How do you keep track of seasonal and annual home maintenance?
June 14, 2016 8:48 AM   Subscribe

I'd like an easy way to keep track of what I need to do on a seasonal, annual, and 5-year basis to ensure my home is functioning well. I'm looking for a way to keep track of when the last time various systems were serviced and/or what I need to do in the next month. How do you keep track of your maintenance cycles and tasks?

I've seen the various calendars and checklists, but they don't necessarily make it easy to see the date that a system was last maintained, or let me know who I need to call to service my house in the coming months.

How do you keep track of these things? Is there an Excel template I could use? What is most important to do annually vs. seasonally vs. every 5-10 years, and what's the best way to keep track so we can stay on top of the little things?
posted by melodykramer to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
That's one part of it, above. I suggest an alarm six weeks prior to service coming due. Then, contact the contractor to arrange the job.
posted by parmanparman at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2016

I keep it in my brain and consult Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook (a.k.a. THE BIBLE) seasonally for her lists of quarterly/seasonal/monthly chore and maintenance lists.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 9:13 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

As with everything else, there are some apps for that.

I don't use anything other than a notebook in which I record ideas for one-time projects (and in which I also record all the one-time improvements I've made to the house). Everything else, like cleaning the gutters or putting up the window screens, I seem to remember to do more or less on time.
posted by beagle at 9:21 AM on June 14, 2016

Google Calendar plus a Google doc with POCs, etc.

Sometimes there's a tendency to overthink it a little. Change an air filter, underground sprinklers get drained, clean a gutter, etc., but really, there are not ten thousand tasks, it's more like a few dozen.
posted by fixedgear at 10:01 AM on June 14, 2016

We also use Google Calendar (with the details listed in scottore's answer) and a shared spreadsheet for longer term projects with no set maintenance schedule or no recurring tasks.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2016

Monthly stuff gets done on the 1st, annual stuff gets done in October. Service dates are written on the appliances themselves or a sticker in sharpie along with the contractors contact info. Easy.
posted by fshgrl at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

In the past, I used Remember The Milk and set monthly, quarterly and yearly reminders on stuff.
I found Apartment Therapy to be useful on helping to get the lists straight, like what needed to be done quarterly, bi-yearly and yearly.
What was nice about RTM was that I could set the reminders in along with the rest of my task lists, it wasn't 'special' - it was just part of routine routineness.
posted by msamye at 2:19 PM on June 14, 2016

I just use reminders on my phone. I set the reminder to reoccur on the frequency I need to take care of the item in question.

Just last weekend my phone reminded me to vacuum the back of the refrigerator and change its water filter.

If the activity is something I need to schedule a service person for, I include the contact info in the reminder and make sure it pops up far enough in advance - however, I have found some companies are happy to schedule a maintenance plan for us!

So - the pest spray person comes out every two months during bug season. The heat pump person calls every six months to schedule a service appointment. It is always worth asking your home service people if they have a maintenance package.
posted by hilaryjade at 7:39 PM on June 14, 2016

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