There’s something special about moving into your new home. It’s brand new – all the appliances are gleaming, the walls are clean and bright, the carpets spotless, the wooden floors gleaming. It all looks wonderful. The interior and exterior of the home are just as you want them.
How can you keep it that way?
- Don’t get carried away!
If you’ve ever seen certain sitcoms, you’ve seen the living rooms where couches and chairs are draped in uncomfortable plastic, to preserve the look of the furniture beneath. Hardly an inviting place to sit.
But there are certain common sense steps you can take to help ensure that your home’s exterior roof, walls, lawn and sidewalk continue to look – if not brand new, at least well-cared for. The same goes for the interior. There’s nothing wrong with a “lived-in” look – in fact of course that’s what makes a house a home.
- Create a maintenance checklist and stick to it
Creating checklists for necessary maintenance and chores to be done inside and outside on a regular basis will go a long way toward helping you and your family maintaining the great look of your new home.
Invest in supplies that you need and keep them in a storage area so that when the time comes to actually do your maintenance, you don’t have an excuse to put if off because you don’t have what you need to do your chores.
Maintenance is more than changing filters. If you have carpeting you should vacuum a couple of times a week to keep dust from collecting. If you have wooden floors, clean them on a regular basis with a cleaner to which dust will not stick.
- Organize your supplies
If you hire a lawn service to take care of your lawn and gardens, and a cleaning service to take care of vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms and so on, then you will only need the barest supplies to do spot maintenance yourself.
If you’re going to look after your lawn, garden and the interior of your home yourself, invest in basic supplies and store them on closet or garage shelves dedicated for that purpose. The old adage of “a place for everything and everything in its place” is very true. Put your tools and cleaning supplies back in the same place after every use and you’ll save time, energy and money next time you need to use them.
- Employ appropriate maintenance professionals
When winter looms, it’s time to ensure that your gutters are always free of leaves and detritus. You don’t want to be caught unprepared when the first snowfall hits Employ professionals to clean your gutters and get up on the roof of your home to check for loose tiles or shingles, before winter hits.
- Protect your lawn and garden
Drain the water from any exterior faucets and from any garden hoses. Store your hoses inside during winter, properly coiled up and out of the way. Put mulch or burlap bags around your flower beds to keep them relatively warm during the winter months.
Cut your grass quite short before the onset of winter, to ensure a healthy return to greenery when spring comes. Fertilize the lawn also – so that when spring comes the nutrients will be there ready to feed the soil and the grass.
- Protect entryways
To prevent dirt and mud from being tracked into the house, have welcome mats in front of each door, and mats for shoes inside. Supply carpet slippers for visitors.
- Perform an exterior inspection before winter comes
Your brand-new home is…well…brand new, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong. Catch small problems before they turn into bigger problems. Take a look at the exterior of your windows, and clean off dirt and grit. Make sure exterior seals are still intact.
- Change filters
Your HVAC system and your refrigerator have filters that must be changed on a regular basis. Changing these filters should be part of your maintenance checklist. If you have a smart phone, spend some time inputting the dates when filters need to be changed into your calendar. Then you can simply forget about it until the alert comes from your calendar app. Then – don’t put it off – do the maintenance right away!
- Keep track of pet behavior
Don’t let your pets destroy your furniture. If you have cats, invest in a clawing pole. If you have dogs, make sure they are house-trained before you let them into carpeted areas. If there are any “accidents” clean them up immediately.
- Keep track of kid behavior
It’s hard to keep a home pristine if you have young children, but you can make it easier on your walls if you keep crayons and markers in a controlled environment so your kids only have access to them when you’re home to supervise. Kids love to draw on anything – protect your walls by providing them with large tablets on which to draw or color.
Set some ground rules if possible – no eating except at table or on a TV tray. No colored liquids such as grape juice to come anywhere near light-colored carpeting!
By following these simple steps, your home will stay clean, and your appliances will stay in working condition, for a long time to come.