In November of 2020, I did a two part podcast on the four kinds of work in business (361 & 362). It turns out, there are also four kinds of housework, and I introduced these in Podcast 418. There are many of these business concepts that also equate to our homes, we just don’t think of running our household like it is a business. We hear a lot about work/life balance as though these are two separate ways of getting things done. There are so many parallels between your day job and your home job.
A few podcasts ago, I shared that Organize 365 is pursuing research about organization. One of the first challenges we faced is that we do not have a common vocabulary around work inside the house like we have for work in the workplace. As part of our research, we needed to define the words we were using in the survey questions. That meant, we needed to define housework. This is the final episode of a four part series that defines and explains the different kinds of work we all do inside of our homes.
Today, I am sharing some details about the fourth kind of housework - maintenance. Home maintenance tasks are the tasks that the owner of the property is responsible for in order to increase the value of the home. This includes things like painting, updating flooring, replacing HVAC units, and purchasing a new roof. It is technically optional, but it is in the best interest of the property owner to keep the maintenance up to date. It is an investment the owner makes to protect the value of the property. Maintenance can be done directly by the owner, or it can be done indirectly by hired help. Renters have very little, if any, maintenance expenses and responsibilities.
In the most recent research, Organize 365® discovered two important things. Home maintenance is the kind of housework where external help is most often hired by the homeowner. Home maintenance is also the only category of housework that is most often completed by men.
When Greg and I first purchased our home, my dad taught me a very important lesson. His advice was to make any desired improvements to our home as soon as possible, so we would get the most enjoyment from our purchase. He was so right!
I also remember my aunt recommending an annual home maintenance budget of 5% of the value of the home. That is a lot of money. You may not spend the whole amount every year, but larger expenses can use up several years worth of the budget.
If you own your home, I want you to think about being the landlord of your home. This will help you determine what maintenance tasks are most important. The Organize 365® Household Reference Binder is helpful in keeping track of your maintenance needs and documentation that the necessary tasks have been completed. Having an organized system for my documents and information has helped me to make decisions about when to replace and when to fix certain appliances. I can also better predict my maintenance expenses because all of my papers are easily accessible and organized.
I hope that you find these descriptions of housework helpful and I want you to think about how you can become more efficient with your housework to do the work you are uniquely created to do!