Priorities for your home | Incremental Green | Green Home Coach

3 Priorities for Your Home in the New Year 2023

New Year’s Day 2023 dawned with the realization that it was a…
New Day, of a
New Week, of a 

New Month, of a 

New Year. 

Thank you Sunday, January 1, 2023. I’m not sure of the odds of that occurring, yet it made the day and the new year feel more like new beginnings are definitely in store. 

For many of us, the new year brings new plans, priorities and intentions. 

How about priorities for the home you live in or work on? 

3 key priorities for a home can lead to better homes where you (or your clients) can live a healthier, more comfortable life. 

And who doesn’t want that? 

  1. Health and Wellness Matters in Homes. Really Matters. 
  2. Maintaining Your Home is a Gift to Your Future Living in Your Home (and this is a gift for our clients, as well)
  3. Simple Choices Really Do Add Up to a Better Home

Sometimes the idea of making all of the “right” choices can feel extremely overwhelming. If you grew up in a home where health and sustainability weren’t addressed from all aspects, then it will likely be mind-boggling when trying to learn and make healthy changes all at once.

The good news? Making better choices doesn’t have to be exhausting – especially when it comes to priorities for your home. You can take what I like to call an “Incremental Green” approach. These are choices you can make one at a time that will create a healthier, safer, and more comfortable home.

“Living green has to be a blend of the stuff you buy and the things you do.” From landscaping, home maintenance and greener household products to integrating smart technology and planting a rain garden, Cloos shows (sic, in her book) consumers ways to make any home a green home; simple changes that increase a home’s value, saves money and improves the health of the planet.

“Helping people understand the impact that their home has is the first step to a home being a part of the solution .”


#1 Health and Wellness in Homes Matters, Really Matters

During the past few years, health and wellness has become a key benefit most of us now expect from our homes. It’s been an important benefit of homes in the green and sustainable homes space since I entered the industry over 15 years ago, yet this past year felt different. 

Healthier, more comfortable homes are in high demand. Knowing and communicating the specific features of your homes that contribute to healthier, more comfortable living helps your buyers, owners, and occupants have the peace of mind of a better home.

A Healthier Home…

  • benefits physical and emotional health
  • increases overall comfort
  • reduces exposure to toxins
  • maximizes fresh airflow and reduces indoor air pollution
  • decreases allergies and prevents health problems

Design choices can make your home a healthier, more comfortable space, and add to overall quality of life, while also impacting the community. Some features of a healthier, greener home can minimize strain on landfills, water treatment plants, and power plants along with other parts of local infrastructure.

Better, healthier options

Choose finishes, fixtures and materials with natural ingredients or responsible use of ingredients that may have longer term effects. Reducing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other toxins found in many home finishes and materials is a first step to better indoor air quality and better breathing.

Low or no VOC paints, flooring, cabinets, adhesives, stains, and glues are readily available and help reduce the VOCs and toxins that may be sticking around your home.  Products and materials should be chosen that do not contain formaldehyde. Many additional options await! A great resource for homes is found on the Homebuyers tab of the Home Performance Counts website.   I’m happy to recommend other resources as well. 

Remodeling with health in mind also contributes to the resale value of homes. Many home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with healthier, green components because they realize the extra value they offer.

Remember, even the small steps make a big difference.


#2 Maintaining Your Home is a Gift to Your Future Living in Your Home

“We often forget to look at how much it is going to cost to run a home (in money and time!).”

Why Maintenance Matters 

Sometimes maintenance gets a bad rap, yet maintaining a home is one of the most sustainable things you can do. Maintenance preserves the life of things, so the more routine maintenance you do around the home, the fewer repairs will be needed, and the longer things will last. And the longer things last, the fewer things end up getting tossed out to the recycling or trash.

Checklists are a great tool for keeping on track and a maintenance checklist will help get to everything that needs to be done. It also can help you figure out what you can do yourself, and what you will need professional help with.

My friend Tina with Home Tips for Women has a unique, three-tiered approach to her home maintenance checklists. She explains that as a homeowner, your priority is to make sure that everything gets taken care of. And you don’t have to do that personally.

