You're proud of your professional accomplishments and don't mind working extra hours if needed. You realize that the same project management skills you've developed at work are key to juggling your varied roles, from work to family and home ownership.
Maybe you're beginning to wonder when you'll find more “me time” as there simply aren't enough hours in the day. When we get overwhelmed, we tend to work harder and longer hours. Often this leaves us exhausted and we're too tired to realize that something needs to change, that it's time to “work smarter, not harder”.
When you buy a car, you should learn how to add a quart of oil and change a tire, as these are routine things you'll need to do many times. When you buy a house, you should learn enough about your basic home systems to handle routine maintenance like changing your furnace filter and smoke alarm batteries.
Home Ownership Starts with a Plan
The homeowner skill that is most critical is learning how to identify when you have a problem. For example, when the furnace is clicking on too often or there's a spark when you plug in the iron, you want to get these problems fixed. There are also recurring maintenance tasks that require a professional, such as the annual tune-up of your boiler and hot water heater to insure they're running efficiently.
You use project plans at work to lay out the tasks to get the job done. You can use these same skills to protect your investment in your home. No one ever said that home ownership requires you to learn how to do it yourself. Being the chief home officer means creating the plan and building the right team of home professionals (check out Putting Your Home Maintenance on Autopilot. Similar to the teamwork you have at work, you can get others to do the work so you can enjoy your time at home.
Home Ownership Does NOT Mean Doing it Yourself!
No one has enough time, not now or ever. That's why you need to figure out how much time you're able and willing to commit to home maintenance. Then pick the homeowner projects you enjoy like gardening, and hire professionals for other tasks like lawn mowing.
If you're juggling a career and family, use a handyman service several times a year to tackle your punch-list. Home Tips for Women came about because I owned a handyman business for 8 years. I was always amazed at why people lived with annoying problems for years and then paid us to make the repairs before putting their home up for sale. If you're going to pay for repairs (and you are), then you might as well enjoy the benefit too!
Take this idea a step further. Busy professionals can and should hire people to help them save time, so they can spend it doing more important things like relaxing with your kids at night. Do the math and learn how a personal chef can put healthier meals in your freezer, for less than you're spending eating out several days a week. No I've never hired a personal chef but my interior decorator comes to my house every year and puts up my holiday decorations the week after Thanksgiving, so I can enjoy the entire month of December.
Make Home Maintenance a Priority to Save Time & Money
Every homeowner needs a strategy for managing their home maintenance, repairs and remodeling projects. For busy professionals, this is more critical as you have less time to deal with unexpected problems. You want to avoid common problems and prepare ahead for emergencies to save time and money. Our Putting Your Home Maintenance on Autopilot, is a workbook that rolls into one place, what I learned from running a handyman business for 8 years.
- Picking a Home Management Strategy That's Right for You – The best home maintenance strategy is one you'll follow through on so be honest. Routine maintenance is necessary to avoid costly repairs like an interior ceiling that falls down when you wait too long to repair/replace a leaky roof.
- Building Your Home Management Team – A big reason home owners delay needed repairs is they don't know who to call. We'll help you decide which home owner projects you want to do personally, and then you'll know who needs to be on your team. Find your team members and add them to your worksheet.
- When Contractors Do Their Best Work – It's really no different than where you work. Good, open, two-way communications can avoid most problems. So we outline how to build a successful partnership with your home professionals.
- Your Home Maintenance Schedule – To save you time, we have a one page checklist of common home maintenance activities organized by quarter (spring, summer, fall and winter). For each project you'll identify the month you want to complete the work and who (you or a member of your team) will do the work.
You have a choice – you can juggle tools, materials and knowledge … or build a team of home professionals. Only you know what will work best for you. We wish you success with home ownership, regardless of the strategy you pick!