HOUSING. Aka, Shelter.
Dear Reader, Part II in this spasm of blog posts focuses on the upkeep of the structure where one (on a regular basis) attempts to stay warm and dry and able to sleep in relative comfort. There is a wide spectrum on these types of dwellings, and a vast range of time involved to maintain them. My assumption, Reader Dear, is that you're living in a house or apartment with at least three walls and a roof. Oh, and a kitchen, living area, and bathroom. Probably a bedroom or two. Maybe a study or den. How about an attic? A basement? A garage? A laundry room? Another bedroom? An entryway? Another bathroom? A porch? A patio? Hmm, methinks you've got all kinds of systems--electrical, plumbing, venting, cords and cables and pipes of many kinds, a thermostat or two.
Now, there is the chance, of course, that you've got a landlord (please count your blessings!In fact, if you've got a good landlord, dance with glee!) Even if you do have someone to whom you can toss your sticky problems (leaking water heater, clogged-up toilet, closet door falling off its track, mildew on the bathroom ceiling, roofing shingles and gutter spouts going awry...) I'm sure this landlord hopes and prays you've got a vacuum cleaner and that you use it! Your landlord hopes there's a bottle of Spic-and-Span and a good degreaser under your kitchen sink (and some elbow grease to go with it). But you're still getting off easy!
Here's my list of most-common maintenance woes (Reader Dear, they are only the ones that come rapidly to mind):
1. Dirt on the floors! The photo above depicts a mere TWO days' worth of real and actual dirt vacuumed from the kitchen and dining room floor of the home of Yard Man and me! (It's okay to gasp, Viewer Dear! When I bought the new bag-less vacuum cleaner and emptied it for the first time, I nearly fainted!)
2. Dust on the furniture!
3. Dust-and-or-dirt on every surface within building!
4. Grime at various spots (think: bathroom, kitchen, mud room (be you so fortunate to have one!)
5. Upkeep of supplies and equipment for dealing with the above: Vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets, toilet brushes, cleaning cloths, paper towels, soaps (specific to each task), sponges, plus an array of items one buys on impulse at the hardware store (because the writing on said product implies that cleaning will now be a "breeze"!)
6. Breakdown of equipment (as in: "This vacuum cleaner is no longer working right! It randomly goes on and off, fails to pick up dirt! What the heck do I do NOW?!"
7. Broken window blinds (all window treatments included).
8. Leaking or broken water pipe and-or water faucet.
9. Invasion of ants, bugs, beetles, rodents or any other unwelcome creatures into living space (Sorry, Dear Reader, humans not included on this list[as they must be dealt with in an altogether different and [much] more difficult way!).
10. Peeling paint, stains on carpets.
11. Breakdown of appliances, already listed in previous post, with the addition of these options: Mixer, blender, coffee maker, hair dryer, computer, printer, phone, television...Reader Dear, what have I forgotten?
Moving along to the outdoor spaces.
12. Roofing tiles missing. Rapidly followed by: Leaking roof!
13. Clogged gutter spouts.
14. Peeling paint (and-or mold/mildew on siding)
15. Outdoor faucet broken.
16. Oh, and this one: (Hmm, how did this one come to mind?!) Should one happen to have an indoor fireplace--unknown creatures finding their way into stainless steel chimney [scratching, scampering around, attempting desperately to escape!]
Should one be caring for animals, you've got another whole realm of categories (Which I refuse to go into, on the grounds that it would raise my blood pressure!)
Should one be so fortunate to possess even a tiny yard, grassy area, flower bed, or outdoor space, that is a great category on which to elaborate, and there is the large and demanding maintenance of whatever vehicles one might possess. However, part II will end here, because, Reader Dear,
I've got some dirty laundry to consider! I've got a tenant with a new washing machine; it's not working right, she says! I need to call the tax accountant's office, get to work on figures! I've got to run to the drugstore for more meds! My car is patiently awaiting an oil change (I'm assuming patience, as there's been no real crankiness yet)