1. Create a workstation (finally!)

When it comes to creating a home office is to stock all the office furniture so it feels like an office.

Work from home is here to stay. But if you’re still typing away on your kitchen island, it’s time to come up with a more permanent—and comfortable—solution.

“In 2023, I’m looking forward to creating my workstation in one of the small rooms,” says Nadzeya Sankovich, a journalist and researcher at Health Reporter. “This is very important because, with a hybrid work format, one needs to have a professional setup at home and the office.”

One of our top tips when it comes to creating a home office is to stock all of the office furniture so it feels like an office. We’re talking an actual desk chair, a proper desk, a decent desk lamp, and maybe even a filing cabinet.

2. Add a dash of gold (and paint a tile or two)

Gold accents give a luxurious yet sophisticated look to your space.

If you can’t do a full-house renovation, it might be the year to focus on little projects with a major “wow” factor.

Eli Pasternak, a real estate professional and founder of Liberty House Buying Group, has a couple of those projects in mind. He hopes to elevate his home’s look while increasing its real estate value.

His plans include switching out old fixtures for new ones and painting over old, worn tiles.

“I love gold doorknobs, handles, and faucets because they give a luxurious yet sophisticated look to the living space,” adds Pasternak. “And old tiles that look worn make a space appear dated. You can easily paint over the tiles with a white or neutral shade, to brighten the look of the entire space.”

Floor tile, wall tile, and countertop tile are great candidates for painting. But steer clear of tiles that are exposed to water, like those in a shower or tub.

3. Make some energy-saving moves

Adding a programmable thermostat and setting it to what EnergyStar.gov recommends could save you up to $180 per year.

“This year, my real estate wish is to upgrade my home by making it more energy-efficient,” says Nick Mueller, director of operations for HawaiianIslands.com. “I’ve been paying quite a bit for my energy bills lately, and I know that making these changes will help me lower them.”

So to save big bucks, Mueller plans to install programmable thermostats, switch to energy-efficient appliances, and seal any drafts in his home.

And if Mueller does indeed add a programmable thermostat and sets it to what EnergyStar.gov recommends, he could save up to $180 per year.

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, plans to save energy by upgrading the insulation in his home in 2023.

“I live in an old Victorian, and heating and cooling issues tend to come with the territory,” says Yamaguchi. “However, I know that updating the insulation could definitely help lower my heating and cooling bills.”

And Yamaguchi is 100% right. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners will save 15% on heating and cooling costs with effective insulation.

4. Add a garden

Pick a spot in your home that receives plenty of sunlight and has good drainage.

In the depths of winter, it’s nice to start planning for some green in your future.

“This year, adding a garden to my home is one of my New Year’s resolutions,” says Rinal Patel, founder of Suburbrealtor. “I have already picked a spot in my home that receives plenty of sunlight and has good drainage.”

Patel will also want to get a soil-testing kit from a home center or box store to make sure the patch he selected is right for growing plants.

5. Pay down your mortgage

The sooner you can pay down your mortgage, the more you can save in interest.

Not all projects involve sprucing up your physical space—some can be gauged toward your bank account. For example, most mortgages are for 30 years. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait decades to pay it off.

“Now that interest rates are significantly higher, I really want to make it a priority to pay down my mortgage this year, says Alex Byder, owner of BD Home Holdings. “The sooner I can pay down my mortgage, the more that I can save in interest.”

And the good news is, you can take small steps when it comes to paying down your mortgage. You can start by paying a little extra each month or by making one extra payment a year.