Maintaining a house requires effort, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Here are 25 tips to get you well on your way to a happy home.

Whether you’re planning to purchase a home, are selling your home, or just spending a hell of a lot more time in it (thanks COVID), tips for proper home maintenance are always in order. 

Poorly kept areas, if allowed to go unchecked, not only put a damper on your quality of life--they can also morph into much more expensive problems and even decrease the value of your property. (A huge bummer if you decide to sell!)

Far be it from us to allow your home to be anything less than exceptional. Ahead, 25 tips for keeping it in top condition. 

Kitchen and Bathrooms 

Tips for kitchen and bathroom maintenance

Proper Drain Cleaning 

If your kitchen or bathroom constantly greets you with a suspicious aroma, chances are you’ve got a clogged drain. The first line of defense against this problem is to avoid allowing anything solid to slip down there (unless you have a garbage disposal, which, even then, should be used with caution). Use mesh sink strainers to catch debris before it goes down the drain, or get fancy with a Tub Shroom.

Accidents happen, though! If unwanted waste has crept into your drains, depending on the severity of the clog, you can eradicate it using: 

a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water, 

a chemical cleaner (such as Drain-O)*, 

or a plunger. (Yup, they make those for kitchens, too.)

*Chemical solvents should not be your first choice, especially for homes with older plumbing, as they can eat away at the pipes.

Garbage disposals should also be cleaned regularly. The easiest (and most fragrant!) method is with natural citrus oils. Simply toss half a cut lemon or lime in and run with hot water for a minute.

Plumbing Maintenance 

When it comes to plumbing, you may be tempted to think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Not so fast. Leaky pipes are sneaky pipes--meaning, many times, slow leaks won’t become evident until it’s too late.

Regular plumbing inspections can save you from the headaches of uninhibited leaks, namely: arduous cleanup, water damage to walls, ceilings, and floors, and MOLD.

Clean Floors and Walls 

Kitchen and bathroom areas are highly susceptible to mold growth due to moisture concentration. (Think: steamy showers, dishwashers, sinks…) A little maintenance goes a long way to keeping mold at bay, though. Once a week, give your tiles, walls, countertops, sinks, showers, and toilets a quick wipe with an antibacterial cleaner (or natural cleaning solution). 

Pro tip: “Antibacterial” is the operative word there. Regular all-purpose cleaners are great for light sprucing, but they aren’t made to kill mold-causing bacteria.

If you’ve already got some sporous visitors, the same cleaners will do the job--you may just need to throw in a little more elbow grease.

Toilet Maintenance 

Toilets have one job, and that job is not as an all-purpose garbage bin. Non-biodegradable items will clog your toilet over time (if they don’t cause overflow right away). 

So, rule number one: stick to toilet paper and, if you must, “flushable” wipes. (Use those sparingly to avoid causing issues in the sewage system, such as “fatbergs.” Yes, that’s a thing.)

If you end up with a clog, we probably don’t have to tell you to reach for the plunger. If that doesn’t work, you can DIY a fix or call a pro to help.

Install More Storage 

Especially in smaller homes, bathrooms and kitchens are often lacking in the storage department. Limited storage can cause daily annoyance, but it also creates more places for grime to develop on the downlow.

Think about it: old bottles of shampoo, sponges, makeup, toiletries, cleaning products...what else have you tossed under a sink, never to be seen again? Implementing simple storage solutions can help you separate the necessities from the junk and keep cabinet space clear and free of grit. 

A couple of suggestions to get you started: install floating shelves in the bathroom to store towels and toiletries, and consider a hanging pot and pan rack or a versatile bar cart for the kitchen.

Maintaining Your Living Room and Entrance Ways 

Well-maintained corner in industrial living room styled with eclectic furniture and décor elements, pops of bright color

Wash Carpets and Upholstery

Your carpets and upholstery may look relatively clean on the surface, but did you know they could be harboring thousands of dust mites and bacteria? Ew. 

What’s more, stains and general wear and tear can leave carpets looking dingy, and upholstery old and worn. 

For carpets, you can hire a professional cleaner or rent one of your own. (Be sure to check with your neighbors before paying top dollar at a big box store!) Upholstery care varies a lot based on the fabric, so be sure to do your research.

Pest Control

Not only are ants, cockroaches, termites, and other insects generally unwelcome guests, they can also do serious damage to walls, cabinets, floors, and even your home’s foundation. (Pests like cockroaches also pose a health risk, as harbors of bacteria.)

Make sure to get routine insect inspections and, if you do find yourself with an infestation, call in the pros or use pet-friendly, chemical-free solutions, like Diatomaceous Earth, to clear the creepy crawlers yourself.

