A Quick (and Necessary) Home Maintenance Task You Can Check Off Your List in Two Minutes

A Quick (and Necessary) Home Maintenance Task You Can Check Off Your List in Two Minutes

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Taryn Williford
Apr 25, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

If you're the type of person who enjoys adding items like "eat lunch" to your to-do list, you're going to love today's spring cleaning mission.

Staying productive isn't always easy. When you're faced with an overwhelming amount of work in front of you, it's all too easy to get stuck in productivity paralysis; instead of doing something, you do nothing, and the pressure just seems to mount. And that's why I am a big believer in dotting your to-do list with a few small things that don't take a ton of effort. "Check email in the morning"—that's easy to handle, and it'll set up a snowball effect of potent energy.

If you have a lot to clean, you can benefit from the same "small morsel" strategy. In fact, we're going to do something like that right now. Even if you've missed a few spring cleaning assignments along the way, use today's task to get back on the horse...

TODAY'S 20-MINUTE TASK


Order an Air Filter and Batteries for the Smoke Alarm

Lest you get burned out on spring cleaning right before the end of our journey, today's mission is a seriously simple one. All you need to do today is order replacements for your air filter and the batteries in your smoke detector.

Smoke detector batteries should be tested every month, and replaced when needed, but at least once a year, to be safe. The replacement schedule for an air filter varies depending on how many people and pets live at home (and whether or not they have sensitive allergies), but a good rule of thumb is to replace the filter at least quarterly, but maybe every other month.

First take stock: If you have what you need already (like a fallout shelter stockpile of 9-volts, for some reason), go ahead and make the switch, replacing the filter or batteries right now. Or maybe you already did the smoke alarm switch when we turned the clocks forward for daylight savings time last month. In either case, grab the low-hanging fruit and check this task off your list.

On the other hand, if you saw today's assignment and thought to yourself, "When was the last time I did that?" your objective today is just as simple: Hop online and order the replacements. Measure your existing air filter and find the right size on Amazon (or wherever you prefer to shop). While you're there, add some batteries to your cart for your smoke alarms. Then just sit back and wait. When the rations arrive in a couple days, take a minute to make the switch. See? Simple!

How often do you have to change your air filter? Any great tips for reminding yourself to test and change the smoke alarm batteries?

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