So, you’ve just bought this brand new home and you want to keep it looking as new as possible for as long as possible. Although it can seem daunting, this is the easy part! Whether you live in Lakeville, Apple Valley, Burnsville, or anywhere in between, a few simple things can keep your home looking brand new with very little time and effort from you.

#1 Create a New Home Maintenance Checklist

Life is going to get busy and you’re bound to forget about which tasks need to be completed throughout the year. Make yourself a checklist to remind you which projects need to be completed and how frequently. Consider putting both exterior and interior tasks on your list. Check out these links for a starting point:

Better Homes & Gardens
New York Times
Prudent Reviews
The Family Handyman

These are just a starting point – but it’s good to start with a basic list, and you can develop it into a reasonable list for you. Don’t be afraid to hire out tasks that are beyond your time availability, or do-it-yourself skill set, which leads to #2 below!

#2 Make a List of Home Maintenance Professionals

Some of your home maintenance will need to be conducted by professionals. Create a list of plumbers, electricians, lawn care, and roofing experts, so you have this information handy when the time comes. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations to add to this list. Make sure to do your homework, including checking out Google and Facebook reviews on contractors that you may be hiring – the last thing you want is a botched project that ends up costing you more time and money.

#3 Set Boundaries with Kids and Pets

Your family is bound to show the house some tough love, but by instilling a sense of responsibility and firm guidelines, you can minimize the destruction caused while increasing the amount of pride and enjoyment you all feel.

For pets:

– Maintain designated elimination areas to help reduce odors and stains.
Establish a reasonable crating routine for when you are away. Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure of the proper amount of time your pet can be crated.

– If you work long hours, consider hiring an extra set of hands to take your favorite canine for a walk midday. The exercise will be good for your dog mentally, as well as physically, and help with behavior issues.

– If your pet is experiencing destructive tendencies, consult a pet behavioral expert to find ways to enrich your pet’s mind and reduce anxious or stressful behaviors.

– Attend to mishaps immediately to help reduce repeat offenses.

– Don’t forget the treats! Pets are usually very motivated by food and this is a fast way to help your pet learn.

For children:

– Establish reasonable chore routines based on your child’s age and abilities

– Communicate clearly the positive impact of having your children contribute to home cleanup and chores

#4 Change Filters Regularly

A clean and healthy home is a reflection of the residents inside and will greatly mirror your quality of life. Change your air and water filters regularly to keep your family happy and healthy. Don’t forget about dryer vents!

By following these simple steps, you are taking responsibility and displaying pride in your home. Regular maintenance keeps your new home looking brand new for much longer, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come!

Photo credit: Getty images/Demaerre

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