Why did it take me fifteen years to create a simple home maintenance checklist?

The sky was dark at five-thirty this morning when I poured my first cup of coffee.  Even the cat looked bleary-eyed as he lumbered across the house and plopped down on the living room floor.  He stared up at me and blinked while I checked my Nexus 7 tablet for the arrival of any new e-mail messages delivered during the overnight hours.

Thoroughly vacuuming lint from the clothes dryer (after removing six screws holding on the back panel) and replacing the broken exhaust vent shutters helps to both prevent fires and reduce overall drying time
Thoroughly vacuuming lint from the clothes dryer (after removing six screws holding on the back panel) and replacing the broken exhaust vent shutters helps to both prevent fires and reduce overall drying time

A single e-mail arrived from Amazon.com informing me of the arrival today of two repair parts for my dishwasher.  That reminded me, I should probably get around to cleaning the lint from the clothes dryer exhaust vent before the weather turns cold.

With the day’s weather forecast calling for blue skies and warm temperatures, today was a good opportunity to go outside and clean the dryer duct work.  But seeing it was still dark, I first created a simple checklist in MS Excel to get ahead of future home maintenance projects–like remembering the last time I changed the furnace filter.

A simple home maintenance tracking checklist created in table format
A simple home maintenance tracking checklist created in table format

I don’t know why it took fifteen years of home ownership to create such a simple checklist.  In any event, a mere five minutes of brainstorming helped me build out a rough first draft shown in the image above.

I’m happy to report that the clothes dryer vent was cleaned.  Further, it should be easy enough to keep an eye on this file once or twice a month and add items to the list as they come up.

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