Dear Lifehacker, How do I know what maintenance chores I need to do around my house each month, and how can I remember to actually do them?
Signed, Curious Homeowner
Great question! You're smart to stay on top of maintenance around your home. It helps you catch issues before before they become huge or costly repair problems, and keeps your home and appliances running smoothly.
A great resource for figuring out what needs to be done regularly around the house is the home maintenance and repair site Demesne. It's packed with checklists broken down by month. Here's some of the chores Demesne recommends you tackle in January, for example:
* Wander the house with a screwdriver and make a list of minor household repairs that can be done in a weekend. 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. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your little repairs at once.
Each checklist also reminds you to watch for seasonal sales — in this case, end-of-year specials on Christmas trees and wrapping paper. It also makes monthly suggestions for kits you might want to put together, like a first-aid box or an emergency survival kit for your car.
Once you've figured out what needs to be done around the house each month, head over and grab a free account from home management website Homespot. After providing a little info on what type of home you have, Homespot generates a maintenance list of things that you need to attend to, like replacing HVAC filters and draining your hot water heater. The list also helps you prepare for big maintenance projects by providing space to add a shopping list, details on how to make repairs and more.
Homespot's maintenance list feature comes pre-populated with the most common household chores, but you're free to add your own as well. It would be great if Homespot had options to email task lists or connect to users' calendars but, since those aren't options right now, you'll need to remember to check the web site to figure out what you need to do when.
These are only two ideas that tackle your question, Curious, but there's undoubtedly many more ways to skin this particular cat. We'd love to hear how other readers keep track of household maintenance chores. Share your ideas in the comments.