KEEP YOUR LIFE MAINTAINED – ONE MONTH AT A TIME

Staying on top of home maintenance throughout the year can be a big job and many people don’t know where to start.  It is best to break it down from annual chores, monthly, weekly and daily.  Below is some monthly maintenance ideas that can be broken down into weekly chores.

Staying on top of daily, monthly, and annual chores around your home is a big job. Maintenance and repair jobs are constants. To save time and money, plan for the seasonal needs of your home, yard, and garden.

JANUARY

  • Do end of year accounting.  Set up file folders for current year’s taxes.  Organize receipts and paperwork.
  • De-clutter a closet.  Pick one and empty it.  Sort things to save, donate, sell and toss.  Organize the stuff that belongs in that closet and put it back.
  • Replace drawer liners and shelf papers.
  • Wander the house with a screwdriver and a note pad.  Tighten screws on drawers, doors and furniture.  Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs.  Make little repairs all at once.
  • Call the utility company to do an energy audit. 

FEBRUARY

  • Make a list of major indoor projects that need to be done.  Prioritize them and set appointments on the calender to do them.
  • Check and clean grout between tiles in your kitchen and bath.  Re-grout if necessary and add a sealer.
  • Check flooring and carpet.  If it needs repair or replacement, take advantage of the sales this time of year.
  • Plant seeds.  Many seeds need to be started 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Prune roses – 18 inches.
  • Reorganize the pantry.  Make meal plans that use up canned foods and freezer stocks.  Frozen foods are often on sale in march, so it’s a good time to stock up if you have room.
  • Organize the laundry area.  Clear everything out and sort, toss and organize the shelves.

MARCH

  • Prepare for vacation.  Schedule time off and make reservations and schedule flights for summer months.
  • Fertilize almost everything in the yard.
  • Time to start transplanting cool season veggies in the garden.  Cut back herbs.
  • Organize your papers.  Root out and recycle old magazines, newspapers, and mementos.  Build a new file system or clean out old files that are past being useful.
  • Prepare taxes and have them done.
  • Inspect your basement or crawl space for water and dampness; repair as needed.

APRIL

  • Check smoke alarms.  Replace batteries.
  • Wash inside windows.
  • Sort winter clothes for tossing, donating, garage sale, or storage.  Get out summer clothing. 
  • Replace winter bedding with summer bedding. 
  • Move appliances and heavy furniture.  Clean underneath and behind.
  • Wash woodwork including moldings, baseboards, and doors.
  • Clean light fixtures and chandeliers.  Put what you can in the dishwasher and clean the rest with warm soapy water and dry.
  • Dust or wash mini-blinds, shades, and fans.
  • Go through bookshelves, videos, DVDs, and music CDs.  Dust shelves, toss damaged, donate unused, and reorganize.
  • Check sprinkler system.

MAY

  • Plan a garage sale for May or June.
  • Finish spring cleaning projects.
  • Mother’s Day.  Call your mom, send a card, buy flowers.
  • Check gutters, downspouts, and roof for leaks.  Schedule roofing repairs as needed.
  • Check siding for winter damage.
  • Clean around AC compressor.
  • Wash windows and put in screens.
  • Cut back any trees, branches, or bushes that are touching the siding or roof.
  • Clean and repair patio furniture.

JUNE

  • Paint exterior if needed.
  • Clean out the frig and freezer.
  • Strawberries are in season.  Make shortcake or jam.
  • Check hoses on washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher.  Replace if any show signs of deterioration.
  • Check decks and docks for wear and deterioration.  Make repairs and replace nails that may be popping up.  Clean and seal decks.
  • Check exterior railings and stairs.  Repair if they are loose or showing signs of wear.
  • Clothes dryer vents should be checked for buildup that may cause a fire.
  • Service furnace or heating system.
  • Make sure attic vents work properly.  Consider installing a whole house fan.
  • Plant more annuals.

JULY

  • Do indoor paint projects.  With windows open, July is  a great month to paint.
  • Patch driveway or fill potholes with gravel.
  • Clean the garage and get rid of junk.
  • Organize tools and garden equipment.
  • Check fences.  Repair or replace damaged portions.

AUGUST

  • Check windows and doors to make sure locks work properly.  Clean tracks and lubricate hinges.
  • Repair minor brick and mortar cracks.
  • If you need more attic insulation, add it now.
  • Check gutters.  Clean or add leaf guards that will allow leaves to slide off.
  • Check drains.  Use homemade or store-bought drain cleaner to clean out all the drains in the house. 

SEPTEMBER

  • Drain hot water heater.  Flush and refill.
  • Change furnace filter
  • Wash out garbage cans, disinfect, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Remove plants that are starting to die.
  • Plant late autumn vegetables like cabbage, peas, and spinach.
  • Plant an indoor herb garden in a sunny window.

OCTOBER

  • Keep leaves raked to prevent smothering grass.
  • Take window screen out, wash and store.
  • Turn mattresses.
  • Store summer clothing, bedding and towels.
  • Have carpets cleaned.
  • Check smoke detector and replace batteries.
  • Replace all your spices and herbs. 

NOVEMBER

  • Clean flower and vegetable beds, then work mulch and compost into soil to prepare for next spring.
  • Rake leaves, clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Check the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms for leaks and other problems that need attention. Repair or replace faucets as needed.
  • Organize gardening supplies and equipment for the winter. 
  • Prepare for holidays either at home or traveling.
  • Put Christmas lights up after Thanksgiving.

DECEMBER

  • Mail gifts and Christmas cards.
  • Take your fire extinguishers to a certified inspector to make sure they are charged up properly and are ready for use.
  • Put up decorations.  Purchase new items and donate unused items.
  • Finish shopping and wrap gifts.
  • Get pets groomed. 

Owning a home is a full-time job.  Doing preventative maintenance and finding problems early can save you money.  Although it is hard to remember everything that needs to be done and every home is different, I hope this will be a start in the right direction for your home.  Get your home organized and plan it one month at a time.

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