Window Cleaning and Maintenance 

If you have high-quality windows, they won’t require much maintenance. Still, being exposed to the elements--sun, rain, wind, and more--day in and day out can take a toll. 

Best practice for proper window maintenance is to inspect them annually, paying close attention to caulking, tracks (make sure they’re clean and lubricated), and any gapping or other wonkiness in the window’s fit. An exterior window wash once a year (or more) wouldn’t go amiss either.

Fit is extra important because it directly correlates to the energy efficiency of your home. Poorly fitted windows allow air in and out of the house, making for uncomfortable living and higher energy expenditure.

Clean Floors Regularly

You probably sweep or vacuum your floors regularly, but sometimes they need a little extra TLC. Everyday use can lead to grimey build-up and, even if it’s hard to see, it can make your home appear dull--particularly if your flooring is made of luxe materials like wood, ceramic, or marble.

Not all floor cleaners are created equal, so be sure to snag the one that’s suited to your floor type.

Fill Holes and Repaint

One of the quickest ways to make a house feel like home is to mount art, shelving, television screens, and other hangable accouterments on the walls. Problem is, what goes up will likely need to come down eventually, leaving you with unsightly nails, screws, anchors, and holes. Filling holes can be a pain--particularly if they’re large. Check out these great tips for filling holes and even repairing drywall. 

Once that’s done, it’s time to repaint. Keep it simple with touch-up paint of the existing color, or take the opportunity to switch things up with a new paint color.


Upkeep in All the Bedrooms

Corner of simple, white bedroom with natural wood lap ceiling,, pink curtain over small window, wood bench in foreground

Wash Walls Regularly 

Walls may look clean on the surface, but they can attract dust, cobwebs, and more if you don’t clean them regularly. Give bedroom walls a quick swipe with a paint-safe cleaner (which will vary based on what kind of paint is on the walls) and a microfiber cloth to keep things clean and cozy. 

AC Maintenance

Especially if your home is located where heat spikes are common, having air conditioning can be critical for a peaceful night’s sleep--but AC units should be maintained regularly to prevent them from circulating dusty, contaminated air. Be sure to change your filters regularly, according to your unit’s unique instructions. 

Wash Linen and Deep Clean Mattresses 

Aside from the cozy satisfaction of a freshly washed set of linens, proper bedroom hygiene decreases your risk of attracting undesirable guests, such as bed bugs.

For an optimum clean, wash linens every week and clean your mattress every 6 months or so.

Clean Blinds and Wash Curtains

It’s not just your linens that need regular attention; it’s your window dressing as well. Curtains should be removed and laundered twice a year as they, too, accumulate dust (which, may we remind you, is largely dead skin cells). 

Blinds should be dusted slightly more often, and windows wiped to a sparkly shine.


Open Up Your Windows 

Weather permitting, opening windows is the best way to eradicate odors and get fresh oxygen circulating, improving the room’s overall air quality. 

This may not feel like “home maintenance,” but foul smells and stale air can compound over time, making it more difficult to get that fresh, breezy feeling.

Maintaining Your Garden and Outdoor Structures 

Huge, well-maintained flower bed in front of home abounds with greenery, flowering plants and bushes of all sizes

Seal Wooden Structures

Outdoor wooden structures, such as decks and pergolas, will be damaged by the elements if you don’t take care of them. Coat your wooden structures in a sealant to protect them from sun and water damage, as well as pest infestations. 

Rid Your Garden of Weeds

Not only do weeds make your garden look unkempt, but they also rudely steal nutrients from all your plants! When ridding outdoor areas of weeds, be sure to use sharp, reliable tools and, for an extra dose of love to Mother Earth, consider composting, when you can.


Use Water Catchers 

Speaking of sustainable gardening practices--water catchers are a great way to ensure your outdoor spaces get all the water they need without taxing the Earth’s (or your home’s!) resources. 

Repair the Roof

Depending on your roof’s material, it may only need to be replaced every 20 years or so. In the meantime, though, adverse weather can damage individual tiles. Depending on the type of tiles you have, it may be possible to replace or repair them yourself, but we recommend always getting a professional opinion.

And, for Pete’s sake, BE CAREFUL strolling around on the roof!

Pressure Washing, Painting, and General External Maintenance

If the exterior of your home is looking a little worse for wear, a good pressure washing--and even a fresh coat of paint--will do wonders for its appearance. 

While you’re out there, make sure to check out driveways, patios, porches, and any other high-traffic areas that might have dangerous or unseemly damages. 

