Each spring, homeowners and renters alike tackle the daunting task of “spring cleaning” their homes. Cabinets and drawers need to be emptied and sorted, closets need to be organized, and carpets and bed spreads should be deep-cleaned. Halfway through the process, you’re likely overwhelmed, frustrated, and surrounded by piles of stuff.
What if spring cleaning could take place year-round? With a monthly home maintenance checklist, you can organize and maintain your home year-round, without feeling completely over-your-head come April or May. By tackling projects monthly, you can accomplish everything you need to while maintaining a clean and organized home.
January to March
- Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors by holding the “test” button until you hear the loud siren. If it’s silent, replace the batteries or purchase a new detector. Make this part of your quarterly routine, as it can save your life.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge to see if the needle is in the green and replace or service it if it’s outside this zone. Also, examine the hose and nozzle for cracks because you’ll need to replace your fire extinguisher if the locking pin on the handle is missing or the handle is broken.
- Create an emergency plan and practice different escape routes with your family.
- Store flashlights with fresh batteries in every room in case a winter storm knocks out your power.
- Compile or update your home inventory in case you need to file an insurance claim because of a blizzard or burglary. Also, compile a binder where you store instruction manuals, serial numbers, and important receipts, so you can access the information easily if something under warranty breaks or you need to fix a broken appliance.
- Organize your closets and drawers and donate items your family has outgrown or doesn’t use.
- Pack away your holiday decorations and organize them in your storage area or use a valet storage company to reduce clutter in your home.
April to June
- Deep clean and inspect your basement for any leaks, cracks, or mold that could become an issue if left unmediated.
- Check your foundation for water accumulation or damage from winter and call a professional for remediation if necessary.
- Flush your hot water heater once a year to remove sediment and mineral buildup and keep it working at its full capacity.
- Check water softener and add salt if necessary every eight weeks to avoid clogs in pipes.
- Replenish your first aid kit with all the materials you used last year like band aids, anti-septic, gauze, and more.
- Unclog bathroom tub and sink drains by pouring boiling water mixed with baking soda or white vinegar directly down the drain.
- Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces to prevent grime from accumulating in the bowl.
- Wipe walls and ceilings with a hot towel and some mild soap. You’ll be shocked at how fresh and bright your walls actually are when the grime is wiped off.
July to September
- Research security cameras and systems and add them to your home’s exterior before peak burglar season begins in the summer. Every 13 seconds, a burglary happens in the U.S. and summer is the prime time for break ins.
- Repaint bedrooms and living areas as summer as the best time to do it. The warm weather allows you to keep doors and windows open for proper ventilation.
- Inspect and repair outdoor tools and play equipment. Now that school is out for the summer, take time to sand your deck, check your play set, and fix your barbecue, if needed.
- Remove and clean window screens winter storms create a buildup of debris and allergy season is approaching. Thoroughly clean your windows and spray down your screens to keep them clean.
- Wipe windowsills after you’ve cleaned the windows. Get out all the grime, pollen, and dust so your windows are crystal clear.
- Wash outside windows now that the spring rain has stopped.
October to December
- Clear out the leftover leaves and debris from your window wells and gutters. Otherwise, they could contribute to ice dams and damage your gutters in addition to causing leaks.
- Check your attic’s insulation by taking a tape measure to find the depth. If your measurement is less than 12 inches you should have a professional install more or your energy efficiency will suffer.
- Check your roof for ice dams and icicles, so snow and ice doesn’t strain your roof, cause leaks, break gutters, or damage shingles.
- Inspect your outdoor lighting to see if any lights need to be added or replaced. Well-lit homes deter burglars and prevent injuries like falling on black ice.
- Change furnace filters every four to six weeks during the winter months, so your air stays clean while your furnace heats your home. Check your range hood fan for signs up grease build up (which could cause a fire) and clean it regularly to keep it running and performing properly.
- Change refrigerator water and ice-maker filters every six months to remove contaminants that build up.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils to remove dust and grime that could otherwise spark a fire.
By staying on top of these tasks every month, you’ll have a safe, organized, and well-maintained house year-round.
Sage is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys teaching, individuals, families and communities about safe home and lifestyle habits. In her free time, she enjoys wedding planning, traveling and learning French.