It’s hard to stay on a diet and exercise program — we get it. In fact, only about 8 percent of New Year’s resolutions are actually kept. But if you’re not up for a daily routine of running on the “dreadmill” or drinking green juice smoothies, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 home-related New Year’s resolutions that might be a little easier to keep.

1. Update your security system

And no, we’re not talking about planting a sign in your yard or leaving a light burning continuously.

The FBI estimates property crimes resulted in losses of $14.3 billion in 2015. And the National Fire Protection Association reported a home structure fire occurred every 86 seconds that same year. Don’t let that be your house!

Instead, look into security systems that feature alarms, video surveillance, and both interior and exterior monitoring. Even better is one that calls both the police and fire departments for rapid response. Besides the priceless feeling of peace of mind, you may be able to reduce your homeowners premiums as well — up to 15 percent!

2. Go on a hazard hunt

Spending an hour identifying (well, and then fixing) potential hazards in your home could save you oodles of money — and maybe your life. Here are 3 common ones to watch for:

  • Check for fire hazards, including space heaters without enough space, frayed electrical cords, and overloaded electrical outlets
  • Look for roof leaks by checking roof vents, chimneys, and the attic
  • Survey landscaping to make sure plants and trees are healthy

3.  Update your home emergency kit

Now’s the time to go through your emergency kit and make sure it’s well stocked. You do have one, right? If not, here’s a simple list to help you put one together or refresh your existing kit. Don’t forget to rotate in fresh water, food, and updated prescriptions, and swap out bandages that no longer stick.

4.  Create a system for maintenance

Keep your house in tip-top shape all year long by scheduling some regular maintenance time. This home-related New Year’s resolution is easy because you don’t have to actually do anything today. You just have to figure out a plan for when you will do it in the future.

We’ve got a handy chart that’ll help you know what to clean, inspect, and check each month, season, and year, from changing your filters to cleaning your vents to replacing your smoke detector batteries. Go ahead, add some reminders to your smartphone right now.

5.  Check your insurance coverage

Did someone get a fancy new bauble this holiday season? You’ll want to make sure it’s covered under your homeowners insurance. Have you made repairs or improvements that could warrant a discount or increase your property value?  Check out this list of potential changes to consider as you peruse your current coverage. Think about areas you might want to augment or places where you might be able to reap savings.

DIY hacks | Home and garden


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.