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Owning a home is one of life's greatest joys and investments. But, as a homeowner, you also know that maintaining the value of your No. 1 investment requires a lot of time, energy and elbow grease. To help you stay organized with the “must do” tasks every month, here’s a guide to help you keep your home in tip-top shape, all year long.

January – Decluttering and Organizing

  • Take down, clean and store holiday ornaments, decorations and exterior lights.
  • Put away all of those holiday gifts.
  • While you are making room for your new gifts, take the opportunity to go through your closet and get rid of things you haven’t used for a year.
  • Do end of the year accounting and set-up a folder for the current year’s taxes.

February – Bathrooms

  • Remove and replace any worn or crumbling caulk or grout in and around bathtubs, sinks and toilets. Vacuum bathroom vent fan covers.
  • Clean faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Make sure your toilets are not running and are in good working order. If it’s within your budget, consider replacing your old toilets with newer, more efficient models—and check with your local water company to see if they offer rebates.

March – Kitchen

  • Clean the range hood filter in your kitchen
  • Wipe shelves clean, check expiration dates on all products and toss anything old.
  • Clean your refrigerator and oven.

Don’t forget to move your household clocks forward during Daylight Savings Time and test your smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries

May – Bedroom and Closets

  • Thoroughly clean all bedding (bedspread, blankets, sheets, mattress protector).
  • If you have a duvet insert, have it professionally cleaned.
  • Change bedding for summer months, if desired.
  • Go through your drawers and closets and donate old items that you haven’t worn for a while.
  • Rotate and flip mattress as needed.

June – Windows

  • Wash the inside and outside of your windows (once the rainy season has stopped).
  • Inspect and wash window and door screens and repair any with holes.
  • Make sure all doors and locks are working properly and are in good condition.
  • Clean tracks and lubricate hinges.
  • Clean drapes, dust blinds and shutters.

July – Paint

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Scrape, caulk and paint any wood surfaces that have peeled or weathered.
  • Inspect interior walls and ceilings for cracks or bulges, and patch and paint as necessary.
  • Clean and seal decks.

August – Vents and Filters

  • Check and clean dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans.
  • Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from being
  • blocked by furniture and draperies.

September – Seals

  • Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors and make any necessary repairs in preparation for the winter months.
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seal is tight.
  • Caulk any drafts in your basement, such as around your dryer vent.
  • Make sure your roof is in good condition and not missing any shingles, tiles or slates.

October – Fireplace and Chimney

  • If you have a fireplace make sure you have the chimney checked out by a professional chimney cleaner before starting the first fire.
  • Be sure your fireplace tools are in working order. Pull out your non-flammable rug and place it in front of the fireplace.
  • Once you start building fires clean ashes out regularly but ensure ashes have completely cooled before discarding.

November – Upholstery and Carpeting

  • Vacuum all sofas and pillows.
  • Spot clean all upholstery and carpeting. For extra cleaning, consider hiring a professional service to clean your upholstery and carpeting.

Don’t forget to move your household clocks back during Daylight Savings Time and test your smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.

December – Miscellaneous

  • Clean your garage and get rid of anything you don’t use.
  • Neatly organize all of your tools, garden equipment and appliances.
  • Wander the house with a screwdriver and tighten screws on drawers, doors and furniture.

Make a list of everything that needs to be repaired. If needed, go to your local hardware store and purchase the necessary items to make your repairs.