The arrival of spring is often met with a household cleaning and organization spree. You’ve heard about spring cleaning, but did you know there’s more to do around the house than just cleaning the windows and organizing your pantry? We like to file these additional tasks under home maintenance. This includes cleaning, financial upkeep, and general life maintenance.
Not sure where to start with this whole spring home maintenance thing? It can seem like a lot to tackle, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a guide to help get you started.
Tried and True Spring Cleaning
It’s hard to be productive in a cluttered space, so before you begin the rest of your home maintenance, start with traditional spring cleaning. There are a number of surface-level cleaning tasks to implement around your house. Here are the basics:
Declutter and organize
Before you take on any heavy duty cleaning, make sure to declutter your space. Organize your belongings and store them away. Taking care of these mini messes will make it easier when it’s time for the heavy duty cleaning.
Take on the interior
It might seem overwhelming, but start with your kitchen and tackle your house room by room. Dust and wipe down your furniture, clean the mirrors and windows, and vacuum or mop the floors in each room.
Check out our other resources for more ways to clean your house this spring:
Give Yourself a Financial Refresh
Maybe your house doesn’t need a big spring cleaning (props to you for keeping up with it throughout the year!), but the warm weather also marks the time to organize more than just the physical space of your home. If your house is decluttered and your space is conducive to productivity, it’s time for the second step of spring home maintenance: getting your finances in order.
Assess your overall financial health and make a plan of action
Before you begin to maintain your finances, you must first know how you fare financially. Check your credit score, tally your debts, determine your total savings and assets, and monitor your home loan. It’s important to know and understand what’s affecting your money, and from there you can take the next steps.
Once you know where you stand financially, you can develop a plan of action.
If you want to plan for something specific, like saving for a big purchase (such as a down payment for a new home), or if your goal is fantastic financial health overall, you’ll need a realistic financial goal in mind—and a time frame in which you plan to achieve your goal.
Use your home loan to help you accomplish your goal
Your home loan might seem like a financial burden, but it can actually be one of the strongest tools to help you accomplish your financial goals. There are a few ways you may be able to leverage your home loan to improve your financial health.
One option is to get a cash-out refinance from your home’s current equity. This is a great option if you’re looking to consolidate your debt.
Refinancing your mortgage for a lower monthly payment is another option that could help you save more in interest each month. A lower monthly payment could mean more money to put toward your savings.
You might also consider refinancing from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage. With an ARM, your payments could change from year to year as interest rates change (depending on your terms). But with a fixed rate mortgage, your principal and interest payments will never be affected by fluctuating interest rates.
If you’re a ditech Customer, SmartWatch is a great online tool that can help you determine whether you can reduce your loan payment by refinancing, if you can get a cash-out refinance, or if you can save on interest.
Step into Spring on the Right Foot
Your home is spotless and your finances are in order, but that doesn’t mean spring home maintenance has to stop. There are a few more ways to take advantage of the warm weather and jump into spring.
Organize Your Day-to-Day Life
You might be asking yourself “what else could I possibly have to organize?” Turns out it could be a lot. If you feel like you’re struggling to stay organized when it comes to your schedule, then a planner – whether paper or digital – might be perfect for you. They’re great tools for keeping track of what’s going on in your day-to-day schedule.
Mark important dates such as monthly bill due dates and mortgage payment dates so you never miss any payments, appointments, birthdays, or anything else. Don’t forget to schedule yourself some time to just relax!
Get Up and Get Moving
Finally, the dreary cold has been replaced with warm weather. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the sunshine. What better way to enjoy the warmth while getting in some exercise than going for a walk? Go solo, or grab the whole family, and head to your community park.
Are you ready to get started on your home maintenance? It’s time to refresh your household!
* Please note that refinancing may increase the length of your loan and the total amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan.
Ditech is not a financial advisor and the ideas outlined above are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as investment or financial advice and should not be construed as such. Consult a financial advisor before making decisions regarding important personal financial matters, and consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and tax implications.