Navigating Home Maintenance Without Driving Yourself Crazy

If you take care of your home so that it will take care of you, you won’t have to do as much to look after it. Everything you do to maintain your home will pay off in the long run and you won’t end up having the big calamities and repairs that you would have to deal with if you did not care for your home properly. 

The average home has about 75 different components in it that need to be tracked, so the thought of maintaining it can be a little overwhelming. And we do need to know how to take care of everything in the right way.

As you take care of your home, you will have a great opportunity to up-level it.

Take a moment

It’s worthwhile to take a moment to consider what you’re going to use to repair, maintain, and replace your household components.

You need to hold onto your user manuals because they can make your routine maintenance much quicker and easier. If you have lost a user manual, you will be able to find it easily online, on the manufacturer’s website.

Some tips to make things easier

In Marla’s book, Living Green Effortlessly, Simple Choices For a Better Home, there is an entire chapter about maintenance. It has a great checklist and some seasonal information about how to segment your maintenance work to make things a whole lot easier. 

You can also go to and download the Ten Ways to Make Your Home Healthier and More Efficient and Durable. 

Home/building owner training, documentation, and resources

Houses are getting smarter and they’re getting more complicated to run. Most new houses come with a rudimentary owner’s manual, so whether you’re moving into a new or an existing home, you will get a lot of information. And as you live in the house and experience what it’s like, you will start figuring out how to do things. 

The trick is that if you don’t operate the house properly, you’re not going to get the great benefits of all the new technology that’s been put into the house. Learning how to do this can be overwhelming, so having some kind of guide, or manual helps.

Logging in to your home on your phone

You can log directly into your house with your phone. 

Tony has five different display houses that he can log into with his phone, and he can change each one of them. So, when buying an existing home, be sure to check that the previous home-owner has logged out of the existing network because it will tie into the controller, and they could end up controlling the wrong house!

There are some wonderful apps and technology available to help you to do these things automatically.

Figuring things out more easily

Ask the previous owner of your new home, or the real estate agent, to walk you through the house to show you where everything is and how everything functions. This could save you a lot of time and effort.


It’s not always possible to figure things out on your own. Training allows you to do things in the way they were intended, and get the full effect.

There’s a lot that goes into building a green-certified home. And if you, as the owner, don’t know how to use it properly, you could experience problems. This is why certain green-certified homes require you to get basic training to better understand the home, and to get the biggest benefits from it.  

There are also tons of resources available.

Important things to be trained on

  1. Heating and cooling filters.
  2. The thermostat.
  3. Lighting controls.
  4. Fan controls. (And how to put them into reverse for the winter.)
  5. Water heater.
  6. Recycling practices.
  7. Any other household systems

You will need to be instructed about most things, outside of the basics that go into a green-certified home. 


If you’re not taught how to use a smart appliance properly, their features are useless.  General Electric and Whirlpool are now building refrigerators with the software to integrate with Alexa. These refrigerators can let you know when you’re running low on something, but you need to know how to operate them and set them up. 

How to get, or create the necessary training

In today’s homes, there’s just so much to remember. And you’re not going to remember everything just by walking through a home for a couple of hours. Here are some tips to help you:

  • The realtor, builder, or owner could physically walk through the home with the person needing to be trained.
  • When using HomeNav, the owner can be taken through the house with a tablet with HomeNav on it. 
  • You can put direct links onto the model page on HomeNav. 
  • You can create a virtual manual by uploading short videos, plans, or custom documents, to HomeNav, for the necessary training components.
  • You can make videos, or take photos of the manuals with your phone, and store them online, in a Dropbox, to refer to them when needed. (Remember to store them in a meaningful location, where you can find them again, like a Dropbox.)

HomeNav is a free online software tool to be customized with an inventory of all the appliances, fixtures, and features in the home.

Going above and beyond and spinning problems into opportunities

Going above and beyond a customer’s expectations is great for marketing. You can turn the requirements for a green home into a fantastic marketing tool!

Everyone needs training but they don’t always get it. So by providing it, even in the form of a one-on-one transaction between homeowners, it will be appreciated, and it will elevate you to the next level. 

Links and resources:

For Marla’s book go to

Go to to download the Ten Ways to Make Your Home Healthier and More Efficient and Durable.

You can go to the Insinkerator site to find tips about garbage disposals –

HomeNav –