  1. Inspect your home each season, inside and out, to find out what needs to be taken care of.
  2. Maintain the things that require maintenance. (Or have a handy-person do it.) 
  3. Update the things that require updating.

When you have little time available, inspect. When you have more time, maintain. And when you’re ready to dive into something, update.

It’s a good idea to set some money aside, in a separate account, for the ongoing costs of maintaining your home. Don’t’ forget to reward yourself after completing your home maintenance, to motivate yourself to keep doing it, going forward.

The Value of Your Home

Your home is a big investment, as well as a place of nurturing and refuge. Preventative maintenance of your home protects your investment while improving the living experience in it. If you take care of your home, it will help take care of you.

In my book, Living Green Effortlessly, Simple Choices For a Better Home, Chapter 6 is dedicated to home maintenance. Tina of Home Tips for Women collaborated on this chapter with me, and it includes her great seasonal checklists. You can get a copy of the book at many libraries, on my website or on Amazon. 


#3 Simple Choices Really Do Add Up to a Better Home

Our homes are our refuge. It’s the place where life happens.  You know, the little stuff that happens every day.  Where you wake up and smell the coffee, where you read your kiddo a bedtime story, scratch your dog’s tummy and all the other little actions that make our houses home.  

But our homes have a secret life.  With all the complexity of our modern life, we unknowingly may be living in a home that is not in our best interest.  It may be something big like lead paint or mold or huge utility bills.  But chances are, it’s the small stuff.  The leaky toilet, the rug we bought last weekend or the cleaners we are using.  

That’s exactly why I wrote my book.  To help you know about and change the small stuff.  In retrospect, I wish the title of my book was “Simple Choices to a Better Home – Living Green Effortlessly” because it really is about your better home and the simple choices you can make to get it.  The living green effortlessly is just a by-product.  

From simple swaps to green and sustainable actions and products or a green certified home, they all lead to a better home. Putting these actions in place can help reap the rewards of saved money, time and effort to finance, operate and maintain homes and buildings.

Often these simple swaps affect not only ourselves, yet also our clients, our communities and even our world. This is not about climate change, politics, or tree-hugging. This is about doing your best for you and your family in your home and as applicable, helping your clients do their best in the homes your build or work on for them. This is about you owning your mission and doing what you can to make a positive change. This is about not worrying about what you cannot accomplish, but celebrating what you CAN.

Green and sustainable products and actions provide the very health, safety and comfort benefits we want for ourselves, loved ones and clients.

Getting Started is Easy

Swap 5 products you currently buy for healthier ones – read labels, do research, check out trusted resources. Or check out our Trusted Partners and Brands, including Home Depot Eco Options — companies whose products and services support healthier outcomes, small businesses, women and homes. 

Support and buy from companies which share your values. We truly can vote with our pocketbook. In my Everyday Green Home Shop, I have personally curated a collection of (my) better, more sustainable products for you, I have an affiliate relationship with Amazon and do receive a commission for your purchase. Thank you! 

Want a custom approach to your home or project? We can help with that too!

Website for Green Home Coach Community

The Green Home Coach website offers programs and resources online. All of the podcasts (246 episodes – Wow!) and a reincarnated blog are there as well. We also launched our Trusted Partners and Brands page to showcase other businesses and organizations Green Home Coach works closely with. 

As a 100% woman-owned business, it is my mission to empower people, especially women, in their homes and families by sharing how and why green and sustainable products and actions can create a safer, healthier, and more comfortable home. We’ve focused on what we put in our bodies (food, water…) and on our bodies (personal care and beauty products). Simply put, now it’s time to focus on what happens where our body lives..

I’m proud to inspire you to discover and create healthier homes and help people like you and me live better!

Excited for 2023

There are lots of things in store for 2023. Stay tuned. Looking forward to connecting and working with you in the future. Happy New Year and New Beginnings! 

Mentions and Resources

Living Green Effortlessly, Simple Choices for a Better Home book 

Home Performance Counts, from NAR and NAHB

Home Maintenance Checklist with Tina Gleisner of Home Tips for Women 

Wellness Within Your Walls

Healthy Home | Take Control! Podcast  

Green Home Coach Trusted Partners and Brands

Everyday Green Home Podcast

Green Home Coach Blog

Everyday Green Home Shop