Household Management Series: Maintenance

 

Oh maintenance.  Oh how everything needs to be maintained. I know that it can seem overwhelming but it is far less expensive and much easier time and effort wise, to maintain on a schedule then to have to deal with disastrous results.   So how do you beat overwhelm when it comes to maintaining everything that you own?

Don’t own so much.

We purposefully purchased a 1,500 sq. foot house.  I purposefully drive a maintained 2004 GMC truck.  We purposefully pay attention to what we purchase and it’s cost per use.  Well…as purposefully as we can while living in a disposable world.

James LouisK. Stevenson

When it comes to the home front, I make one big schedule for all of it and I add the truck into that schedule too.  We do as much as we can D.I.Y because we enjoy it.  The trick is to know when it’s better to call the pros to save the most time and money.

Michael and I replaced the purge valve on the truck ourselves.  I often change the air filter on my own. But I won’t ever change the oil on my own.  Why? Because once the vehicle is up on the lift, my mechanic can take a good look around and see things that my untrained eye can’t.  So far in 3 years we caught a rusted bolt necessary for something or other, a missing heat shield that let all of my shift differential fluid leak out, and the immediate need for breaks before I even heard noise.  Now if I knew what I was doing, then for sure I would do it myself, but I know my limitations.

When it comes to home maintenance, I try to schedule everything in quarters.  This way when I get my water bill I know that it’s time to look at my list.  As an example, every quarter we do the following:

  • Change the air filter in the HVAC system & Truck
  • Take down the ceiling fans & light fixtures for a deep cleaning
  • Vacuum the top of the air ducts (call in the professional every other year)
  • Deep clean the floor and wall vents
  • Deep clean all appliances
  • Service the truck & rotate tires
  • Wash the curtains and dust the rods
  • Wash the inside of the cabinets
  • Check all hoses and connections in and out of the house
  • Test the fire alarms and replace batteries

Once per year:

  • Hire a professional floor cleaning company
  • Have the chimney swept
  • Have the roof inspected and coated if necessary
  • Inspect door & window seals
  • Spray the inside and outside of the house for bugs, or hire an exterminator.

Altogether this comes to 45 tasks that we do to maintain our home.  If you divide 45 by 356 days in a year, you get 0.1264 tasks per day.  This is my sarcastic way of saying that there is no excuses in terms of having time to maintain your living space.

Things like grass, gardens, porches, decks, pools etc., these all need a tighter schedule of maintenance than quarterly.  In these instances, and for things like them, I suggest a weekly or monthly inspection depending on what it is.  This way when something is noticed and it isn’t a quick fix, it can be scheduled and budgeted in.

I prefer to keep track of my household via paper that I keep in my Household Binder, but others may feel more at ease with electronic helpers.  As such, I have found this post by The Krazy Coupon Lady that outline 6 easy and free home maintenance apps for your device.  In the end, it doesn’t matter how you keep track of it all, only that you do!

 

In Conclusion,

We are smack in the middle of my favorite season – the DIY season!  This is the best time of the year to get it all done and ensure that your home is prepped for the winter season.  Doing it now will let you relax and hygge all winter long without any surprises or unexpected expenses.  Prep the fireplace by having it swept and starting to stock firewood now.  Have a professional come in to tune up your HVAC system.  Scrape and repaint your windowsills so that they are ready for the spring flower boxes come April.  While you’re out taking care of your homestead, make small talk with your neighbors.  Prep and maintenance don’t have to be a drag – make it a part of your basic well being and watch how creative you can be with turning it into fun!

 

In service,

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