How many times have you asked your spouse, "When's the last time we....?" When did you last change that air filter? How old is the water heater and when was it last drained? Have you ever cleaned the refrigerator coils since you moved into your home?
Beyond regular daily and weekly cleanings, there are definitely some home maintenance items we need to take care of, but tend to forget. Our busy lives get in the way - I totally understand. But rather than wait for the next emergency, let's try a new approach from now on. Take some time to identify the monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks your home and major appliances would benefit from and then start SCHEDULING these items into your calendar so you don’t forget.
In the future it won’t be a question of, “when’s the last time we….?” because you’ll have a record to refer to forevermore. You can take a glance at your calendar the next time you're at Home Depot and get those filters you need because you've noted the size in your calendar - you are so on top of things! Plus regular maintenance (like getting an oil change on your car) keeps things running smoothly for much longer. The overall cost of regular maintenance is almost always less than an emergency visit from the repair man, so you'll even save money, too. Plus, if you use a digital calendar, you can make your items into never-ending recurring events and never have to schedule them again!
Tasks may vary depending on your household, but here is a list of basics for you to start with:
Change filters throughout your home on a monthly/quarterly basis
Drain/flush your water heater as per your manual
Get your AC unit serviced annually or as per your manual
Inspect your furnace, change the filters, and get it serviced as per your manual
Use a vacuum to clean the coils underneath and behind your refrigerator annually
Clean/defrost your refrigerator & freezer annually or as per your manual
Use a vacuum to clean underneath and behind your washer and dryer annually
Check/clean your dryer lint vent annually
Perform a monthly deep cleaning cycle on front-loading washers as per your manual
Use a vacuum to clean underneath and behind your stove annually
Wash/dry your vacuum filters and replace your bag as per your manual
Have your air ducts inspected/professionally cleaned
Have your chimney professionally cleaned annually
Check the expiration date on fire extinguishers in the kitchen or garage and mark on your calendar when to replace them
Check smoke, carbon monoxide, and security alarms twice a year on Daylight Savings Time
Want to take it a step further than just adding these items to your calendar? Take a look at HomeZada, a digital home inventory company. You can set up an automated home maintenance schedule that will send you email reminders, To Dos, and even track repair costs. You can also share your maintenance schedule when you sell your home, thereby adding even more value to your listing.
No matter what path you choose - paper or digital reminders - having regularly scheduled maintenance tasks in your calendar will help keep your home running better and your mind less cluttered. Be proactive, not reactive!