BY MARILYN WILSON, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN JANUARY 10, 2013
There are many resolutions that have been ushered in with the New Year. When crafting yours you may have opted for the popular fitness goals or decision to eat healthier. You may also have decided to do other things for yourself or those around you. I propose the following six condo-centred resolutions to help you enjoy your unit, building and neighbours even more in 2013.
- Dust bust
The best way to get a fresh outlook on your condo is through cleaning. I’m not talking about your average tidy-up-the-kitchen or even a good vacuuming. Go one step further by cleaning in places your broom has never been before. Try tackling the dust on top of your hot water tank, for instance. Or, clean inside your washer and dryer. Evict the dust bunnies before the Easter Bunny arrive. Baseboards and halogen lighting are other places you might find these unwanted fluffy tenants. If you have lamps, clean inside the shades, even dusting the light bulbs. The beginning of this New Year is the perfect time to clean in places you never have to make you feel as though you have a clean slate for the year ahead.
- Meet and greet
Do you know your neighbours? If you think you know Mrs. Golden Retriever across the hall and Mr. Runs in the Morning on floor 2, think again. Now might be a great time to get acquainted with your neighbours by getting involved with your condo board. Attending meetings and participating in them can be a great way to find out the goings on of the building as well as meet interesting new people. To enhance your experience, volunteer for a committee.
To take this a step further, you might consider planning a wine-and-cheese event for your floor. If you are uncomfortable with having strangers into your home, then why not book the entertainment room? In lieu of wine and cheese, plan for morning coffee.
- Read on
If you absolutely love to do a certain activity, like reading, then set up a group to meet regularly to discuss books. The condo book club can be a great opportunity not only to develop your interests but also to make new friends. How do you start? Just fix up a list of the rules and the books and schedule a meeting. Many people start with bestseller lists such as those on offer from Oprah and The New York Times. You can check these out online.
- All thumbs
Perhaps, instead, you are an avid gardener. Consider gathering your fellow green thumbs to start a balcony garden club. To help enrich your meetings (and your soil) get in a few guest speakers from local stores.
Exercise enthusiasts rejoice — there is no need to bundle up for the commute to exercise class. Simply organize your own club for walking, yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi. Many of the newer condos boast amenities for these pursuits. Cathedral Hill by Windmill Developments, for instance, will offer a multipurpose studio for activities such as yoga. However, even if you do not have access to a room like this, you can start a yoga class right in your condo. Start by signing a few people up, split the cost of an instructor and book a room or push your couch aside and do your Sun Salutations right in your living room. Namaste, you’re on your way!
- Listen up
Have you been looking for a friend to go with you to the Diana Krall concert, the ballet or theatre? Maybe other people in your condo are similarly searching. Consider organizing an excursion to the National Arts Centre or Great Canadian Theatre Company. You might want to get the group together for cocktails and then head over for a show. This can be a great conversation starter for those who are shy minglers.
This January is the perfect time to start an initiative — be it cleaning or making new acquaintances. There is no better time to start than now so be sure to improve your condo living experience by putting a little effort into making your home all it can be. Use your condo sense to make 2013 your best year yet.
Marilyn Wilson has been selling real estate for more than 23 years and owns Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties Inc. Brokerage, an Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. She can be reached through dreamproperties.com or follow her on Twitter@marilyn_wilson.
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