How monthly home maintenance will save you big bucks
Without regular maintenance and care, your home will quickly lose its value. Here's a monthly checklist for keeping up with the biggest investment of your life.
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Check all gutters for blockage and clean as needed (bird’s nests, leaves, etc.)Skip to next paragraph
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Check all visible pipes for leaks (don’t forget under sinks, etc.)
Check and clean refrigerator and freezer coils (we did this about once every six months, if I remember right)
Check all caulking and repair as needed
Clean all windows – remove the screens, clean the windowsills thoroughly, and also clean the windows thoroughly with Windex
Vacuum under all furniture – and vacuum all furniture, removing the cushions, etc.
Shampoo carpets as needed – this was usually done in a batch every few months
Scrub all non-carpeted floors – soap and brush on your hands and knees
Scour all sinks and tabletops
Sweep the garage floor
Put anything unused into storage (we had an annual “go through the storage” event, too)
Inventory all food staples (pantry, freezer, etc.), throw out what’s old, make a master list, and go to the store to replace what’s needed
Completely clean out refrigerator, thoroughly clean inside, then restock
That’s a lot of tasks. How does one manage it?
Simple. I just keep rotating through this list. Whenever I have an hour or two, I just go through the top few items on my list. Whenever I complete an item, I move it to the bottom of the list. When I’m tired of it or something else comes up, I just put the list aside until later.
Because of that, I get to each item on the list every month or so. Some of the items are done in just a few minutes. Others take an hour or two. If I put in a few hours a week on this list, then the house stays kept up.
(Of course, sometimes I fall behind. Life intervenes. However, if you’ve been doing these things regularly, periods of less activity on the list are tolerated much better by your home and automobile.)
What’s the reward for doing these things? Your house and automobile (and the components in them) have a much longer lifespan. You have far fewer emergency repairs. Your energy and fuel bills are lower. Your car has a longer lifespan. Your home has a larger resale value. It adds up – big time.
Take care of your biggest investments and they’ll take care of you.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.
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