The days are never long enough and it's time to be honest with you. I spend more time writing about home maintenance, than I actually spend maintaining my home … because I've got as little time as everyone else! When I write about home maintenance priorities or a strategy to get everything done with the limited time I have, I'm trying to creatively figure out how to maintain my own house too.
When I started writing about the home, it was a way to follow up with my handyman customers after phone calls that often went 15 minutes or longer. I'd finish the phone call and panic that women might not be able to explain the work we planned together, so I'd write emails summarizing our discussion … and those emails became my very first articles.
After expanding my focus to embrace all aspects of home ownership, I learned that taking care of a home isn't always something that can be scheduled for one evening a month, or weekend a quarter. Creating a home you love often involves the people living there, like the story I wrote about needing House Rules for Extended Family.
Home Maintenance Priorities & My Personal Challenge
It's time I started taking my own advice, and the best way to hold myself accountable is to share how I'm doing that. I've been gathering up all my articles, ideas and advice and putting them into an information product. My goal is to help savvy homeowners identify their home maintenance personality, a strategy that fits their lifestyle and build a schedule that fits their needs and budget.
Like everyone else, the reality is I don't have enough time for EVERYTHING!
That's when I have to remind myself that I don't have to do it all myself. My most important job as a homeowner is to determine what needs to be done to protect my home, and then get it done personally or through others where I lack the time or skills or … patience.
Home Maintenance Priorities & DIY
That means I should do some of my own home maintenance but not that much. In my book I ask people to identify how many 2 hour time slots they have to commit to home maintenance each month. It sounds easy, right? It's not easy because I work long days plus networking, travel, family time. So my honest answer is I am only going to commit to one project each month, something that won't take more than 4 hours, from start to finished and cleaned up (more on this later as I'll do the planning and shopping ahead of time, so I can get the job done during the scheduled project time).
Wow, I've been thinking through all the smaller projects on my punchlist. The 4 hour limit is a good rule for me and here's why. Many of my projects start small but take on a life of their own and something that could (should) be done in a few hours, becomes a full weekend or many evening project … and that's where I get bogged down.
So here are some guidelines for picking the right projects to fit your committed home maintenance schedule.
- Projects you can complete and feel successful about, so you can move on to the next project.
- Projects that require skills and tools that you'll use over and over, like caulking a sink or replacing window screen fabric.
- Projects where you can see the results and feel good about what you've accomplished.
- … and recognize the bigger, more challenging projects better left to home professionals.
So another thing that's helpful is accountability, so my first 3 projects which I will complete (1 per month) are:
- Caulking the shower in my bathroom.
- Painting a wall in another bathroom which has been patched.
- Clearing the paper clutter in office … so here are the before photos.
Home Maintenance Priorities & Delegation
There's actually one more project underway but I've delegated this project to one of my home professionals. Shopping isn't one of my favorite activities so when it comes to buying things for my house, it's easier to ask my interior decorator to handle the project … but we'll keep that a surprise for now.
Do you stay on top of your home maintenance priorities?
What inspiration have you gotten from my story?