By Ryan Tyson
Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now on blog.rismedia.com:
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Buying a house is only the first step in homeownership. Once you own the property, it will become your responsibility to keep it in good order through regular repairs and maintenance. It can be easy, however, to find yourself falling behind on the job and missing out on important things. Below is a list of suggestions for staying on top of home maintenance tasks.
Learn What Needs Maintaining
The first step to keeping your house in good repair is to learn what kinds of things need doing. Find a good online list of home maintenance tasks, and figure out which ones apply to your particular home. From there, you can start to get an idea of the costs and materials associated with keeping things up. Moreover, you can figure out how much of the maintenance you are capable of performing yourself and which tasks will require an outside contractor.
Make a Calendar
Once you have a solid list of maintenance tasks for your new home, you'll need to arrange the items in a way that will help you track how often you will need to perform each task. Put it up in a common area, and make sure to mark all of the dates for maintenance clearly. Keep up on advancing the calendar, and note any tasks you need to do every month. It's probably best to schedule these tasks towards the middle of the month. That way, when the month rolls over, you have a couple of weeks to get the necessary materials.
Use Your Electronics
Of course, modern electronics offer multiple ways to help you organize your life. You can use calendar and reminder apps for your smart devices to replace or supplement your physical calendar if you want. Having a monthly reminder pop up telling you what kind of cleaning and maintenance duties are due at your home is helpful as far as reminding you, though it can be a bit too easy to simply flick the remainder away when it goes off. Either use a redundant system to make sure you actually do the jobs or make sure to set the reminders to go off when you can do them right away.
Put Money Aside
Maintenance isn't free, unfortunately, and one common cause of putting off what needs to be done is a lack of money when it needs doing. It's all too easy to tell yourself you'll just wait a week for some cash to free itself up. To prevent this, set aside a fund for home repair and maintenance tasks, and avoid using it for anything other than a true emergency. For added benefit, find an investment account that will allow you to make money on the fund while waiting to use it.
Home maintenance is not always fun, but it prevents bigger problems down the line. Spending some time now on keeping things up will pay off in the future.