The Year-Long Home Maintenance Checklist: When to Do Big Chores?

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Every year you aim to start good habits with your health, your career, your relationships. But what about your home? The space you spend time in every.single.day should receive some TLC and attention, too.

Instead of vowing to get your body in shape, let’s get your home in shape! In 2018, you may have neglected your home and we’re not judging. (I mean, who really knows the last time they changed their air filter?)

Your 2019 Home Checklist

But 2019 is the year to change that! We’ve curated a handy-dandy checklist to map out the year ahead. If you accomplish each task every month, your home is going to be a well-oiled machine. Now let’s get to it!

Note: Tasks marked with * are recurring tasks you’ll complete multiple times over the course of the year.

Winter Tasks

When you’re stuck inside due to the cold, you might as well put your downtime to good use. We both love starting the year with a nice purge. And if you haven’t seen the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix (seriously, where have you been??), then it just may give you the kick in the pants to part with all of your stuff.

While there will always be recurring tasks to complete on the checklist, the winter time is all about purging and organizing every nook and cranny in your home.

Split it up over the next 3 months and it won’t be quite as overwhelming!

January

February

  • Compile tax documents; set up a time to complete taxes
  • Purge and donate kitchen gadgets
  • Purge and donate pantry foods
  • Wipe down fridge*
  • Clean garbage disposal*
  • Change furnace filter*

March

  • Purge and organize toiletries
  • Purge and organize the linen closet
  • Check caulking around bathtubs and showers
  • Clean car inside and out*

Spring Tasks

No duh: the springtime is all about spring cleaning! You spent the past few months purging and organizing spaces in your home, but now it’s time to give everything a nice deep clean. (And don’t forget to clean these 6 overlooked areas).

Not to mention, the springtime is the start of all your big outdoor projects. Get your lawn and garden cleaned, manicured, and ready for new life to grow. These are especially crucial because you really can’t do anything about it once you miss your window!

April

  • Get air conditioner serviced
  • Aerate lawn
  • Wash drapes, rugs, upholstery
  • Launder shower curtain and liner
  • Wash windows and screens*
  • Clear your gutters*
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

May

  • Setup outdoor patio furniture
  • Inspect home’s exterior and roof for necessary repairs
  • Prune overgrown bushes
  • Clear dead plants and shrubs (early May)
  • Plant flowers (late May)
  • Change furnace filter*
  • Change batteries in smoke & CO2 detectors*

June

  • Replace outdoor lights that have burned out
  • Clean grill and check propane tank
  • Clean deck and make necessary repairs
  • Power wash sidewalks and walkways
  • Clean car inside and out*

Summer Tasks

Oh, the sweet summertime. It can be easy to let your household chores slide during the summer months. We get it, summer is about vacations and relaxing. But these are worthwhile tasks to accomplish when the temps are warmer and you’re spending more time outside (hopefully).

Also, as you near Labor Day, school will be on the mind. That’s when you’ll want to make sure your home is still organized from your hard work earlier this year. Purge paper clutter and books so you can start the school year fresh!

July

  • Fix broken screen doors
  • Add fresh mulch to landscaping
  • Organize and sweep out the garage
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

August

  • Hose down garbage cans
  • Purge office and organize paperwork for the upcoming school year
  • Purge and donate books
  • Clean faucet and shower heads
  • Wipe down fridge*
  • Change furnace filter*

September

  • Service chimney
  • Empty out planters
  • Store lawn furniture
  • Clean car inside and out*
  • Wash windows and screens*

Fall Tasks

Keep that momentum going into the fall season! Fall is the time to prepare for the cold months ahead. Focus on prepping the exterior of your home to protect it against the snow and ice that will soon be here.

With the holidays approaching, this is also a time when you’re the most likely to host guests. Luckily, your home should be running smoothly with all of the work you’ve put in this year. We also encourage you to keep December a little light on the home projects, since you will most likely have limited free time.

October

  • Plant spring blooming plants, shrubs, tall grasses, etc.
  • Remove hoses from water spickets
  • Fertilize lawn
  • Check your sump pump
  • Clear your gutters*
  • Dust light fixtures*
  • Wipe down baseboards*

November

  • Check weatherstripping on doors and windows
  • Have heating systems serviced
  • Rake and gather leaves
  • Purge pantry and donate (good timing for the holidays!)
  • Change furnace filter*
  • Change batteries in smoke & CO2 detectors*

December

Free Printable – Home Checklist

If you’re ready to make 2019 the best year yet for your home, then we encourage you to download or screenshot this free printable. That way, you can print it out and check things off as you go. (Trust us, there is no better feeling than checking off those little boxes!)


Illustrations by M. Dean

What You Should Bring, Could Bring and DON’T Bring When Moving Into a Dorm

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‘Tis the season for college dorm room shopping! If you’ve been to any of the big box stores lately, we’re confident you have seen all the colorful storage things just screaming “take me to college!”.

Some college students are eager to start prepping for their new “home away from home”, while others aren’t too interested in putting in much extra time. Whichever you are, we aren’t judging. We’re just here to make sure everyone is prepared for the excitement!

With that in mind, here’s an in depth synopsis about what you should bring, what you could bring, and what you don’t bring to college come fall. Be independent and avoid having mom and dad come visit (with the essentials you forgot) less than a week after moving into your new digs.

What You Should Bring

Towel, Toiletries and Laundry Detergent

Whether your dorm is equipped with private bathrooms or community bathrooms, this is the number one must: multiple towels, toiletries and shower shoes. Most college students opt for a shower caddy, which is a handy way to corral all of their shower essentials when traveling to and from the shower. Be sure to choose a shower caddy that can drain any water from the shower, because you don’t want it to become moldy from sitting water.

