11 Ways to Put Your Home on Autopilot and Toss Out Your To-Do List

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated January 14, 2022
A professional gardener mowing lawn
Photo: ArtistGNDphotography / E+ / Getty Images

Leave the mowing, dusting, and maintenance to the pros; you've got a book to read and a nap with your name on it

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We're all searching for the secret remedy to the Sunday Scaries. The end of the weekend rolls around and you use up that last bit of energy to mow the lawn, remove the coating of cat fur from the bathroom floor, or dig the gunk out of the gutters. By outsourcing just a few—or even all—of these tasks, suddenly your brain and calendar open up for all the things on your weekend wishlist. 

Here are 11 types of recurring tasks that can be handled by local professionals throughout the year.

1. Mowing Grass

Spring arrives and suddenly your grass pops up faster than you can dig the mower out of the garage. In your lawn's most active season, you could end up having to mow your lawn as much as twice a week to keep it lush and healthy. 

Hiring recurring lawn care near you is one of the best ways to free up more time in your life from March to November—yes, that's three-quarters of the year. The average cost of lawn mowing runs between $50 and $210 a visit, but many companies offer recurring rates with a range of extra watering, turf care, reseeding services.

2. Garden and Landscape Care

Even if you have the greenest thumb in the neighborhood, life gets in the way of all the trimming, pruning, and watering needs to keep your plant pets happy. Local gardening and landscape professionals can create a customized schedule for your unique lawn. Landscape checklists may include pulling up weeds in between patio pavers, raking leaves in the fall, or testing the PH balance of your lawn and garden soil. 

Landscape maintenance traditionally costs between $25 and $50 an hour, depending on the level and frequency of service.

3. Snow Removal

There's enough to worry about when the weather pros start shouting about snow. Before the winter kicks into gear, sign an ongoing contract for on-call snow removal services. Many companies also offer add-ons like driveway and walkway de-icing. Pay for the whole season ahead of time, without knowing how much snow will fall, for between $200 and $600. This way, all you have to think about is buying bread and milk.

4. Tree Maintenance

A professional trimming a tree
Photo: Tatiana Kutina / EyeEm / EyeEm / Getty Images

Trees often go overlooked in our landscape. They do their thing without much fuss, especially once they're past their first few years of growth. But overhanging branches can cut out natural sunlight to your lawns and gardens or threaten the safety of your home when a storm blows in.

A seasonal tree-trimmer costs about $260 per visit, but many companies will cover ongoing tree care to check for weak branches, disease, or pest problems. While you may not need a local tree pruning team more than twice a year, having a pro for the rest will keep things from getting too, well, shady.

5. Home Cleanings

Now for perhaps the most popular weekly home service on our list—house cleaning. If you've always assumed hiring a local cleaner is only for the lifestyles of the rich and famous, take a moment to check out common costs. 

Most cleaning professionals charge between $30 and $50 an hour, or an average of $170 a visit. Keep in mind that companies also offer emergency cleaning services for last-minute visits from your in-laws or impromptu dinner parties.

6. Pest Checks

Pest control is a whole lot simpler if you catch a problem before it becomes an infestation. Local pest control companies often encourage quarterly visits for pest problems, especially if you've had critter issues in the past. Seasonal inspections and treatments cover everything from checking for winter wasps nests to summer ant infestations. Monthly pest control visits cost between $40 and $70 a pop.

7. Gutter Cleaning

Even if you only need to climb up the ladder every three or four months to clean your gutters, homeowners less-than-enthused about heights can skip this precarious task with some professional help. 

Gutter cleaning typically costs around $160 a visit. Setting a schedule with a local gutter expert in early spring means you don't have to worry about handling clogs, repairs, and replacements yourself.

8. Pool Maintenance

Pools are definitely one of the more high-maintenance home perks, but it's all worth it for that hot afternoon dip or refreshing set of morning laps. It's crucial to keep up with pool maintenance to keep it running properly. Depending on the frequency, hiring a local pool service team will cost between $100 and $150 a month for weekly cleanings.

9. Window Washing

A woman cleaning windows
Photo: sturti / E+ / Getty Images

If you like to start your day with a bright burst of sunlight through your windows, there shouldn't be a layer of window grime blocking your precious rays. It's one thing to wipe your windows down from the inside, but what about all the soot and grime that builds up from passing cars, pollen, and the occasional rogue bugs?

Schedule recurring visits from local window cleaners who have the proper tools and ladders to get all those spots you can't reach. The average cost of a visit is about $213 depending on if you're in a small apartment or have a wall of picture windows.

10. On-Call Handyperson Services

It's funny how little home headaches can pile up or pop up suddenly. The front door's been sticking, the kitchen cabinet came off its hinges, or you dropped your favorite earring down the bathroom drain. Connecting with a local handyperson means you don't have to worry about those not-quite-DIY tasks you just don't have the time to learn. Some will even offer on-call services throughout the year. Visits can cost as little as $65 per job.

11. Annual Inspections and Cleanings

Outside of the weekly, monthly, or seasonal realm, there is a pretty hefty list of annual inspections and cleanings to keep your home safe. These may include HVAC inspections, chimney and fireplace care, and roof inspections—especially if it's been a crazy season for storms or snow.

If the look of this list is a bit daunting, remember that it's all about setting it up once and letting the pros do their best work. Once you get these experts on the books, you can get back to falling asleep without that nagging feeling like you forgot to do something.

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