I used to spend every weekend working on my home and yard. It's what a homeowner is supposed to do, right? We work all week to pay the mortgage, and then all weekend to keep up the house. After years of this routine, I came up with a new plan: Do one hour of maintenance and yard work every day, after work, and take the weekend off!
By breaking up your home weekend projects into mini weekday projects, you can take the weekend off. Here is my Summer Weekday Mini Project "So-I-Can-Take-The-Weekend-Off" List (this list does not include daily housekeeping).
Mow and trim the front yard one day, and the back yard another day. I usually do this after dinner Tuesday and Wednesday, and it only takes 30 minutes each side.
Pick weeds the other three days for 15 minutes (M,Th,Fr). You will be amazed how easy it is to keep your flower beds weed free if you spend just 15 minutes three days a week rather than trying to do them all at once every month.
If you have a sprinkler system, check and adjust the sprinkler heads. You can do one station a day in just a few minutes. Do this once or twice a season.
If you have a bad sprinkler head, a replacement is easy and only costs a few dollars. Just replace one sprinkler head at a time, and it shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes. You only have to do this once a season.
Clean one or two windows every few days, inside and out. Check the window for any air leaks/gaps in the wood frame. Fill with silicon as needed. You should be able to do this in 15-20 minutes.
Pick a front or back door and check for any air leaks. Install or replace the insulation strip where you see small gaps. You only have to do this once a year.
Spend 15 minutes, twice a week in the garage. Organize and put away the tools, bikes, and whatever else you store in there. Do a donation run if needed. Once you get the garage organized, make sure everyone knows to put items away after using them.
Once the garage is organized, spend 15 minutes once a week to sweep the garage.
Replace the furnace filter once a month (or as recommended). If you have central air, the air intake is also used by your A/C, which has probably been working really hard lately.
Fill in the rest of the hour you work each weekday with other needs around the house. Break down any big projects into smaller 15-20 minute tasks. Before you know it, the big project will get done.
If you have younger kids, have them work with you on these weekday projects. If you have older children, give them their own jobs and get twice as much done. These weekday projects can still be family time.
Ideally you can take care of all your standard home repairs and lawn care in less than an hour each day during the week. Then as you pull your boat or clubs out on a beautiful Saturday morning (or whatever you like to do for fun), you don't have to feel guilty for spending the weekend doing something you really enjoy. Unless, of course, you like working in the garden and other home projects on the weekend, which is perfectly fine; it's just not my first choice.
I still have to convince my wife to take the weekend off from working around the house, but it's gotten easier as I've spent just one hour a day on these mini projects. She sees me working on the house more often, and I’m actually getting more done than working all day Saturday.
I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas about managing your summer home maintenance projects. Make a comment before August 30 and I'll give away $100 Home Depot gift card to a lucky winner.