Trying to keep track of all the tasks you need to do in the spring? I’ve created the ultimate home maintenance and spring cleaning checklist as a free PDF download.
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Have you done your spring cleaning yet? Are you one of those people who has their spring cleaning done before Easter? Do you already have a home maintenance checklist and spring cleaning checklist, both laminated and in a binder decorated with washi tape and raffia? You probably have one of those “drop in ready” homes that is perfect all the time, always ready for the POTUS or Martha to stop by.
If that describes you, then you don’t need to read further. Instead, go find an art project like papier maché and the companion painting project, or any other messy craft out of one of Jean’s books. The mess it creates will horrify you, but at the same time provide ample cleaning opportunities to make you squeal with delight.
If that doesn’t describe you, read on. If you are like me, just getting the regular housework basics done is quite an achievement. It usually only happens when we know someone might be coming over, and then it’s a mad scramble to get everything thrown in closets and swept under the rug, and what’s left gets thrown in my bedroom and the door barricaded.
I don’t really like living this way, but at the same time, I am not a housewife from the ’50s or ’60s either. I do not want to be a slave to my home as my mother was. My house isn’t a showroom. It’s a place to store all my craft supplies, clothes, and other junk. But I do wish it were more organized so when I need scissors or a hammer, I know where to find them. If everything had a place, life would be wonderful… ahh…. hmmm… Oh, sorry, I went off into dreamland there. We have a fairly small house built in 1957, so no walk-in closets or big play rooms here. Which is one of the reasons everything is always out. Only about half of it can be put away at any given time.
Anyhoo, if you have a home, it is kind of like a pet or a child. You need to take care of it. So while it is easy to be blind to the little (or big) problems, it really is important for you to give it a checkup once in a while. Lots of things can go wrong. Expensive things. REALLY expensive things. Anything you can do now to prevent those $$$ you are saving for a big trip to Disney from being sucked away is good, right? Hence the home maintenance checklist. I’ve included the spring version below. Wrong season? Here’s the checklist for Fall.
Here’s a sneak peak at the size of this checklist. The download link is available at the end of this post.
The checklist is pretty exhaustive. I know I get exhausted just looking at it. It covers things you really need to stay on top of, and also cosmetic things. Imagine you were in the market to buy a home and you saw the one you are in now. Before buying it, you wanted to find all the faults so you knew what you were getting into, and maybe have something to use as a negotiating point. Put those glasses back on. Look for every little fault you can find. I know, this can be depressing, especially in an older home, but you might find something you didn’t know about, or see a bad trend, like a little crack getting bigger.
On the cosmetic side, it covers all the outdoor and indoor tasks that don’t get done all the time but really have to happen once in a while. If you don’t keep up with these things, you’ll be the one in the neighborhood with that house or that yard. While I’m not saying you have to play the game of keeping up with the Joneses, you don’t want people to think your house is abandoned either. Years ago I used to live in a pretty nice, newer house on a cul-de-sac and at the end lived the Jones family, whose house really was the biggest and best on the street. I actually used to try to keep up with the Joneses literally…. but that was a former life. Not now. Got my priorities in order as I got older. And more tired. And became a mom. And ran out of money. And stopped caring what others think. (That last one is very liberating, btw).
Some of these tasks really have to get done first thing in the spring, but others can be done over time. You don’t have to take a week off from work to do it all at once. But you never hear of a summer cleaning checklist, do you? So it’s all rolled into one big list for spring, but it’s okay if you don’t finish it until the end of summer. Just in time for the fall checklist. The big thing is that these tasks are on your radar.
I’ve seen lots of home maintenance checklists and spring cleaning checklists floating around, but I really wanted my own. So I started a list in a Word document. It got bigger and bigger as I thought about more and more to add. Then I figured if I prettied it up a bit I could share it with all of you. Misery loves company… So, of course this led to hours of work deciding on fonts, trying to get things lined up perfectly, making a custom spring print background (which I’ll share later), figuring how best to organize it, trying to get things to fit into categories and reordering sections to fit perfectly on the page. Then when I finally saved it as a PDF you would think I’d be done, right? Oh noooooo. I thought to myself, sounding a lot like Rosanne Rosannadanna in my head, wouldn’t it be cool to turn those little boxes into an editable form where you could actually check things off the list, or write in your own tasks neatly, right in the form? So I went about creating the electronic form and getting those little checkboxes and fill-in-the-blank lines formatted nicely. But then I thought, if you wanted to just keep it all electronic instead of printing it out, how would you handle more than the two rooms provided on the last page? Should I just duplicate that last page a half dozen times? I could… but I thought wouldn’t it be cool if you could click a button and add pages on-the-fly as you need them? So, more time spent googling how to do that and figuring out where to put the button. About 10 hours later, voila! A pretty checklist!
And this is why I have a messy house.
P.S. The intro page of the PDF should pretty much tell you all you need to know. The first page and a half of the actual list covers mostly maintenance things and other outdoor tasks. The right hand side of the second page gets into the deep cleaning part, and things that are unique to specific rooms. The last page has the more generic deep cleaning tasks to be done in each room. I didn’t include many of the tasks that you should be doing on a regular basis. This last page can be duplicated for as many rooms as you need.
Enjoy! Let me know if you like it (or hate it). Or share your tales of cleaning woes. Or better yet, if you are one of those obsessively clean ones who stuck with this post to the end, share your secrets to a perfect house!