When fall comes around it seems like my home maintenance switch turns on. The weather is still hot here in Southern Utah, but the cold weather is right around the corner. Today, Mark is touching up the baseboards in the house, painting doors (it’s been 13 years), and painting the door jams. Wow, I feel like my house is brand new! It was built in 2005 and we have painted the house twice now. It feels so good because I have been decluttering like crazy.
I have separated the stuff we don’t need, can’t use anymore, or will never use. I have been filling the garbage can weekly, selling stuff on Facebook Marketplace, and donating things others can use. I’m replenishing my food storage as needed and life is good. I want to simplify my life. Well, if you follow my home maintenance schedule/checklist you can relax knowing your home is organized and clean.
Plus, you don’t have to do everything today. I break it out into seasons. Yep, quarterly home maintenance. You can do this, I promise.
Wipe down the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and toss items you don’t need. Check for expired food and toss as applicable.
Set traps for rodents as necessary.
It’s a great time to have your furnace inspected and change the furnace filters. Of course, the filter changes should be fairly often, depending on the amount of time the furnace or AC is running. Also, if you live in a dusty environment you’ll need to change them more frequently.
Wash curtains or have drapes cleaned. Dust those blinds or shutters.
Replace your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors if needed due to age. Check the manufacturer’s suggested useful life and follow through with a change as required. Change batteries at least every year.
This is when Mark and I fertilize our lawn, bushes, and trees.
Clean the rain gutters of any debris and drain your hoses and store the hoses where they are protected from freezing.
Inspect your roof or chimney, call a licensed handyman if you are concerned about falling off the ladder or roof.
Clean and cover lawn furniture.
Test your snowblower and have the gas mixture ready to go. Replace your snow shovels if they are damaged.
Have your lawnmower professionally serviced and the blades sharpened for mowing in the spring.
Drain your sprinkling system if you have extreme winter conditions.
Cut back bushes and trees where needed and dispose of leaves after raking. I call this “put my house to bed for the winter”.
Prep your garden for the next planting.
Change or clean furnace filters.
Clean your kitchen appliances inside and out. This is a great time to get your home ready for the cold weather. Check the refrigerator coils and clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Drain or flush your water heater. You do this by attaching a hose and draining the water. Chemicals tend to settle to the bottom and need to be drained off. This will also make the unit more efficient since the heating coil for gas flame makes more direct contact with the water. Use the water to water bushes or trees. Check your manufacturer’s instructions.
This is a good time to clean your sink drains by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. After 10-15 minutes flush with boiling water.
Clean your garden tools and gloves and store where they are protected from harsh weather.
If you have a crawl space, walk around the house and check the vents to make sure they are all open and clean from debris.
Cover your air conditioner unit with a cover. If you have a window air conditioner, remove and store if possible. If not, cover it as a protection, but also to minimize air seeping into the house.
Store the snow shovels where they are convenient to grab when needed.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set your clocks forward. Mark and I usually do our smoke alarms every January 1st. Make a schedule that works for you.
Wash and store seasonal bedding.
Dust blinds or shutters and vacuum curtains or drapes.
Open the windows for fresh air. Install those window screens you’ve stored for the winter. This is my favorite time of year!
Wipe down your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and discard expired food, makeup, etc.
Rotate and replace first aid medications as needed.
If you have a Heat Pump, the best time to get it serviced is in the spring. (thank you, Janet)
Cut back dead or damaged branches on bushes or trees from the winter. Fertilize bushes, trees, and lawn where applicable.
Clean gutters and downspouts in case they got some leaves from your yard or from a neighbor’s trees.
Wash all windows inside and out.
Reinstall the window screens if you took them off for the winter yes, another reminder). Try to go a while before you turn on the AC and save on the electricity used. You’ll enjoy the fresh and air too.
Clean outdoor furniture.
Service you lawnmower if you skipped it in the fall.
Touch up any peeling or cracked paint on your home. Caulk windows as needed. Check the seals on doors and windows. This really should be done in the spring before the AC is turned on, but also in the fall before the winter weather requires you turning on the furnace.
Change air filters for heater and air conditioning units.
Clean kitchen appliances inside and out. Discard any expired makeup, food or medications.
This is a good time to clean your drains by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. After 10-15 minutes flush with boiling water.
Drain or flush your water heater per manufacturers instructions.
Clean the thresholds of all exterior doors as well as sliding glass doors.
Clean the exterior d0ors and touch up with paint if needed.
Remove lint from air dryer vent using a long thin flexible brush, vacuum the excess as required.
Remove the air conditioner cover and install window air conditioners as needed.
Prune trees and shrubs as needed.
If you get on a schedule to do your home maintenance you will simplify your life and hopefully not have any major repairs because you have maintained your home every month.
My favorite things:
House with ladder: AdobeStock_83950696 by Ozgur Coskun