Small Household Chores with a Large Impact

Small Household Chores with a Large Impact

When you are preparing for a major life change, like selling your home or welcoming a new baby, there are always lists upon lists of things to accomplish. Often, those lists include random things you normally forget to do or do not consider a priority in everyday life.

However, incorporating a few home maintenance tasks into a quarterly/yearly routine checklist and adding a digital calendar invitation to complete them is a fantastic way to ensure you are protecting one of your greatest investments—your home.

Extending the Life of your Appliances

Taking care of your washer and dryer is more than a good idea to extend the life of what may be your favorite appliances. It is a safety measure, too! It is important to regularly clean out the dryer lint filter and leave the door open on top-loaders to foster air circulation, but there are a few other things you should be doing to keep things safe and humming along. Every three months, it is recommended to wash the dryer lint filter with detergent to eliminate any chemical residues blocking airflow. Each year, you should remove and clean out the complete exhaust duct line from dryer to exterior – these are a cause of house fires every year!

Keep that oven cooking for its full life expectancy with a few simple measures. Study your oven door seals on an annual basis, looking to see if they become cracked or frayed. If they are in poor shape, they can easily be replaced and ensure heat remains inside the oven. Clean your oven’s filters on the range hood or stovetop every few months and never cover burners or drip pans with foil. Avoid spraying knobs with cleaners (it can cause an electrical short) and don’t use the self-cleaning feature – the extremely high temperatures can sometimes melt internal components. Instead, bust out that elbow grease and whip up a combination of baking soda and vinegar to avoid corroding the heating elements or protective coatings when cleaning. Use a silicone or plastic scraper to prevent any damage and to remove tough build-up.

Cleaning Chores to Tackle Quarterly or Annually

If you do not already have a schedule in place to change your air filters, start one today! How often depends on the type of air filter you are using, the number of people in the home, and pets, but a good rule of thumb is every 90 days for the average household. Of course, if you have allergies or numerous pets, consider a higher frequency.

It may be disgusting, but it is a good practice to strap on some rubber gloves and clean out your sink disposal every few months. Consider tackling this task the same time you clean your oven because you can use the same combination of vinegar and baking soda. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain and cover with a cup of white vinegar. Let the bubbles do the work for 10 minutes and then give it a good scrub with a long-handled sponge. Run hot water over it, and, voila! On a regular basis, you can also grind ice cubes and salt to eliminate sludge and debris without breaking a sweat.

Safety Checks to Put into Practice

It is difficult to forget to change the batteries of your smoke detectors (they always beep at the most inconvenient times), but it is still important to test them to ensure they are doing their job. Put a recurring monthly or quarterly invitation in your calendar to walk through the house and press the “test” button on your detectors. While you are conducting the test, take a cleaning cloth and wipe off any accumulated dust. Also, be sure to warn family members the tests are taking place to avoid any unneeded concern!

Did you know your garage door may have an auto-reverse mechanism safety feature if it was built after 1982? This important feature prevents possible injuries or even death. You can test the reversing mechanism with a 1 ½ inch wood block—if the door doesn’t reverse within two seconds, set up a repair with a professional to ensure the feature is working as designed. Line up this test with your smoke detector safety test if you have little children and make it a safety day for your family! 

There are numerous other tips like these you can do to keep your house safe and sound, but sometimes taking a few tasks on at a time feels more manageable. Setting up recurring calendar reminders on your phone or email account is a great way to turn your good intentions into action!