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Upkeep List Bootstrap

Here is a quick-start guide to help you build your own upkeep list. It starts with a few tasks mining exercises to collect as many tasks as possible and finishes with a list of task examples to give you some ideas. As we do the exercises, we want to be thorough as much as possible, but remember, collecting tasks and updating the list is an everlasting process.

What goes on the upkeep list?

What goes on the upkeep list? All recurrent unscheduled tasks. This is, tasks that need to be done at regular intervals but not at a fixed time and date. (See Task Types)

Execice One: Do a Brain Dump

Start by writing everything that comes to your mind. Don't organize, just write you can sort later if it is upkeep list material. Think of all the things you do (or should do) each day, each month, each year. Think of what you:

  • clean, wash and refill
  • check to see if it is ready to use
  • update to make sure it stays current
  • verify if it is secure
  • sort and put back to place so it can be found later
  • empty to make room for more

Excercice Two: Walk Arround The House

Go from room to room and search for things that need to be done, repaired, sorted and cleaned. Try to take different points of view, literally, kneel, lay on the floor, use a stepladder and look from above.

Excercice Three: Review Your Owner Manuals

Ask yourself: How, and how often, should I care for that thing that I own? Read the operations manual of what you own and look for any recurrent maintenance tasks.

Task Examples

The following tasks examples are provided for informational purpose, as an example of how one may do them, they do not constitute advice or instruction on how to do them. You should always refer to your appliances owners manual or the advice of an expert to find the proper way to care for your appliances. Certain task and their frequency may depend on the regulations where you live. For each task, the period is specified in days, at the end of the title, between parentheses. It is a starting point to be adjusted for your needs.

Backup documents offsite (60 days)

Store a backup copy of important documents in a different location then the principal one.

Descale coffee maker (30 days)

Fill the coffee maker reservoir with a mix of 1:1 of water and white vinegar. Start it and wait for the water to drip. When it does, stop the coffee maker and let it sit for 30-60 minutes then restart it and let the cycle finish. Rinse the coffee maker with two cycles of clean water.

Empty inbox (7 days)

Inboxes are any devices physical or virtual that are used to capture the information you receive. They need to be emptied regularly to ensure that the new information is processed and classified properly. It is preferable to keep the smallest number of inboxes possible. For an in-depth how to collect and process inputs read Getting Things Done by David Allen.

Change bedding (14 days)

Bed sheets should be changed regularly to control the buildup of dust, proliferation of mould, bacteria and dust mites. If you are allergic and depending on your sleeping habits, the frequency of the cleaning may need to be increased. Either use hot water (60°C) to wash or tumble dry at high temperature.

Clean oven (15 days)

Wipe the inside of the oven to remove any spills and avoid accumulation which could become a grease fire hazard. Clean the door's glass to keep a clear view into the oven.

Review credit report and score (365 days)

Request your credit report from the different credit bureaus and review it to correct inaccurate or incomplete information. It can't also help detect fraud early.

Clean bathroom sink drain (120 days)

Disassemble and clean the p-trap under a sink to remove accumulated hair and prevent it from clogging.

Test smoke detector (30 days)

Use the test button to make sure your smoke alarm is working.

Replace smoke detector batteries (365 days)

Replace the battery of each smoke detector in the house and test each detector with smoke to make sure it is working. Smoke detectors have an expiration date and should be replaced.

Update the first aid kit (90 days)

Check the first aid kit and medicine cabinet to see if some items need to be re-supplied, if expired medication needs to be disposed off and if emergency information is up to date.

Descale shower head (90 days)

Descale showerheads to remove limescale and prevent blockages and bacteria proliferation.

Wash shower curtain (30 days)

Use soapy water with vinegar to wash the shower curtain. If it is machine washable, put it in the machine with towels or sheet, use the normal cycle with warm water. Do not spin, but hang to dry. Frequency of this task may need to be increased if the bathroom is not well ventilated.