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The Ultimate House Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners

Routine maintenance is a big responsibility when you own a home, but caring for your property can help preserve its value. Print out this home maintenance checklist to ensure that your house is on a good schedule.
The Ultimate House Maintenance Checklist

Getting Started

When you go from renter to homeowner, you may be surprised to learn that there's a lot of maintenance involved (and, sadly, your house doesn't come with a maintenance man like your rental probably did). Taking care of your home is a big deal because it prevents you from having to spend thousands on repairs and upgrades over time. It's sort of like home deterioration prevention. And the saying—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—totally applies here.
Home Garden

What Is Considered Home Maintenance?

Home maintenance includes cleaning, repairing, replacing and inspecting certain aspects of your property to ensure that it doesn't sink into a state of deterioration. There are both indoor and outdoor home maintenance tasks that should be tackled on a regular basis–either weekly, monthly, yearly or less often than that. Outside, it's important to keep leaves, moisture and dirt from rotting away the structure. Inside, you've got to worry about dust, dirt, mildew and the messes of daily life.
While the below checklist is a good starting point, remember that everyone's property and lifestyle are different and every home requires its own bespoke maintenance schedule. If you have kids, pets, allergies, a pool or hot tub or unique home features, many tasks will have to be completed more frequently. For example, houses with wood siding may need to be treated or re-stained every few years, while marble countertops need to be resealed a lot more frequently than other granite or quartz.
Weekly Tasks

Weekly Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Clean the kitchen, including the floors, countertops and major kitchen appliances.
  • Clean out the refrigerator, getting rid of old food and uneaten leftovers.
  • Clean the bathroom, including the toilet, shower, faucet and showerhead.
  • Clean the bedroom, replacing dirty sheets, pillowcases and towels.
  • Vacuum using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to get rid of tiny particles.
  • Dust surfaces and wipe down all tables and desks with antibacterial cleaner.
  • Clean litter boxes and pet bowls.
  • Mow the lawn and do some light weeding (in the spring or summer).
  • Shovel snow and sprinkle salt on stairs and walkways (in the winter).
  • Blow leaves off the walkway, sidewalk and driveway.
  • Charge your wireless security cameras and doorbell if they are not hard-wired.
Monthly Tasks

Monthly Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Do a deep clean of the bathrooms and kitchen, including mopping the floor.
  • Clean small kitchen appliances, including the toaster and coffee maker.
  • Deep clean the refrigerator, wiping down drawers, shelves and compartments with warm, soapy water.
  • Clean the dishwasher by running it on a hot water cycle with a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack.
  • Take out the racks and silverware slot from the dishwasher, let them soak in warm, soapy water and rinse.
  • Move all furniture, rugs and beds, and vacuum the floors underneath.
  • Wash all blankets, comforters, dish towels and any tablecloths you recently used. 
  • Adjust the thermostat to ensure that you're running it at the ideal temperature.
  • Clean all windows from the inside of the home with a window cleaner.
  • Clean all mirrors and glass picture frames with a window cleaner.
  • Vacuum all upholstery, including sofas and chairs.
  • Restock hand soap, toilet paper, napkins and paper towels.
  • Empty or replace the vacuum cleaner bag.
  • Change or clean the HVAC filter and air purifier filter.
  • Run tests on all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
2 to 3 Times a Year

Twice or Three Times a Year Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Change water filters in the refrigerator, ice maker or water filtration system (frequency will depend on the manufacturer and model).
  • Change or (if reusable) clean the dehumidifier and humidifier filters.
  • Wash down all walls and cabinets inside your house using warm, soapy water.
  • Clean the garbage disposal using the ice cube and salt method.
  • Deep clean wooden cutting boards with acid and salt and condition with oil.
  • Wash the washer and dryer to prevent buildup of mold and mildew.
  • Dust and wipe down ceiling blade fans with a duster or damp cloth.
  • Steam clean carpets or have them professionally cleaned.
  • Vacuum all curtains and blinds.
  • Clean out your pantry, closet and cabinets in the bathroom and donate the items that you no longer use or want.
  • Clean the oven, either using the self-cleaning feature or a cleaning product.
  • Test your sump pump, ideally in the spring and summer when the basement is wet, to ensure that flooding doesn't occur during wet seasons.
  • Clean the porch or deck, including all patio furniture, cushions and grills.
  • Deep clean the garage, including sweeping the floor and clearing all drains.
  • Clean the gutters (twice a year if you have oak trees and quarterly if you have evergreens or pine trees where needles build up).
  • Rake up all leaves, twigs and yard debris (before the snow falls in the winter.)
  • Trim and shape up all hedges, trees and bushes.
  • Aerate and fertilize the grass in the spring and fall.
  • Apply a herbicide to prevent any weeds or crabgrass from growing in the lawn.
  • Powerwash the house, deck, garage, shed, sidewalk and driveway.
  • Drain fuel from the leaf blower, snow blower or mower at the end of the season.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home and roof for cracks or structural damage.
  • Inspect the structure and exterior of your home for signs of pesky insects, such as carpenter ants, termites, birds or chipmunks.
  • Oil any garage door tracks or interior parts and inspect thoroughly. 
  • Remove glass storm windows and install screens (in the summer).
1 Time a Year