Unfortunately, college life also comes with learning to do your own laundry, and usually, the laundry facilities aren’t anything to get excited about. Stock up on plenty of laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets to keep your clothing looking its best (and your parents at bay) all semester long.

A Microwave and Mini Fridge with Snacks

Tried and true for a reason: make sure you pack a microwave with some snacks! Healthy or unhealthy, we’re definitely not judging, just reminding you that having your own stash of food is important. You don’t want to find yourself starving and the cafeteria is closed, nor do you want to pay cafeteria prices. You probably don’t want to buy food in bulk because you won’t have a ton of places to store it, but having some snacks stashed away to hold you over until the cafe opens is essential.

Speaking of snacks, most dorms also allow you to bring your own microwave and mini fridge. You can always cut down on the costs of these items by arranging with your roommate to each bring one of the two, that way you only have to invest in one, not both.

Plenty of Power Strips and Extension Cords

Laptop, printer, phone charger, microwave, mini fridge, blow dryer, iron, string lights, coffee maker…. all these things hog outlets. Dorms only have a few outlets though, and you’ll likely be sharing them with your roomie on top of it. What can we say, the struggle is real! Along with all of these everyday essentials, be sure to pack at least one power strip and possible extension cord so you never get caught with a dead cell phone or no coffee! That could be bad.

A Secure Box for Very Important Papers

Focusing on the basic must-have stuff makes it easy to forget about this essential. Make sure you bring your driver’s license, insurance card, social security number (or card as long as you can keep it safe), emergency contact and medical info, paperwork for refillable prescriptions, and any other documents you may need while you’re away. We hope you never have to use some of these, but having them with you just in case is necessary.

What You Could Bring

Carpet Squares or a Cool Rug

Some dorm rooms come with commercial grade carpets, but most of these carpets have seen high traffic for several years (at least!). Packing an additional rug or carpet squares to add to your dorm will not only make your room look a lot cuter, but it will make the whole space feel a lot more warm and cozy. Consider a cool rug because this tiny upgrade will make such a difference… and may even keep your room a bit warmer in the winter if it experiences any kind of drafts like our dorms rooms did.

A Bunch of Cleaning Supplies

No matter your lifestyle, living in these cramped quarters all day every day means that your dorm room is bound to get a little messy! And since mom or dad isn’t tagging along to clean up after you, it’s important to pack some cleaning supplies so you can keep the place clean… especially during flu season.

Here’s a list of some basic items you should consider buying a few or all of, especially if you have a closet space:

  • Vaccum
  • Disinfectant
  • Duster
  • Swiffer mop
  • Windex
  • Bleach wipes
  • Dish soap

A Printer

Before going out and splurging on a new printer or lugging your large printer into your dorm room, be sure you actually need this piece.

Although having a personal printer is a huge perk when it comes time to last second papers, most schools offer a free printing lab that can do the same job. Plus printers are large and take up some valuable space in your room. Not to mention they can be costly with ink refills and necessary repairs, so be sure it’s a definite must (or a fancy luxury) before you add it to your shopping list!

What You Don’t Bring

Twin Bed Sheets

Although it may appear as though you will have a twin bed in your dorm room, most dorms actually have XL twins instead of the traditional twin sized bed. So packing twin-sized bedding will be a big mistake since you’ll find out pretty quickly that these new sheets won’t fit on your new bed! We speak from experience. If you want to double check, try social media to get some inside intel.

An Office Chair

Almost every dorm these days provides their own chairs. Coupled with how much space these things take up in a car, you absolutely do not want to make the mistake of doubling up. And if you’re really attached to your chair at home? Considering how big dorm rooms are, now’s the perfect time to start learning to love other seats!

Your Pet

Do we even have to say this? Apparently, we do. We know, we know… it’s hard to leave home, and even harder to leave home when you’re leaving your beloved pet at home. But unfortunately, dorm rooms do not allow pets of any kind. So sadly you can’t sneak in your pooch, kitty or even turtle into the halls of your new home.

Any Luggage at All

We urge you to skip the bulky luggage. Unless you need it for frequent flights back home, luggage is an item that will take up so much valuable space in your tiny new digs. Instead, try packing everything you have in oversized duffle bags (or even trash bags) that can be broken down and stored under your bed or somewhere else less invasive. The duffle bag will still allow you to pack up and travel, yet won’t waste valuable space like large luggage would.

Communicate and Consolidate! Whatever Your Roommate Is Bringing

It’s important to touch base with your roommate before the move-in day so you can coordinate what you are both bringing so you don’t double up! Space is very limited and sometimes so are funds, so splitting these items up will not only ensure your room isn’t overflowing with doubles of everything, but will also help cut down on costs for both of you.

The countdown to college is officially on. Hopefully, now you are fully prepared for what you should bring, could bring, and should NEVER bring to move-in day!

Is It Weird to Help Your Movers? 10 Things Movers Absolutely Love

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Our movers love to move quickly and efficiently, so take it from me, it’s definitely not a weird thing to help your own mover… but not by lifting anything! Helping them in other ways is more than just a load off their backs: the faster they can get done, the more money you will save.

To help move your move along, I can say from experience that these 10 areas are the best, most useful things you can do ahead of your Hybrid move. Of course, most movers will be happy to do the things on this list for you, but do everyone a favor – yourself included – and consider being mover ready if you’re looking to save the absolute most amount of money. I’ll tell them it was your idea.

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