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Well-maintained curved swimming pool brimming with turquoise water, surrounded by modern stucco home's tropical landscape

Keep It Debris-Free

Swimming pool water is a bit high maintenance. Fungi can grow on the sides of the pool, chemicals need to be properly balanced, and leaves and other natural debris can dirty the water. You’ll need a few tools to help keep your pool clean. To start:

  • Leaf traps 
  • Pool brushes 
  • Leaf bagger 
  • Telescoping pole for skimming and brushing 

Purify the Water 

Chemical balance is key to clean, fungi-free pool water. An ideal chlorine concentration will fall somewhere between 1 and 3 ppm (parts per million).


Clean the Pool Floor and Walls

The easiest way to keep pool floors and walls in good-as-new condition is to run a pool vacuum over the floor regularly and to consistently scrub the walls with a proper brush and chlorine-based cleaner to prevent algae growth. 

Backwash Regularly

Backwashing your pool is important to maintain the crystal clear color of the water. How often you backwash your pool filters will be determined by how often the pool is used, and how quickly and to what extent it gets dirty. 

“Regular” backwashing means roughly six times per year, but other events--such as storms or a filter pressure gauge that reads between 8 and 10 PSI--may trigger additional maintenance, 

Get a Pool Cover

Cover your pool when you’re not using it or during the winter to keep the water clean. Pool covers also serve a safety purpose, especially if you have children or animals that play outside regularly. 

Yes. Swimming pools are high maintenance.

Maintaining a house doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult, but it does require some effort. Patience, consistency, and the right tools are all key. Plan ahead by scheduling inspections and maintenance--both professional and DIY--and always mind the nooks and crannies. Happy home-owning!

Latest Blog Posts

10 Spooktacular Ideas for Halloween Home Decor 10 Spooktacular Ideas for Halloween Home Decor
When you were a trick-or-treating youngster, chances are one of your favorite parts about Halloween--besides rocking a wicked costume and stuffing your face with sugar--was checking out all the spooky decorations your neighbors tricked out (sorry) their homes with. Now that you’re--ahem--an adult, Halloween might look a little different (or maybe not...we don’t judge) but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t still be fun.
6 Tips for Creating the Perfect Work From Home Space 6 Tips for Creating the Perfect Work From Home Space
Working remotely sounds like hitting the work jackpot. PJ’s all day, no long commute, and no unnecessary small talk. But it can be hard to stay productive when the fridge and Netflix keep calling your name. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips on how to create the perfect WFH space for optimal productivity.
Tools for Generations: Baby Boomers Through Gen Z Tools for Generations: Baby Boomers Through Gen Z
No matter the size of the project or skill level required, there are tools available for every generation to succeed.
5 Basic Home Repairs Everyone Should Know 5 Basic Home Repairs Everyone Should Know
It would be awesome if houses and apartments never needed any maintenance. Until someone figures out how to build self-repairing homes (looking at you, Elon), we should all have a little DIY maintenance know-how.
6 Unique Ways to Connect With Your Community 6 Unique Ways to Connect With Your Community
Beyond unpacking boxes, picking out curtains, and buying an unnecessary number of succulents, one of the best ways to truly feel settled into a new home is to connect with your neighbors. For those of us who are a little green to networking, here are 6 unique ideas to help you start building meaningful relationships in your community.
7 Ways to Divide a Room (Without Building a Wall) 7 Ways to Divide a Room (Without Building a Wall)
Open floor plans have received a lot of love in the last several years, but what’s one to do when the space is...too open?
Tik Tok's Most Celebrated DIY Trends Right Now Tik Tok's Most Celebrated DIY Trends Right Now
Many people are still bound (or, rather, re-bound) to their homes and growing tired of their pandemic-necessitated hobbies. 
8 Ways to Make Your Rental Feel like Home 8 Ways to Make Your Rental Feel like Home
Buying a home may be the easiest way to feel like you have a place that’s truly yours (since, in that case, it...literally is) but you don’t need to be a homeowner to make a place your home. 
5 Great Apps and Services for Finding Your New Apartment 5 Great Apps and Services for Finding Your New Apartment
Welcome to the Internet: effortlessly soar through cyberspace at lightning speed to find exactly what you need, right now.
6 IKEA Hacks You Should Try Right Now 6 IKEA Hacks You Should Try Right Now
IKEA is known for its affordable prices, maze-like stores, and...equally maze-like assembly instructions.
How to: Build & Fill a Garden Box How to: Build & Fill a Garden Box
If you’ve never grown your own food, just imagine it for a minute:
How to Keep Cool Without A/C How to Keep Cool Without A/C
It’s too damn hot.
How To: Make a Home In Your Home For Your Pets How To: Make a Home In Your Home For Your Pets
Once upon a time, if the family dog wasn’t banished alone to a dark, doorless dog house, he slept on an unforgiving floor in the house -- with not so much as a comfy memory foam bed with removable faux fur cover, matching bolsters, and built-in aromatherapy to ease his humiliation.
Best Practices for Organizing Small Spaces (Yes, That Small) Best Practices for Organizing Small Spaces (Yes, That Small)
Want the secret to mastering small spaces?
Your Lawn is Useless (But It Doesn't Have to Be) Your Lawn is Useless (But It Doesn't Have to Be)
At its best, your lawn is a beautifully dense, vibrantly, patch of grass.
Drywall Repair Tips for Beginners Who Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way Drywall Repair Tips for Beginners Who Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way
There are a lot -- and we mean a lot -- of drywall repair tutorials available on the Internet, and we know you’ll find your favorites.
DIY Home Improvement Resources That Will Actually Teach You Something DIY Home Improvement Resources That Will Actually Teach You Something

