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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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