In 2013, you’re going to exercise more, eat better, sign up for that class you’ve been meaning to take, and save yourself some money for a rainy day. You’ll probably do some of those things, but while you’re working on your body, mind, and budget, don’t forget about your house – it could likely use a little care as well. But before you start feeling overwhelmed, remember the secret to keeping all resolutions is mindful scheduling. Here are a few items to add to your list to keep your home in great shape for another year.
1. Test all alarms.
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If your alarms are hardwired, test them (check the manual for the best way to do this). If you get in the habit of doing this every year in January, you’ll never have to worry or wonder about how long it’s been.
2. Clean and check your gutters.
This is something that probably should have happened in late summer, but just in case it didn’t, it’s not too late. If even the thought of this chore is making you want to hibernate until spring, maybe this is the year to upgrade your gutter system to something more functional and user friendly.
3. Prune or replace landscaping plants.
Some plants can live happily for decades with some careful pruning and maintenance, but others may develop woody, unruly trunks or begin a hostile takeover of your yard. Winter or early spring is often a good time to assess your plants’ future. If you don’t feel confident in your plant doctoring, check your local library for books on how to maintain them, or do a quick search online. There is a YouTube video for just about every gardening question you can imagine.
4. Schedule a routine drain cleaning.
Showers, sinks and toilets are a necessity of everyday life. A clogged drain presents a major problem and seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. Scheduling routine service on your drains will ensure your plumbing system runs more smoothly and can help prevent stoppages. This is a particularliy good idea if you’ve had a history of root intrusions in your drains or mainline stoppages. If needed, you can even have a camera inspection of your drains to confirm root removal and the pipe condition.
Most home chores become less onerous if you take care of them on a regular schedule. Mark your calendar, tell your phone to give you reminders, and do whatever it takes to tackle these jobs before they become huge, looming disasters. Don’t try to take on everything in January—space your tasks out over the coming year.