- It gives me the opportunity to downsize. All of the closets get cleaned out, drawers get decluttered, basically, everything gets looked at and if there are more than one of the same item, if items have been outgrown, or if items haven't been used since the last annual review, they get put in the garage sale/donation box.
- It gives me the opportunity to do a home inventory. I use my laptop to note what major items are in each room (queen-sized bed, 36" TV, etc). I save this information on my computer (and back it up on a jump drive too) in case it is ever needed for insurance purposes. In addition, after each room is done, I take a digital photo of the room and of any expensive items, and store these photos on my computer along with the inventory document.
- It gives me the opportunity to stock up. As I go through each room, I note items that are running low. My goal is to have a year's worth of each of the items that we use frequently (soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc) stored in our home. Having a year's worth of these items on hand is an excellent hedge against inflation, it allows us never to have to run to the store because we ran out of soap, for example, and it is an excellent back up--just like the year's worth of food that is stored--to carry our family through in the event of an emergency (lay off, disaster, etc).
- It "freshens up" the house. Of course the house is cleaned regularly but a thorough deep cleaning after a long winter makes everything look better.
- This is also when we do any major redecorating, maintenance projects, remodeling projects, etc. Since we are usually exceedingly busy throughout the year, hanging out at the mall and buying things for the house on a regular basis just isn't done. After today's home review, we have a list of things that we will either purchase (flat panel TV for one of the guest rooms), arrange to have done (chimney cleaned and furnace tuned up), as well as a handful of projects we want to accomplish this summer (paint the deck, have a garage sale, do a landscaping project, and paint one of the bathrooms).
- Since the garage has an extensive amount of stuff in it (from stored food to firearms to camping gear to emergency supplies), we will tackle the garage in the same fashion next weekend.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Annual Home Review
For as long as I can remember, I have been doing something I call an annual home review. One day a year, I clean the house from top to bottom. Here's why: