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Home Maintenance Checklist for Renters

Home Maintenance Checklist for Renters

Many people think that because they rent instead of owning their own home, they don’t have any responsibilities. While it is true that your landlord is responsible for taking care of repairs, maintenance, etc., as a tenant you do have certain responsibilities when it comes to home maintenance. If it costs you any amount of money, you may be able to get a break on your rent. Let’s break those responsibilities down to the seasons, and what you should be doing each month.

Spring

Every year, we all say that it is time to get the spring cleaning done. Here is a rundown of what you should be doing during the spring months.

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  • March – Start opening windows and airing the place out. This is also a good time to clean range hood filters, clean the kitchen sink disposal, and clean or change HVAC filters.
  • April – Clean the windows so they sparkle and let the sunshine in. Have carpets cleaned and wash rugs.
  • MayClean the gutters (if you rent a house). Walk around and look at the exterior of the home and report any weather damage to the landlord. Look at the surrounding trees, and if they are interfering with power lines, call your local utility.

Summer

Now is the best time for outdoor work. If you are renting a place that has a yard, here are some of your responsibilities.

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  • June – Look for cracks in the driveway and report any you find to the landlord. Clean off the patio, deck, or yard area that you use and get it ready for summer fun. Clean out the garage and get rid of unnecessary junk.
  • July – Check the yard for insect infestations. If there is a problem with ants or other insects, the landlord may need to call an exterminator.
  • August – Fall is coming, so take care of outdoor chores that you won’t want to do once it gets cold outside. Towards the end of the month, put away summer outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, etc. to prepare for fall.

Fall

Now you need to start prepping for winter to make sure that you have no major issues and that you stay warm.

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  • September – Remove window air conditioning units and seal up windows with plastic if there are drafts. Test the sump pump to make sure that it is working properly.
  • October – Depending on where you live, it could start snowing soon. Buy salt and other items you will need to prepare for winter. Again, check the driveway for cracks that should be sealed before winter. Turn off outdoor faucets.
  • November – Look for drafts in doors and windows, and seal them off if necessary with caulking or weather stripping. Move furniture that may be blocking heating vents. Get fireplaces ready for winter. Replace batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Winter

  • December – It’s time to clean up for the holidays. Do some painting touchups on trim and other areas that may be looking old. Test your electricity, because you will likely be using more for holiday lighting. Also, test Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets and plugs. Check all locks on windows and doors, and replace if necessary.
  • January – With the holiday hubbub over with, you may be bored. It’s time to clean out the basement. Check around outside for icicles and remove them before they become dangerous. Clean showerheads and remove any sediment.
  • February – Before you start the spring cleaning and maintenance, go around the house and look for any loose doorknobs, drawer handles, etc. and tighten everything up. Stock up on spring cleaning supplies. Check caulking around showers and tubs, and repair or replace if necessary.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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