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In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later

Task: Create A Home Operating System Part 1: Common Areas

This article on personal planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

internet router

If you’re in charge of all the moving parts of your home, what would everyone else do without you? If someone else is responsible, what would you do?

We’re going to help you create a useful guide to your home without it becoming a confusing instruction manual that will just be ignored...like most instruction manuals. If other household members (or sitters) have this information handy they won’t waste time and money on something you spent years, perhaps even decades, preserving. Plus, they won’t be pestering you with questions all the time.

Why bother? So your family can continue their lives uninterrupted, while still having good thoughts about you because you left them completely prepared.

What if you live alone? It’s just as important because you’re the only person with any of this knowledge.

The Rules: The Home Operating system is broken up into a series of seven tasks and isn’t nearly as daunting as you may think. Each one will take you through different parts of your home, which is fitting since most of us have spent more time than ever at home due to COVID-19. It’s the perfect time to turn off the news, get off the couch, and put the time to good use.

Overarching Home Services

This task focuses on common things throughout your house with a series of questions to get you thinking about it from your personal perspective. Have a notebook or a digital document open to start taking notes, have your phone to take photos if you think it’ll help, and by the end of all these tasks it will be used to create a super helpful Home Operating System. Let’s roll...

Electricity

We already covered home payments and utility bills in separate tasks so no need to worry about those. Here’s what you should be thinking about: When is it a legit power outage and when did you blow a breaker or a fuse? When is a system overload almost guaranteed, like if you run a hair dryer and microwave at the same time? How can you keep costs down without having to freeze or sweat?

Phone

Have you had the same number for most of your life and can’t bear to lose it? Is it bundled with a cable and internet package? Is it time to cut the cord to save some money?

Internet

You already included the network and password for your WiFi with all your other password, but what about the modem and router? Is there a special trick to keep it up and running aside from unplugging it for 30 seconds? Does it go out at specific times or is weaker in some parts of the home? Have you noticed the price creeping up over the past year and it’s time to call them for a better deal or switch providers? Are you renting equipment that would be cheaper to buy?

Furnishing & Decor

Do you keep track of things like paint colors, carpet, tiles, drapes, and furniture details in case things need to be replaced or re-ordered? As a bonus, if the person who scratched a wall or broke a tile knows where this info is kept, they can secretly fix it without anyone knowing (or teasing them for being clumsy).

Smoke & Carbon Dioxide Detectors

Smoke detectors need to be changed every 10 years and each have the date it was manufactured on the back. Most of the modern ones will chirp or beep when it’s beginning to malfunction or the battery needs to be changed, which is the perfect time to take it down and check the date.

Fireplace

For those lucky enough to have a cozy hearth do you have any tips or advice on safe usage, such as cleaning or routine maintenance? Where do you get the wood, and should you limit the burn time to prevent the flue from getting clogged and creating a much bigger fire than you’d ever want in your home?

The Task

Think about these specific things right now without getting ahead of yourself. If you leave anything out, don’t worry. We’ll cover it when it’s time to hit up each specific area of the house in upcoming tasks.

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