Being a single mom is hard enough. Use this guide for some home maintenance tips to help you make your life easier.
When you’re a single mom, you've got enough to deal with just getting the bills paid and keeping the kids fed. You might be working multiple jobs to make ends meet, and you’ve still got sports practices and other extracurriculars, homework, sleepovers, illness and everything else that comes with raising a family. It can be easy to let the responsibilities of homeownership fall to the wayside, but you should make house repairs a priority.
If you don’t take the time to maintain and care for your home, you could find yourself faced with the financial emergency of replacing a large appliance or expensive home system seemingly out of the blue. And your home – your most valuable asset – could depreciate in value. Juggling the responsibilities of home ownership with those of single parenthood is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how.
Use a Home Maintenance Checklist
A home maintenance checklist will help you make sure nothing that needs doing is going forgotten, whether it’s flushing the water heater once a year or wiping the dust off your refrigerator’s condenser coils. Maybe you’re too busy to sit down and brainstorm all the home maintenance tasks that need to be done, or you don’t even know where to begin in making such a checklist. That’s okay – you can find pre-compiled home maintenance checklists for every season online. Look for one that breaks down your preventive maintenance tasks into a schedule so that you can make sure your furnace and fridge filters are getting changed as required, your gutters are getting cleaned out at least once or twice a year, your smoke detector batteries are changed every six months, and so on.
In addition to items like yearly roof inspections and gutter cleanings, regular lawn care, and cleaning out your dryer vent ductwork every three months, make sure your home maintenance checklist includes a schedule for deep cleaning your home. It’s already difficult enough to do basic household chores when you’re raising a family on your own, but if you fail to clean out your kitchen cabinets, wash your walls, scrub out the inside of your refrigerator and freezer on a regular basis, and take care of those other deep-cleaning chores that don’t get done every day, your home will gradually decline in cleanliness.
Don’t have time for every single item on your home maintenance checklist? That’s understandable. If you have to prioritize some maintenance tasks over others, you should do these first:
- Get a professional roof inspection at least once a year
- Clean your gutters at least once a year, or twice a year if you have a lot of trees
- Inspect and repair caulk around exterior windows and bathroom fixtures yearly
- Flush your water heater yearly
- Change furnace filters every one to six months
- Dust your refrigerator’s condenser coils every six months
- Clean your dryer vent ductwork with a shop vac every few months
- Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months
- Check your basement or crawl space and attic for leaks, animals, and other issues
By prioritizing these home maintenance chores, you can prevent most water damage to your house and keep your most important appliances and home systems working properly. You’ll also be doing what you can to keep your family safe.
Get Some Help
If at all possible, enlist the help of a friend, a neighbor or a family member to help you with your home maintenance responsibilities. A handy relative or friend can help maintain and repair your home. A less-handy one can at least help you with the kids while you do home maintenance chores yourself.
Many single mothers are reluctant to let go of their hard-earned money to pay for a cleaning service, but paying for a regular house cleaner can free up time that’s better spent with your kids and maintaining your home. Even just paying for a yearly or bi-yearly deep clean can make taking good care of your home so much easier.
Added Security from a Home Warranty
No matter how diligent you are with maintaining your home, things will wear out and eventually break down, resulting in unexpected, expensive home repairs. So, buying a home warranty is a good idea. An American Home Shield® Home Warranty covers up to 21 components of your major home systems and appliances.
How a Home Warranty Works
When a covered item breaks down, we’re available to receive your request 24/7, 365 days a year. Once you submit your service request online or via phone, you’ll pay a predetermined trade service call fee, and we’ll send a professional, experienced, independent contractor to your home to diagnose the issue. Afterward, the contractor will either repair the problem or offer up an alternative solution.
Balancing the responsibilities of homeownership with those of single motherhood isn’t easy, but American Home Shield is here to help. Call us today to learn more about how we can help make it easier when unexpected breakdowns occur.