Out with the old, and in with the new! When you’re thinking through your goals for the months ahead, make your home a priority too. The following ideas can help you set resolutions to improve your living space.

Make safety a priority

Everyone is guilty of forgetting to turn off an appliance or blow out a candle from time to time, but this year, take these steps to keep your home’s safety top of mind.

Post and set reminders
You’ll be less likely to forget important safety measures if you post sticky notes throughout your home, like Clean the lint screen near the dryer and Lock the door by the front door. You can also set reminders on your phone for tasks that you might not do every day, such as changing batteries in a smoke detector.

Clean your dryer
According to a National Fire Protection analysis, over 13,000 dryer fires are reported each year on average, and the leading cause of these fires is a failure to clean out the dryer vent and lint screen. Make sure you clean the lint screen after each use, and have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year, if not twice a year if you have a larger household that uses the dryer a lot. If you can’t remember the last time you or a professional cleaned the ductwork, then make sure you clean it as soon as possible.

Inspect and test your detectors
Checking your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, radon detectors, and other safety devices is one of the best things you can do to help prepare you and your household for an emergency. Depending on the type of devices you have, you may need to change your devices’ batteries as often as every six months.

Devise a household safety plan
It’s important to prepare your household, especially children, for emergency scenarios, such as a power outage, house fire, or robbery. Type and print a list of emergency phone numbers and procedures for everyone to keep in their bedrooms and the central locations in your home. Don’t forget little details, too, such as making sure you prep the second floor of your home (or rooms with a high elevation) for an emergency exit with collapsible ladders. No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but you’ll be glad you did in the event of an emergency.

Downsize clutter

Clutter can make your home feel chaotic and suffocating. However, getting rid of clutter can be challenging. Try these strategies to control your clutter once and for all this year.

Pace yourself
You don’t have to clear all your clutter in one day. It takes time to part with items and find homes for the items you’re keeping, but there are a few ways to help spread out the decluttering process. For example, the one-a-day method requires you to let go of only one item per day. You can also try the KonMari Method, which breaks up your household items into categories and asks you to reflect on whether each item sparks joy for you. By using these strategies, you can control the number of items you must sort through over time.

Focus on one room at a time
Make a list of the rooms in your house, and order them from most to least cluttered. Start from the top of your list, and tackle each room using your preferred method. By the time you get to the bottom of the list, the tasks will become easier and less time-consuming.

Plan for the empty spaces
Once you find better places for your items, you should be left with uncluttered places in your home. While you’ll breathe a sigh of relief at first, it might be tempting to let clutter overtake those areas again. To combat this, fill your empty spaces with useful home pieces. For example, if you have a corner of the living room that piles up with junk, put a plant in that corner instead. Avoid adding new furniture with flat surfaces, as it can be tempting to start filling those surfaces with objects again.

By using these strategies, you can feel confident in your ability to keep your home safer and less cluttered this year.