Happy New Year!

A brand new year inevitably brings with it an array of New Year’s Resolutions; while intentions are good on January 1st to lose weight, stop smoking, work less, or help others more, most resolutions have fallen by the wayside by February 1st. But there are some that are worth keeping to – including just getting those inevitable odd jobs around the home done! With some motivation and the right tools like lineman pliers and Kevlar shears, you have no excuses!

There are some home maintenance tasks that you just need to get done – some of them every year. Some you can complete yourself; others may require hiring a professional. Either way, these are just some of the big and small odd jobs you just shouldn’t neglect:

  • Have a termite inspection. These little insects wreak havoc on homes and could cost you a fortune. Have your home thoroughly checked by a professional once per year.
  • If you have a basement, you need to monitor humidity. High levels of basement humidity can cause mold and mildew, as well as structural damage. Low levels of humidity can cause wood to crack, paint to chip, and damaged electronics – as well as sore throats and itching in residents. Check your levels with a hygrometer once per year, aiming for 30-50%.
  • If you have a well (not likely in Southern California, granted), you need to test your well water annually. Doing so will keep you safe from gut and other health issues. Some municipalities throughout the US provide free water screening; otherwise you can send water samples for analysis at a local laboratory.
  • Clean out your kitchen sink disposal. Make some ice cubes from white vinegar, and then run them through the disposal. The disposal will be fresher and the blades will be sharper.
  • Clean your range hood filter. It will disgust you how filthy it becomes. Use an oven cleaner outside or a degreaser.
  • Test your smoke alarms and replace batteries once per year.
  • Deep clean your entire home – though this will usually be done at the beginning of spring, it can be done anytime. You should dedicate a weekend to a full clean twice a year.
  • Tighten any loose handles and knobs.
  • Have your roof inspected for missing or cracked shingles and leaks. Remove all leaf litter and other debris from gutters.
  • Have your air conditioning unit serviced annually.
  • Re-nail loose siding and trim boards. If necessary, remove stripped screws with a damaged screw extractor and replace them with new ones.
  • Clean all window screens and repair or replace damaged ones.
  • Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator. Even though you don’t see them, they become filthy and need to be cleaned.
  • Check all locks on windows and doors.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned.

It may seem like a huge list (and this isn’t everything!), but it doesn’t all have to be done at once. Just commit to doing one job per week or fortnight and before you know it you’ll be on top of it all.