When you bought your house, there were a million and ten things you needed to do. (Hi, inspection, mortgage application and downstairs bathroom conversion.) But over the years, auto-pilot has set in, and those driveway pavers you always meant to replace are still staring you in the face. Stay on top of your home maintenance to-dos by making sure you tackle each of the following once a year.
Clean your gutters
Old frisbees. Dead leaves. Dead rodents. (Ew.) Nasty stuff can accumulate in your gutters, and keeping them clear is super important for getting snow and rain off that fancy new roof you just replaced. Here’s the best part: If you get them cleaned right now, you won’t have to think about them again until 2017.
Steam clean your carpets
Yes, you’re a hygienic person who generally doesn’t track gross stuff into her house. But over time, buildup has a way of accumulating--especially in snowy or dusty regions, or if you’ve got children or pets. Rent a steamer (or hire a professional), and relish in a pile that’s as plush and vibrant as the day you bought it.
Wash your windows… like, for real
Again, you’re probably already Windex-ing the inside of those suckers on a weekly or monthly basis. But the outsides need love, too. Most modern windows pivot inward, so you can wash the whole thing from inside your house. But if you live in an older building and can’t get to windows on the second or third floor, hire a gent with a squeegee and a ladder.
Empty all your drawers
OK, this one isn’t just for home owners, but anyone who lives in a house should really be in the habit of emptying and assessing every drawer one time per calendar year. Tackle it room-by-room, taking everything out, deciding if you really need it, then purging accordingly before neatly repacking.
Trim your trees
Next-door neighbor Frank hates when your sycamore cascades over his tool shed. Trim that puppy once a year for the health of your tree (a heavy bow is never a good thing) and, of course, your neighborly relations.
Schedule the exterminator
If you think you only need to talk to Larry the Roach Guy when you’ve actually got creepy crawlers, think again. Getting your house checked and treated preemptively for bugs gives you a much better chance of not finding something disgusting (or paying thousands of dollars for termite damage) down the road.
Check out an open house in the neighborhood
Even if you plan to live in your home until they take you out on a stretcher, it’s always a good idea to get a sense of the market. Plus, aren’t you dying to know what Kenny and Margaret did with that hideous wood-paneled rec room?