February is a month filled with love and appreciation, centered around Valentine’s Day. It’s a special opportunity to recognize the most important relationships in our life, and to celebrate them with the people we love most. From cards and candy to roses and candle-lit dinners, there’s no shortage of ways we share our admiration for the people in our lives. There’s one relationship that’s often overlooked.

After a long day at the office, after a long shopping excursion, or just after bringing the kids home from school- you take comfort in the familiar warmth of your own home. Every day, you come back to your home, and it provides you shelter in storms, keeps your warm, and gives you the perfect place to plan every adventure you have in life. Home is where the heart is, so there’s no reason you can’t show your home some love too. The good news? Your home won’t mind if you’re a little late with its Valentine’s gifts!

All relationships take time and effort to build and maintain, and your home is no different. From the day you moved in, you’ve learned about it’s every detail. Even the smallest features and quirks quickly become a part of your daily routine as you move through your home. You might’ve had to adjust your lifestyle to adjust some of your home’s characteristics, and perhaps you even made a few changes to your home to make it better suit your wants and needs. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to shine a light on this relationship.

Too Early for Spring Cleaning?

Everyone likes to look their best, especially when they’re around that someone special. For any home to look its best, it has to be clean! The best way to get your home clean is to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. This can be accomplished by making a scheduled routine for cleaning tasks in your home. Have the respect for your home to spend a few minutes each day doing the basics- making your beds, cleaning off counter tops, and sweeping the floor. These seemingly insignificant tasks are key to keeping your home clean long term.

If you really want to show your home some love, it’s time for a deeper cleaning- both inside and out. Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals, as they have the expertise to help make your home look amazing…and you won’t end up with a backache from pushing a mop. Steam clean carpets, dive deep into crawl spaces and kitchen cabinets, and even move appliances to clean out behind them. Dust can clog up the ventilation systems of drying machines and refrigerators, which means cleaning these areas can actually help extend the life of your appliances.

Once you’re done inside the house, move outside. Spring will be here before you know it, so make plans to have your home pressure washed, and if necessary, re-stained or repainted. The same goes for outdoor walkways, which might be tainted with winter grime. Don’t forget to give some attention to any outdoor furniture- paint may be chipped after months out in the elements, and you may need to get some new cushions.

Redecorate a Room

It’s hard to beat that feeling of taking a shower and then getting dressed up in a dapper outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks. Sometimes you just have to splurge, and get that new shirt to put it all together. Your home deserves that same attention, and that’s where redecorating comes in. There’s no shortage of ways you can give your home a cosmetic makeover, from reorganizing a room with the furniture you have, to refurnishing the space. A fresh coat of paint can change the look and feel of any space rather easily. Lighting can have a profound effect on a home, so experiment with different fixtures and bulbs to create a soothing atmosphere.

While many homeowners will focus their decorating efforts on the living room or bedrooms, those aren’t your only options. In fact, those are likely the least dated spaces in your home. Consider taking a look at your kitchen, laundry, or even bathrooms. These utilitarian-focused spaces may not need to be entirely up-to-date to keep working, but it can be refreshing to finally see these spaces change after years (or maybe even a decade) of seeing the same old walls, fixtures, and décor every day. 

Add Smart Technology

If you like convenience, smart technology is perfect for you. We’ve moved past the days of clapping again and again to turn on lamps, and now all of our smart technology is integrated into the phone we carry with us all the time anyways. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature in your home without having to leave the comfy warm blankets of your bed. Integrated coffee makers can help us make sure we never start a day without our morning pick-me-up. Washers and dryers can be controlled remotely, allowing us to get home chores done, even when we’re out on the go. Refrigerators with built in cameras mean you’ll never have to ask “Wait, do we need milk?” again.

These devices offer more than just convenience. Home security systems that integrate directly into your phone can help you monitor your place even when you’re at work or on vacation. Smart locks mean you don’t have to worry about locking yourself out, or forgetting to lock up. Video camera doorbells can help you avoid that neighbor who’s just a little too friendly when you’re trying to sleep in late on a Saturday morning.  Smart devices can even help you save on your homeowners insurance. 

Make Sure it’s Protected

Speaking of security, there are others ways you can make sure your home is protected. While it’s recommended to change your smoke detector batteries with Daylights Savings, there’s no reason you can’t change them more frequently. If you have old appliances, have them inspected or replaced for newer units that will be safer (and more efficient). While you’re at it, review your home’s insurance policy- you might be surprised as what’s covered and what isn’t. Maybe it’s time to shop for new homeowner’s insurance? 

Remember the Little Things

It’s easy to get caught up in big changes in your home- they’re exciting and take a lot of focus to get them done. Between the big projects, take the time to check out the little projects you can get done in a few minutes or on a weekend afternoon. Straighten out picture frames and make sure they’ve been dusted. Oil door hinges and drawer tracks. Change out old light bulbs. While small, these are the little details that you’ll be proud to have noticed when the garage door stops squeaking every time you use it.

Buy a Bouquet

Maybe it’s a bit symbolic, but when it’s all said and done, bring home a bouquet of flowers. It’s the cherry on top of all the other work you’ve done. Whether you like roses or wants something a bit more spring-appropriate, find some flowers you love and a vase to showcase them on your table or countertops. Blooming flowers can help warm up a room, especially on chilly evenings when Spring seems like it’s still a year off in the distance.

Loving your Home

Just like any relationship, you shouldn’t just love your home for Valentine’s Day- you should put the effort in every day. Small things start to mean a lot when you do them on a regular basis. If you love your home, don’t be afraid to invest time or money into making it an even nicer place to live.