New Year’s Resolution Guide to Yearlong Home Maintenance

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cleaning

Maybe this is the year to go on an adventure or take a business risk. Perhaps you’ve decided to cook healthier foods or save more money. The beginning of the new year is an opportunity for improvement, from spending more time with the family to elevating your career. But for many on-the-go busy working moms, simply maintaining the home can be a never-ending task. And without regular tuneups, you may face laborious and costly repairs down the road.

If you want to make regular home maintenance your New Year’s resolution, stay on track with this list, ranging from monthly to annual tasks. Identify tasks to complete every weekend, and your house will be a healthy, happy home for the long-term.

Monthly

  • Inspect HVAC filters and replace if dirty. If you’re a smaller family without pets or allergies, replacing filters every 2-3 months may be sufficient.
  • Clean the kitchen sink disposal by running vinegar ice cubes through the disposal. Vinegar ice cubes help freshen and sharpen blades. Flushing with hot water and baking soda is another option.
  • Degrease your range hood vent filter using auto degreaser and hot water. Rinse the filter in the mixture in the sink for a few minutes to clean the filter.
  • Clean out dirt and debris in sink and tub drains with a drain stick.
  • Ensure that your fire extinguisher is in proper working condition, including adequate pressure, intact locking pin, unbroken tamper seal and no visible signs of wear or tear.

Quarterly

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if no alarm sounds when you hit the “test” button.
  • Check the water heater. Repair any leaks. If you live in an area with hard water, drain 1-2 gallons to reduce calcium buildup. Also, check the pressure relief valve to prevent mineral and corrosion buildup and keep it running efficiently.
  • Check the water softener. Add salt if necessary.
  • Clean faucets, shower heads and aerators.
  • Inspect weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Replace holes and cracks with new material.
  • Lubricate hardware to help keep windows and doors in good shape, providing free and easy movement. Rid sliding windows and doors of dirt, dust and debris.

Semiannually

  • Give the whole house a proper deep clean. Keep your house in optimal shape by eliminating dirt, grime and dust buildup from room corner to room corner.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils. As coils get dirty, the fridge will use more energy to run. Keep it running efficiently and save electricity with well-maintained coils.
  • Exercise electrical breakers so all moving parts break through any grease and grime buildup and ensure proper operation. (Without opening for a long period of time, a circuit breaker can have performance issues.)
  • Test Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GCFI outlets), which detect dangerous current flow and instantly shut off power. These electrical devices may damage or wear out.

Annually

  • Winter: Check for ice dams and remove icicles. Heavy icicles can be hazardous to others and damage your home, as well as damage the foundation when melting.
  • Spring: Inspect the home exterior for any winter damage. Check drainage and clean out gutters. Make any necessary repairs, such as chipping paint, damaged siding, roofing leaks, holes in bricks or cracks in the foundation.
  • Summer: Treat insect infestation with pest control. Ants, ticks and termites can be particularly problematic during the summer months. Also, clear cobwebs and make sure after your summer vacation to look for any signs of bed bugs upon your return home.
  • Fall: Winterize your home. Hire a pro to inspect your furnace and heating ducts. Trim nearby trees, caulk air leaks, replace the furnace filter, check insulation, wrap pipes and install storm windows and doors to increase energy savings.

What is your best home maintenance tip?

Disclosure

Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.

Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I need to be better about taking better care of my house. I Love that you broke everything down like this.

  2. My husband does it all thank god !! Laci

  3. I need to do this. I’ve said it before, but I’m going to actually taken action this time.

  4. I need be so much better about all of these things. I used to be so great about the filters on our AC!

    • We have one of those filters that last a year. I’m not looking forward to my husband going up in the attic for it. It’s in an awful location right above an open railing. I’m afraid he will fall!

  5. What a great list! Thanks for putting it together!

  6. I’m going to print this out and place it on my fridge. Great tips!

  7. This is a wonderful list! I love how you broke everything down.

  8. I agree New Year New Home. Time to make a fresh start!

  9. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have any home maintenance tips. Probably because my husband is on top of it all.

  10. Phoenicia says:

    Great tips.

    I feel so much more “together” when I have organised paperwork, spring cleaned and checked appliances.

    Vinegar is excellent for cleaning metallic taps -it leaves them sparkling.

  11. My husband has a list to check for the house. Now I have to remind him to check the list!! Haaa!!!

  12. I’m pretty good about keeping the house clean but I need to be better about the overall home maintenance. This is a great list to get started with!

  13. Beth Niebuhr says:

    Such important tasks. Especially testing detectors and water heaters. A great checklist to keep on hand.

  14. what a great checklist. Of course, sometimes we don’t feel like doing these things but it’s necessary and this list helps!

  15. Great list of tips and reminders to check up on all parts of the house to make sure things are working well and smoothly. I’ve never heard of the vinegar ice tip for the sink, thanks for that!

    xo,
    lauriel (EyeForElegance.com)

  16. What a great list! I don’t have a task to add, but I did want to mention that This Old House usually includes 3-4 reminders to check or update around the home in each issue, which really comes in handy.

  17. Ken Dowell says:

    I have to admit that I’m embarrassed about how few of these things I actually do. However, in line with the image at the top of your post, I do have a dog who does pre-wash in the dishwasher nightly.

  18. This is a great reminder of tasks I need to stay on top of. It’s amazing how fast cleaning and maintenance gets away from me.

  19. Replacing HVAC filters is huge! Thanks for the reminder! I just put this on the hubby’s to-do-list.

  20. I have no home maintenance tips! I barely keep it together with three little ones under foot! I used to be really good about keeping everything together, but have definitely slacked off. This year is my year though! This is a great list!

  21. Jennifer Pilgrim says:

    Thanks so much for these tips. I’ve been looking for a checklist setup like this everywhere, and it looks like I’ve finally found it.

  22. I love your list. I will be printing this as I tend to forget to do some of these things.

  23. Wow, this is a good resolution.

  24. This is an ambitious list! I wish I had the motivation that you do to keep up the house! Good luck and happy new year!

  25. Some great ideas here. I was happy when I saw the winter annual one and thought Yes! one that doesn’t have to be done! I live in New Zealand so not necessary

  26. I love these tips; all adults need these before getting a house it’s serious business keeping it up

  27. CourtneyLynne says:

    Oooo great tips!!!! Swear my house can never be too clean!!! Love learning new tricks and hacks!

  28. These are really great tips, and very important.
    I live in a snow belt, which means severe winters. I am constantly checking for winter damage, and in the spring I am always working on something to fix it.

    thanks for sharing.

  29. Thanks for sharing the tips. Really helpful. Do you have any tip to clean the hob?

    Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com

  30. Great post Great blog Great woman…. Thanx for sharing…

    Greetings from…. leXHansplaCE

  31. Great list of house maintenance tips. I didn’t know the one about draining some water from water heaters if you have hard water. I may need to look into that.

  32. Yona Williams says:

    I think a lot of people forget to maintain their fridge by tending to the coils and other upkeep. I learned that the hard way.

  33. Breaking the task down like this is a great idea because it is easier to keep track of things! I make a similar list every start of the year but looking at your list, it seems I have forgotten to add a couple of things!

  34. Chenoa F4Family says:

    This is a great list! I need to pin this for when we finally make our home purchase!

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