Procrastination Nation: How to Take Control of Your Home's Maintenance and Longevity

An alarm clock sitting in a pile of autumn leaves.

When it comes to home improvement projects, procrastination is the enemy. Excuses for putting off the work range from financial reasons to lack of knowledge. Worry is also a major concern. According to a recent survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance, nearly nine out of 10 American homeowners are at least somewhat worried an issue will occur during a home improvement project. However, there are simple steps you can take to help you worry less and accomplish the projects you’ve been delaying.

Schedule Reminders on Your Phone

A wood desk with a notepad with the words "to do list" surrounded by a cup of coffee and a phone.

First and foremost, nip procrastination in the bud. There is never truly going to be a convenient time for you to tackle a home maintenance project, so it’s vital that you make the time. My solution is to come up with a schedule for every maintenance item and put calendar reminders on your phone. I’d also recommend setting this as a recurring appointment on your calendar in order to keep up with routine maintenance. According to the same survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance, 30% of homeowners are not maintaining systems in their homes on a regularly scheduled, routine basis. Setting your reminder this way holds you accountable and will ultimately extend the life of your home and its systems, saving you time and money in the long run.

Increase Your Efficiency With an Annual Schedule

As for when to schedule your home maintenance projects, autumn is an ideal time to perform routine tasks throughout your home and many can be completed by taking the DIY route. One project that is simple and effective to do yourself is power washing. Before the cold, wet weather sets in, take one last time to power wash the sidewalk, driveway, and porches. Not only will power washing help clear away the debris, but it also adds curb appeal to your home. Other DIY home maintenance tasks that can increase the efficiency in your home include keeping an extra quart of paint for each color you have in your home, sealing natural stone countertops and tile every six months, and checking all of your smoke and CO detectors every six months, among other tasks.

Don't Be Afraid to Invest Sweat Equity

Cost is the biggest driver of home improvement worries, with 40% of Americans worried about expenses during a home improvement project. That’s no reason to procrastinate, though. DIY projects can lead to sweat equity, and you might be surprised to learn that upgrades handled by a professional have a savings benefit, too. Check your insurance policy if your renovations may include upgrades to plumbing, heating/cooling, roofing, or electrical services performed by licensed contractors. Some insurance providers may offer a discount, such as the New/Renovated Home Discount from Liberty Mutual, when you hire a professional to complete significant work that adds value to your home.

Take Advantage of Smart Technology

Lastly, don’t put off upgrading your home’s technology. While products are ever-evolving, smart home devices have immediate payoffs. Installing smart home devices can also lead to discounts and less worry overall. Do you ever question if you locked the front door or turned off the stove? Are you ever worried someone may break into your home? There are a variety of devices on the market that allow you to keep tabs on your home via your smart phone, so no matter your location you can ensure that everything in your home is running smoothly. Installing this technology helps you worry less about these questions and can also lead to money savings, like the Smart Home Discount offered by Liberty Mutual Insurance. To view a few of my personal favorites I’ve installed in my own home to help my family worry less, check out this 360-degree video that explains each and how I like to use them:

As the host, designer, and contractor on the series "Elbow Room," Chip Wade is there from concept through construction to show HGTV and DIY viewers how to customize their spaces and transform houses into homes that perfectly suit their lifestyle. Additionally, Chip has acted as a representative for many national brands and is currently a consultant with Liberty Mutual Insurance.