to return to practical issues after all the holiday season festivities. Life has its ways of returning us to reality.
Take the time to look around your residence. Have you put away all your outside decorations? If not, it’s time to get to that project. Holiday lights are fun, but it is now to take them down. Be sure to store them properly and discard any that could be potentially dangerous to you and your family. If you wait and put them up next year, you may forget that they were faulty.
If you have put up a live tree during the holiday season, please dispose of it properly. Various organizations pick up holiday trees at no cost or have disposable sites (for example, the Boy Scouts of America). Go online and see what is available in your area. Dry trees are a fire hazard.
While you are removing your holiday decorations, it is also time to check your smoke detector. Don’t put your family or yourself at risk; you should check this device regularly to ensure it is working. If it needs batteries, replace them immediately; this is your responsibility. If the unit still does not work, contact us immediately so we have it repaired or checked; this is also your responsibility. Whatever you do, do not remove a smoke detector for any reason. Many lives are lost every year because residents do not realize the importance of a working smoke detector.
Right now, you may be yearning for spring – we can’t blame you there. While you are outside taking down your decorations, review how the outside of your residence is looking. You may need to do some clean up while you are out there – rake leaves, clean out gutters, pick up debris, wash your garbage can, and more. Please be sure to call us if you need help with outside repairs. Winter weather can take a toll on the outside of any property. Spring is coming and outside cleanup can help you enjoy it.
It’s a great time to review your finances. We all tend to spend too much during the holiday season, and you may need to have a game plan for paying off that extra spending. Plan a budget for the year and possibly that spring/summer vacation. Planning pays off and can relieve the stress we experience during the fourth quarter rush.
Of course, the first quarter is when you must start thinking about your tax filings. You may have a refund coming or you may need to make a tax payment by April 15th. It may seem far away but think about how fast the past year went and you will realize that impending tax date is not far off. In addition, you may have a refund coming that will help pay off holiday expenses or plan a great vacation.
Reality does return with the start of a new year but it also is a season of renewal and fresh starts. Taking the time to clean up and plan can make a huge difference in how your year will progress. Make this one of your resolutions and have a great New Year!