It's a brand new year - and a brand new opportunity to kick to the curb some of our unfortunate habits when it comes to cleaning the windows and keeping the house in decent condition.
Perhaps 2016 will be the year when you clean the windows more than once this year. It may even be the year you finally install window insulation instead of making the poor heater do all the work to keep you and your family thawed out during the intense Chicago winter.
But first, you need to make some resolutions for how you will keep your house cleaner this year than how you kept it last year. You can make you own resolutions, sure, but why not just take some of our ours? Here are our top resolutions for 2016.
Resolution No. 1: Schedule regular window cleanings
This one seems like an easy one - but is one of the more difficult resolutions to stick with throughout the year. You should be cleaning your windows regularly to help ensure they remain in good working order year-round. Otherwise, grime, dirt and other unsavory elements can end up rusting the window's opening, closing and locking mechanisms - putting the safety and security of your home at risk.
Aim to clean your windows at least twice in spring, summer and fall, and more if it's a particularly rainy and dirty summertime.
Resolution No. 2: Address problems as they come up
Is there something suspicious going on with the upstairs windows? Do you notice any strange sounds from the roof when it rains? Are the gutters even more clogged than usual? Are those icicles getting a little big?
Make it a resolution to investigate problems with the house as soon as you notice them, not in a week - or "when you get around to them," which often means "never." Otherwise, you could end up with costly repairs that could have been prevented by addressing problems before they become even more serious.
Resolution No. 3: Invest in better cleaning agents
You may have heard about the dangers posed by aerosols in recent years in promoting or worsening asthma. You've also likely heard lately about the link between some types of cleaning chemicals and certain cancers.
There are a lot of media reports and actual studies out there about the dangers of products we use to clean our home. Some of them may be accurate, while others contradict one another. While it's difficult to tell what to believe, you can make the choice to be proactive about you and your family's health by purchasing cleaning products that contain as many natural products as possible - and as many of them as your budget allows.
Getting more help
Of course, you can always call on the experts to offer you a helping hand if keeping up with your 2016 home cleaning resolutions proves to be more difficult than you expected.