Are you looking to make some positive changes around the home in 2013? Why not start here?

1) Stay Organized. Was 2012 a year of accumulation? You’re not alone. Our consumptive society values materialism but doesn’t seem to encourage making space for the new acquisitions. The result is a home better fit for Hoarders than for Beautiful Homes. But we want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, so we’re offering these de-cluttering tips for 2013.

First and foremost, identify your storage space. Basements and attics are the two top contenders here, but those without both or either will need to get creative.

The entry way and mudroom are areas of the home that visitors see first. Keeping those tidy is a must for 2013. Why? Because we’re saying so. Get yours in order.

Lastly, get serious about the kitchen space. You’re in there everyday, so take a day and make a New Year’s effort to organize the kitchen once and for all.

2) Lower Bills. No beating around the bush. Your home has a leak. An energy leak. All that hot air is escaping, and it might as well be dollar signs. Take these 4 steps in the first month of January and use the money you save to do something nice for your family.

Get an Energy Audit. This will ultimately save you significant time and will give you the best information on where you should be addressing leaks, cracks and energy loss locations.

Weatherstrip Doors and Windows. This will take you all of 2 hours, give or take. And the upfront cost is infinitesimal.

Add some more Insulation. Specifically, insulate your water heater, your pipes and attic spaces. There’s heat being lost in those areas all winter long, and only you can put an end to it!

3) Be Handy (er). You can do it! Pick up a hammer. Rev that drill a couple times. Okay, now put them both down and come back to the computer. We’re going to give you 3 DIY projects that will set you down a path of empowerment and home improvement. If you’ve done all 3, good for you! Are you available Sunday? We’re putting up drywall.

Install a Below-Counter Water Filter. There are very few tools and steps involved in this one. In fact, a sharp mind could probably just follow the instructions and get ‘er done. But the visual tutorial can help, too. Bonus: you get to help the planet by eliminating bottle water in your home!

Inspect and Repair your Gutters. In truth, this project isn’t that difficult. But the height factor makes it deserving of a more moderate rating. Whatever you, practice safe ladder climbing and consider doing this one with a partner.

Install Crown Molding. This projects can frustrate even the experienced, so take is slow, forgive yourself for little mistakes, and measure twice!

Have you made some improvements already? Tell us about them!