Whether you own or rent your home, whether it's an apartment or a house, it'll need maintenance this year. Make your life easier and a little less stressful by planning out your home's maintenance for the whole year all at once, filling out an annual calendar and setting yourself reminders so you stay on track all year long!
What You Need
- A yearly calendar (paper or digital)
- A copy of your lease (if you rent)
- Your smart phone or computer
1. Figure out the tasks your home needs to stay maintained
So everyone's home will be different. But start by making a list of things that you already do or should do (and you sometimes forget). You can also look on your lease; it often includes a list of tasks that need performing occasionally throughout the year. Those who live in homeowner associations might also find task ideas by looking at that information. You can search online for annual home maintenance list suggestions. Or you can use our handy suggestions list below!
2. Organize the tasks on your list by how often they need to be done
Some home maintenance tasks are a once-a-year kind of thing, others should be done only a few times a year and other items once per month. Again, you can look to multiple resources to find time frame suggestions, but also think about how you've used your home in the past and consider how often your family's space might need certain tasks performed or maintained.
3. Make calendar entries for each task — and this is the important thing — set a reminder.
The last and most important step is to fill in your calendar. Consider what your typical year looks like and when these tasks might best fit into your schedule. Look at the list below for a good idea of what time of year to perform some tasks. Pick the tasks that work for your home type.
Taking the time to get organized with your home maintenance now is a great way to not have to really think about these tasks all that much until the time comes to do them. Want to be even smarter about it? Also list the materials you'll need to complete these tasks in the reminders (like making sure you buy batteries for smoke detectors) so you don't end up skipping anything!
And that's it! Creating a home maintenance calendar in one sitting in the beginning of the year is a simple thing you can do that can have a huge and positive impact on your home for the rest of the year.
A sample list of home maintenance tasks to add to your calendar:
(But please remember, these are just suggestions. Your home might need more, less or different tasks to keep it in shape all year!)
Once a year
- Anytime: Flush hot water heater
- Anytime: Review renters or homeowner's insurance and photograph any new items before it's time to renew your policy
- Anytime: Build or refill your disaster preparedness kit
- Early Spring: Aerate your lawn
- Early Spring: Book an AC inspection
- Summer: Book a chimney sweep
- Early Fall: Book a heat inspection
- Late Winter: Check and repair your window screens before beautiful spring temperatures
Every six months
- Late Spring and Late Fall: Reverse ceiling fan direction
- Check/change batteries in smoke and co2 detectors
- Clean exterior dryer vent
- Vacuum fridge coils
- Wash windows
- Do a home safety check where you test smoke detector batteries, check all locks, and look for things like loose knobs, shelves, tripping hazards and more.
- Clean out your gutters
Every 3 months
- Wipe down inside of fridge and replace baking soda in fridge
- Flip your mattress and vacuum your mattress and/or box spring
- Clean baseboards and trim
- Inspect and reseal grout/caulk as needed in tiled areas
- Wash range hood ventilation filters
Every 1 - 2 months
- Change air filters (Pro-tip: Buy a year's supply of filters to store at once.)
- Clean and freshen your garbage disposal
Any important ones you'd suggest adding to the list? Let us know in the comments...