We bet a lot of DIY social media accounts and sites make you oooooo, ahhhhh, and dream of transforming your...

Is Renting More Sustainable Than Buying? Is Renting More Sustainable Than Buying?
With the idea of environmental responsibility taking up more mental real estate in the past few years, we’ve all been looking for ways to minimize our impact and give Mother Nature a little breather.
Everything You Need to Know About Side Hustles Everything You Need to Know About Side Hustles
The pandemic has, over the past year, left many people with more time and less cash. Whether walking dogs, turning professional skills into a freelance gig, checking off someone’s shopping list, or any of dozens of other options, folks have taken advantage of technology to get the bills paid.
12 Tools Every Millennial Should Have (and Why) 12 Tools Every Millennial Should Have (and Why)
From avocado toast and Instagram to 3D-printed custom prostheses (Disney characters or tattoos, anyone?) and Uber, Millennials are famous for innovation. Allergic to the status quo, we’re built for “figuring it out” and finding unique ways to do things. 
DIY TikTok Tile Table Sparetoolz How To: Build TikTok's Tile Table
This 80s-flavored decor trend is taking the internet by storm. Here's how to bring it home for yourself.
How to Keep Plants Alive Here’s How To Keep Plants Alive In Your Home, Even If You Kill Everything
If you've convinced yourself that you're a perilous threat to all floral life and so are destined for a plant-less existence...we have good news.
Here Are Some of the Best Airbnbs in Each State Here Are Some of the Best Airbnbs in Each State
Despite Airbnb’s bizarrely humble beginning (and some pretty intense hurdles--legislative and logistical), nothing has been able to squelch its meteoric rise to multi-billion-dollar company. Turns out millions of people find it perfectly acceptable to sleep in a stranger’s bed. Who knew?
Trendy pink lettered neon sign on brick wall Taking Out the Trash: Interior Design Trends That Should Stay in 2020
We’re all ready to throw 2020 down the garbage chute. Here are some home design trends that should be tossed out with it.
Green and blue botanical wallpaper applied behind gold bathtub How to Apply Wallpaper (And What Not to Do)
Yes, we know, wallpaper is infamous for being a nightmare. Just hear us out.
Parents hang picture on wall as child stands nearby to help with project 5 Home Improvement Projects Kids Can Help With
Including kids in "grown-up" projects doesn't just present opportunities for memory-making; it also shows them that they are capable little humans, who will grow into self-sufficient big humans.
Bike with bright orange rims and accent rented through peer to peer platform parked next to doorway with yellow wrought iron gate Peer to Peer Platforms You Should Know About
Sharing is caring, and now you can save--or make--a little money while you’re at it. 
Minimalist look for writing desk area, featuring predominately white palette with tiny bright-colored accessories and a beige molded plastic chair. What is Minimalism and Where Did it Come From?
Minimalism can start in the home, but its benefits reach far beyond a design style.
Modern industrial loft space featuring high ceilings, plentiful windows, glass pendant lighting, blue sectional and colorful accents Is The Industrial Trend Dead?
Design styles rotate faster than you can say "mid-century modern." Is the Industrial trend queued for a comeback?
MCM designed living room styled in monochromatic white, honey-colored herringbone wood floor and bright blue sofa The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Interior Design Styles 
The first step to executing your dream home design is understanding why it works.
Exterior of 1950s-style home with white siding and blue shutters, and a white picket fence 9 Ideas to Make Your Home More Eco-Conscious
A happier, healthier Earth can begin right at home.
Spacious outdoor entertainment area featuring white walls, white and bright yellow decor elements and black accents 6 Essential Elements for Any Outdoor Entertainment Area
Create a personal oasis, right in your backyard, with these six simple tips.
Man working on laptop, leaned back on black sofa with white cushions, feet on wood coffee table, needing perfect home office How to Create the Perfect Home Office
Whether you're working from home by choice or because of the COVID-19 pandemic, create a calm, motivating home office space with these easy tips.