Annual Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check and test the fire extinguishers.
  • Purge the medicine cabinet of any expired medications.
  • Remove all contents from cabinets and vacuum and wipe down inside.
  • Inspect the attic, crawl spaces and eaves for signs of bats.
  • In the fall, get a thorough fireplace and chimney inspection.
  • In the spring, vacuum out the fireplace and wash the brick or concrete inside.
  • Wash all windows from the inside and outside of the home.
  • Touch up interior and exterior paint, including siding and trim.
  • Trim tree branches (or have a professional do it for you).
  • Schedule an HVAC inspection to ensure that your heating and cooling work properly and make any necessary repairs.
  • In the spring or early summer, reseed the lawn and fill in any bald patches.
  • Clean the sprinkler heads and hose sprayers if scaling has built up.
  • Inspect for bad caulking around windows and cracks and repair as needed.
  • Patch up any breezy spots or add new insulation to improve efficiency.
  • Spread new mulch in flower beds outside to keep soil healthy.
  • Have your lawn mower blades sharpened.
  • Get a tune-up on your lawn mower, including new spark plugs and air filters.
  • Download, analyze, and compare utility usage and determine how you can make changes to lower your energy consumption throughout the year.
  • Inspect trash and recycling receptacles and repair or replace as needed.
  • Update the software on your home security, sound system, etc.
  • Pay your property taxes (if you're on an annual schedule).
  • Restock the emergency supply kit and update emergency evacuation plans.
  • Apply teak oil or wood oil to outdoor patio furniture to recondition.
Painting Wood Deck

Home Maintenance Is Easier Than Ever

By simply glancing at the above list, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But with so many smart, new technologies and handy services out there, it's actually easier than ever to stay on top of your maintenance schedule. With a few of the following practices in play, you'll never forget to clean the gutters or wash your windows. Here are some of our favorite tips for staying on track:
  • Set Reminders and Create a Calendar—Having a checklist is great, but if you don't remember to follow it, it's useless! Be sure to incorporate your home maintenance schedule into your general life schedule, adding tasks, to-do lists and reminders to your digital calendar or list app. You can even set up your phone so it sends you a weekly, monthly or annual reminder when it's time to tackle a new task. In January, set up your scheduled reminders for the rest of the year.
  • Wherever Possible, Automate—Automated home gadgets, such as robotic vacuum cleaners, are specifically designed to help minimize maintenance between deep cleans. You may also consider switching to a smart thermostat that adjusts and evaluates your heating and cooling usage throughout the year so your home runs efficiently without even trying. Invest in automated home appliances that do the work for you so you don't even have to think about scheduling your chores.
Clean Your Gutter
  • Switch to Smart Appliances—You'll be shocked to learn how much smart appliances can do for your home maintenance schedule. Seriously, they now make fridges that let you know when you need to buy something and that self-inspect and diagnose if things go wrong. While they may require the occasional software update, appliances like smart dishwashers, ovens, fridges and washers and dryers can seriously cut down on the time you spend on weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance. Many modern washers and dishwashers feature self-cleaning methods too, which can help keep things in order with minimal effort.
  • Use Subscribe and Save Services—Why does it always seem like we're running out of something? A big part of maintaining a household is replenishing the laundry detergent and restocking the coffee on a seemingly endless loop. But with a variety of new subscribe and save options, you can have your household essentials automatically delivered to you on a weekly or monthly basis so you don't even have to think about it.
  • Rely on the Professionals—Professional home inspections cannot be underestimated, especially if you live in an old home or have a large property. Make sure to schedule annual inspections of the fireplace, HVAC system, plumbing, roofing and more. You'll find that there are even full-scale home inspection companies that will come and give your home a top-to-bottom lookover (much like you had done when you bought it in the first place). This may give you some peace of mind every couple of years.
  • Wherever Possible, Go Low-Maintenance—These days, you can choose flooring, countertops, paint and even furniture labeled low-maintenance, and if your goal is long-lasting performance with minimal effort, it's worth the slight cost increase. Replacing the cracking tile floors for hardwood that could last a century or more, swapping out the rotting wood steps for sturdy stamped concrete, making the investment in the stain guard-treated sofas—these are all great things you can do to slash your long list of regular home maintenance tasks!
  • Divvy Up the Work—Maintaining a home should be a family affair, so don't be afraid to put all inhabitants to work, even the kids. Consider these maintenance tasks as great chores and learning experiences for older kids and teenagers. It's never too early to learn the lesson of caring for your things—especially your biggest thing! Get the kids on the schedule and break up the tasks so you have more time to relax and enjoy time spent together.
Couple Cleaning

Maintenance Equals Prevention

While they may be taxing, at the end of the day, performing these routine tasks will save you money and hassle in the long-run. Taking care of your house and surrounding property not only helps protect your investment so you make fewer repairs and replacements, but also keeps your biggest asset in good shape should you ever decide to put it on the market. A little bit of prevention is all you need to keep your investment in great shape for years to come.

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