Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to Create an Annual Home Maintenance Calendar

One of my goals back when I was making ... spring goals, I think it was, was to set up an annual home maintenance calendar.  Just a master list of all the things I need to do, seasonally, to stay on top of things around the house.  I finally finished my version of one.  I was thinking about how to share what I did, but I did mine as a Google calendar  - not my main one, but you know how you can make extra calendars with different colors?  That's what I did, so I can look at just this maintenance calendar when I need to.  Plus I can set reminders, and make it a recurring event so I don't need to make a new calendar every year.  God bless the Google.

Although making the calendar takes some time, it's really not difficult once you sit down to do it.  It's a pretty simple three step process:

1. List the tasks you need to accomplish to keep your home maintained throughout the year.  That's where I come in, I list everything you need below.
2. List how often each task needs to be done.  There's once a year tasks, but there's also quarterly tasks and monthly tasks.
3. Make the calendar entries for each task.  The most time consuming part, to be sure, because you need to not only put these all in the calendar, but also put reminders in, in case it takes a block or time or supplies you need to get.  Which is why I highly recommend using Google or another electronic calendar, so you only have to do this step once!

Alright, let's get into it then.  Here's everything I could think of that you might need to add to your own home maintenance calendar:

Once a Year Tasks:

Get AC inspection
Inspect and clean outdoor lighting
Inspect home exterior
Inspect roof
Remove and clean window screens, replace any damaged ones
Yard work - aerate the lawn, clear dead plants, trim trees and bushes

Clean and repair deck/patio
Clean garage
Inspect plumbing for leaks (summer is ideal for this because you can run the water outside, plus anything that froze in winter is melted)
Power wash windows and siding

Clean chimney and fireplace (I mean, hire someone to do it of course.  We don't have one.)
Flush and turn off outdoor water faucets
Cover/store outdoor furniture
Get a heat inspection
Winterize the A/C unit(s)

Check for ice issues, regularly
Check locks on deadbolts and windows (why winter?  You can multitask and see if drafts are coming in, which increases your heating bill)

Check and refill any disaster kits (personal fail... you know who's prepared for a disaster?  Hawkeye.  I have all her shit ready.)
Deep clean the carpets (either professionally or rent a unit)
Flush hot water heater
Review homeowner's insurance policy and note any new items before renewing

Biannual Tasks (Every 6 Months):

Clean gutters (I think we actually do this more often, because of all the stuff that falls off our trees.  And by we I mean John.)
Reverse ceiling fan directions (clockwise in winter, counterclockwise in summer)
Clean dryer vent and hose that leads outside (biggest cause of fires)
Vacuum refrigerator coils

Quarterly Tasks (Every 3 Months):

Change air filters
Check grout (bathrooms and kitchens, generally) and repair as needed
Clean windows (I'd say we're 3 months on the inside, outside... 6 months. Maybe. That's what rain is for, no?)
Run water in any unused spaces

Monthly Tasks:

Check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers (I never do this monthly, I'm awful. I live with a firefighter too, I should know better.)
Clean things you forget about, in rotation (microwaves, the hood on your stove, inside the oven, flipping the mattress - microwave I do every month, but the rest I alternate.  Hood one month, mattress flip the next, then clean the baseboards, etc.)

If you have anything to add to the list, let me know in the comments.

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