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The joys of home maintenance

By Emily Achenbaum Harris

Posted: Monday, Jul. 25, 2011

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Emily Achenbaum Harris

Hi, I'm Emily and this is my blog about career-questioning, minimalism-seeking, gardening, earth-saving, pregnancy, parenthood, and my pathological ability to make the same mistakes over and over again. See more at littlehousesouthernprairie. wordpress.com.

I love life-long renters who say “but with a mortgage, at least you’re getting all your money back, but with renting, I’m just throwing it away.”

When people say this, I try to keep from collapsing on the ground laughing, or at the very least keep the tears from streaming down my face as I erupt into snorting giggles, ’cause I don’t want to be rude or anything. And so, today, we talk about the endless time and money suck that is home maintenance.

I have learned, slowly, that one of the keys to simplicity is removing as many unnecessary time and money sucks from my life. I love our little house for a lot of reasons, including that it’s a source of lessons. Here are some things I’ll never do again in a home. I’m making a list (seriously — it’s in the bedside table) so when it comes time to move, I’ll have it handy. Please list your Never Agains and Just Not Worth Its in the comments, because then we can copy each other, and one day all live in Magic Perfectland.

(1) I will never buy a home/property without having a certified arborist inspect the trees first, estimate the health of the trees and cost of short-term and long-term pruning.

(2) Any future decks/porches will be (a) made of weather-proof recycled PVC whateverboard, not wood that needs regular powerwashing and staining, and (b) will be covered and/or screened, eliminating constant covering of furniture and leaf removal.

(3) I will never buy a light-colored area rug again. Even if secondhand/on sale.

(4) I will never buy furniture with light-colored pillows or upholstery again. Even if secondhand/on sale.

(5) I will avoid buying anything expensive and breakable, especially if I find myself using a justification like, “As long as we put it over here, I don’t think the baby/dogs will be able to knock it over.”

(6) 400 other things I will think of the second I hit “publish” on this post

Your turn!

To comment, visit Emily's blog: Little House on the Southern Prairie

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