Get on top of home main­te­nance

A tidy prop­erty is good for the neigh­bour­hood, writes Erin Reilly.

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - BACK­YARD BAN­TER -

A long time ago, long be­fore we all new bet­ter, my flat­mates and I let our lawn grow so high that we lost our old, dead Christ­mas tree in it. We didn’t have a lawn­mower, yet we couldn’t jus­tify pay­ing a man $25 that we didn’t have to do it for us.

Fi­nally, my dad drove an hour with his trusty old lawn­mower in the back of the car to do it for us. It took him a very long time to hack through the armpit-deep jun­gle out the back that we’d sim­ply drawn the cur­tains on. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

De­spite now be­ing mar­ried and hav­ing a home of my own, it’s very tempt­ing to re­vert to those poor stu­dent days and pre­tend stuff around the house just doesn’t need do­ing. Even now, get­ting stuff done around the house of­ten re­sults in good in­ten­tions rather than ac­tual do­ing.

But with age comes re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain one’s house. Not only are trimmed lawns, pruned trees and man­i­cured gar­dens good for the over­all look, feel and value of your own home, it also raises the look, feel and value of your neigh­bour­hood (plus your let­ter­box won’t be­come the neigh­bour­hood lo­ca­tor bea­con: ‘‘We’re two houses down from the place with the over­grown front lawn and the veranda that looks like it’ll cave in in the next light breeze’’).

But what do you do if you know you need to up your home main­te­nance game, but you ei­ther don’t want to or don’t have the stuff you need to do it? Ask your neigh­bours.

If you live on a prop­erty that doesn’t have much lawn and there­fore no mower, pop next door and ask to bor­row your neigh­bour’s. If an­other neigh­bour loves driv­ing his ride-on mower, per­haps he’ll also love driv­ing around on your side of the bound­ary too – it’s worth ask­ing! And if you’re not com­fort­able bor­row­ing other peo­ple’s equip­ment, pay some­one to come and look af­ter your lawns for you.

Just ask your Neigh­bourly com­mu­nity for their lawn­mow­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

The same goes with gar­den­ing. Use Neigh­bourly to of­fer ca­sual work to stu­dents, stay-at-home mums or peo­ple who are be­tween jobs. You pro­vide the gear and pay­ment, they pro­vide the labour – it’s a win-win!

If you own home main­te­nance skills or equip­ment that other peo­ple might ben­e­fit from, or­gan­ise a street-wide main­te­nance day where neigh­bours get to­gether to bor­row tools or swap ser­vices. One neigh­bour might do an­other’s lawns in ex­change for wa­ter blast­ing his drive­way. An­other fam­ily might wash win­dows in ex­change for lay­ing a path from their laun­dry door to the wash­ing line.

A goods and ser­vices swap isn’t just a good way to get stuff done around the house that you keep putting off, it’s also a great way to con­nect with your neigh­bours.

Home main­te­nance is a nec­es­sary evil that comes with grow­ing up. But thanks to Neigh­bourly and your neigh­bours, it could be much eas­ier! Head to neigh­bourly.co.nz to cre­ate a free Neigh­bourly ac­count and con­nect with your neigh­bours to­day.

Of­fer­ing to mow your neigh­bour’s lawn could mean the world of dif­fer­ence to your com­mu­nity.

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