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Work smarter, not harder, around your home

Use automation to make life easier.

Your daily life is hectic. You don’t need us to tell you that much.

Between getting the kids ready for school, finishing up that project for work, cooking dinner, walking the dog, and calling your parents, there’s barely enough time left over to make coffee—let alone take care of your home. It’s just too easy for home maintenance and upkeep to fall by the wayside, forgotten about until something goes terribly wrong.

In this article, we’ll review several ways you can start working smarter, not harder, around your home. This includes building a better home maintenance plan, embracing automation, and using a DIY mindset to more easily tackle repairs and cleaning.

It’s time to work smarter—not harder.

Our latest infographic breaks down all the ways in which automation and a do-it-yourself mindset can make your day-to-day life easier. Check it out!

Get in front of your home’s maintenance needs

Falling behind on your home’s maintenance and upkeep can start a chain reaction, just like a row of dominos tipping over. You just get more behind with every passing weekend, and catching up can feel impossible. When this happens, you need to take a step back, breathe, and go back to the proverbial drawing board. Effective, proactive home maintenance requires a plan. If you’re just winging it, you’re just going to keep falling behind.

Remember: it’s your home, and you’re in control. You need to get back out in front of your home’s maintenance and repair projects. Start by sitting down and creating a home maintenance checklist. Think seasonally: you won’t be able to complete everything in a single weekend, so break tasks up throughout the year. For example, you’ll need to clean out your home’s gutters in the fall and you should reseal your deck in the spring.

Generally speaking, the fall and spring will be your busiest months (they don’t call it “spring cleaning” for nothing!) but it should be possible to spread the workload out relatively evenly throughout the year.

For home maintenance projects that require hiring an expert, schedule this work out far in advance. You’ll want to bring in an experienced HVAC technician to tune up your air conditioner in the spring. Don’t wait until May to call them: get on their (busy) schedule in February or March to ensure your cooling system gets looked at before the weather heats up.

Automation can help

As homeowners, we keep so much information in our heads. Not surprisingly, trying to remember an entire list of dates and to-do list items generally ends with something getting dropped. It’s time to face it: we’re just not that good at remembering random pieces of information. This is where automation can help. By automating things, you’re removing them from your brain and letting a computer do the remembering.

Build a digital calendar with automated reminders

Start by filling out a digital calendar with all of the recurring home maintenance tasks you outlined earlier. In this calendar, set up automated reminders that will notify you a few days ahead of time when something needs to be completed. For many homeowners, this works best when they set this calendar to send them mobile push notifications on their smartphone. If the particular project requires supplies or you to work ahead on something, make sure you include that note in your automated reminder: “Painting fence this weekend; buy more paint at hardware store.”

Get things regularly shipped to you

Of course, there’s so much more you can do with automation. Many homeowners now automate the delivery of basic goods they need on a regular basis, such as paper towels, sponges, laundry detergent, and more. If you’re the type who hates forgetting these things at the grocery store and having to go back, automating the delivery of these items through an online retailer can make your life a whole lot simpler.

Install a smart thermostat and more

Finally, devices can help you automate some of the day-to-day tasks in your home. In recent years, smart thermostats have gone mainstream. These devices can be programmed ahead of time and then automate temperature changes in your home; some models are even capable of learning your patterns and adjusting temperatures accordingly based on when you’re away.

Automated drip systems remove the need for homeowners to water plants every single day. Putting your exterior lights on a timer can accomplish the same thing. There’s even automated shutters and blinds, which can open or close your windows at certain times of the day.

Think with a DIY approach

A DIY mindset can really be a gamechanger for your home. It can help you keep things looking fresh, allow you to make quick repairs, or even assist you with your deep cleaning. Did you know that clear nail polish, for instance, can be used to fix dents in your wood floors? Or that correction fluid can be used to patch up holes or damage to white paint and drywall?

There need to be limits to your DIY mindset, however. You need to know when to stop and get the help of a professional. In general, you should never work on your home’s plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, or structure. Instead, call a trusted, licensed expert in your area.

Ready to get started?

For even more tips and ways to work smarter, not harder, around the home, take a look at our new infographic below.