If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve got a to-do list of large and small projects for your house. But it can be hard to prioritize — and even harder to get started. Another wrinkle affecting many homeowners are the long wait times to work with contractors and other professionals for big home improvements that require a pro. But there are many projects you can tackle yourself that will make a difference for your family in 2022. Here are some of our favorites.

Get Organized

Typically, shelving and home storage are on sale for the new year, so this is a great time to finally organize those out-of-control closets, bathroom cabinets, kitchen drawers, and entryway. Figure out what items you need to store in a more organized manner and what will fit in the areas you need to organize. Measure twice to make sure your new storage will fit in the areas you’ll be upgrading.

Purge Your Unused Items

While you were planning the areas to organize, you may have come across clothing that no longer fits, sporting goods you haven’t used in years, and other items you just don’t need to hold onto any longer. You’ve got two options. You can sell them online, or you can donate them to a local charity shop. Donating is usually quite easy, and you may be able to deduct the value on your taxes. Selling items requires more work on your part, but you can get some quick cash you can use for other priorities.

Deep Clean Your Carpets and Rugs

It’s easy and affordable to rent a carpet shampooer to clean your carpets. And you might be amazed at how dingy they’ve gotten, especially in high-traffic areas. Some caveats: Make sure you shampoo on a day you can leave the windows open to help the carpets dry faster. Modern carpet cleaners don’t leave as much water behind as older models, but you still need a dry day to help shorten drying time. And don’t use a shampooer on a rug that covers a laminate floor. You might need to move the rug to a surface that won’t be damaged by water or send it out to a professional rug cleaner.

Give Your Bathroom a Facelift

Is your bathroom stuck in a time warp? The good news is that you can do some small projects that will make a big difference. A deep clean, especially of the tile and grout, will do wonders to making your bathroom look new again. You may want to bring in tile pros to do a full clean and seal, but until that can happen, a toothbrush and baking soda combined with a little elbow grease can make it look new again. A fresh coat of paint or some new wallpaper will also give it a fresh look. Add some new coordinating rugs and towels, and you’ve got an easy update.

Freshen Up Your Kitchen

New energy-efficient appliances are always a nice upgrade in a kitchen, but if that’s not what you need, look at your cabinets. You can spend a weekend replacing the doors or even just the hardware to give your kitchen a whole new look and feel. Also look for areas to deep clean in this room. The tile and grout in your backsplashes might need some attention. Don’t forget the tops of cabinets, the refrigerator, and the vent hood. And look underneath and behind appliances. Just a little work on your part can make your whole home feel like new again.

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