Interior, well-organized vintage garage with brick walls, new car with popped trunk How to Organize Your Garage - 10 Tips & Tricks
Organizing your garage might be the most terrifying task on your to-do list, but it doesn't have to be! We've got 10 tips to get you started.
Closeup of an array of tools everyone should have, laying on white table The 8 Tools EVERYONE Should Have 
You might not need these tools often, but when you do--you really do. Don’t let common tool-requiring household tasks or fun DIY projects catch you by surprise.
Wall inside garage with dozens of hand tools neatly hung in rows 6 Reasons You Should Join the Sparetoolz Fam as a Tool Owner 
You’ve probably heard a lot about the rise of the sharing economy. From Uber to Airbnb, the business of sharing is booming. The question is, how can you make it work for you?
Closeup of bright yellow flowers in spring garden, clear blue sky in background More Than a Spring Fling: How to Keep Your Garden Fresh All Year Long
Ah, spring: the gentle awakening from winter hibernation.
Corner of room in city home styled with white walls, several plants sitting on wood floor and on a wood stool, black shelving 4 Ways City Dwellers Can Build the Garden of Their Dreams
You might think that lush gardens are only for those with large homes and sprawling acreage, but we have good news: here are 4 tips for creating a botanical paradise, even in small urban spaces!
Overhead view of natural-colored wood stairs and floor, white walls and banister, styled with black and white accents How to Make Your Home Feel Bigger and Brighter
Trapped at home? We've got 5 easy tips for making your space feel open and airy.
Closeup of sheets of smooth brown crafting material, a mallet, ruler, spool of thick black thread, and crafter's knife Routine Shakeup: 9 Weird Craftsman Hobbies to Try Right Now
Challenge boredom with these off-the-wall craftsman hobbies sure to get your creativity rolling.
Fireplace with simple brick mantle repurposed to hold an array of candles, a potted plant sits atop a nearby wood stool Light Up Your Fireplace (No Fire Required)
Looking to repurpose your fireplace? Check out our creative round up of alternative uses!
How to Make Your Apartment Feel Homier How to Make Your Apartment Feel Homier
The threat of coronavirus has everyone hunkered down at home. Here's how to make your space as homey and comfortable as possible.
A woman smiles from behind taupe tufted sofa in her newly rented home, pulling off its protective plastic Things to Look Out for When Moving into a New House as a Renter
Renting a new place? Save yourself a headache by checking off the items on this list before moving in.
Do Carpenters Still Exist or What? Do Carpenters Still Exist or What?
WOODN'T you like to know?
Closeup of disorganized closet, packed tight with clothes This Is The Most Under-Appreciated Room In Your Home
Closets are often treated as merely functional and nothing more, but there’s so much opportunity to make this space spectacular. Your wardrobe might be the most under-appreciated space in your home, but no longer!
Closeup of hand holding smartphone displaying Airbnb logo on screen, bedroom styled in whites and greys in background Here's How to Airbnb a Room in Your House
If you happen to have a spare room and are looking for a new side hustle to generate some passive income, look no further than Airbnb. We’ve put together a list detailing the basic four-step process for how to Airbnb a room in your house AND make the most of it—quite literally.   
Unique Housewarming Gift Ideas Unique Housewarming Gift Ideas
In a world where most housewarming gifts are the expected (and boring) candles, towel sets, and coasters, it can be tough to find a unique gift that’ll be used and appreciated. We've got you covered!
Against a plain aqua background, a hand in a vivid pink cleaning glove reaches into the shot holding a bright yellow pump spray bottle Here’s the Cleaning Checklist You Need for Every Season
If you’ve been looking for a seasonal cleaning checklist you can easily work your way through, look no further.
The Top 20 Coolest Airbnbs in the America Right Now The Top 20 Coolest Airbnbs in the America Right Now
When you’re traveling around the country, it’s so much more fun to stay somewhere interesting and heighten the experience. Airbnb is a peer-to-peer rental service (just like Sparetoolz!) that offers countless intriguing homes for adventurous travelers to rent. Here are the Top 20 Airbnbs in America.