Get on top of home maintenance
A tidy property is good for the neighbourhood, writes Erin Reilly.
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.