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This New Homeowner Went Viral For His Genius Approach To Maintaining A Home, And It's Game Changing For Anyone Who Doesn't Know Where To Start

I was a giddy ball of new-homeowner joy when I bought my first home three years ago. After a humbling, monthslong closing process, I couldn't help but feel emotional at the thought of the many blissful years of projects ahead of me. Then reality struck...and struck, and struck some more.

A damaged bathroom floor with exposed pipes and joists, and a person's legs visible
Ross Yoder

Visions of "fun" projects quickly morphed into a full-out HVAC replacement, burst water pipes, and a forced gut renovation of our bathroom to rectify past-owner water damage. Now I often feel more like a home "maintainer" than a homeowner, and it's not uncommon for me to find myself in an anxiety spiral about something home-related these days.

I'm not alone, either; the reality of home upkeep is actually the leading cause of homebuyers remorse for many.

Home maintenance enthusiast Kyshawn, founder of Weekly Home Check, is trying to change that statistic. He creates content to teach his 1 million followers how to take care of their homes, covering everything from the quick but crucial necessities to the tasks you probably didn't even realize you had to think about — which we'll get to momentarily.

Kyshawn smiling with "1M" shaped balloons
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

As a first-time homeowner and the first person in his family to purchase a home, Kyshawn understands firsthand how stressful home maintenance can be. "The idea for the Weekly Home Check really came about after I had been living in my home for a couple of years," he told BuzzFeed. "I realized there were so many ongoing maintenance tasks around the house, and knew there had to be an easier system to keep up with all of them."

Kyshawn raking leaves with text overlay "and let's tackle this" in a garden setting
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

After conversing with other homeowners who were similarly struggling to keep up with everything, Kyshawn learned everything he could about proactive home upkeep. He told BuzzFeed that his education came from a variety of sources: everything from internet research to learning from his own maintenance mistakes, and even flipping through Martha Stewart's long-beloved Homekeeping Handbook.

Kyshawn using a vacuum to clean an air vent
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

From those learnings, he developed a week-by-week game plan for tackling his projects and recorded it in a personal Google doc, which he then shared with close friends. Eventually, that document evolved into his viral 52-Week Home Checklist, which outlines a year's worth of maintenance tasks for both inside and outside the home.

Kyshawn's weekly checklist is free to sign up for and includes weekly email reminders with task reminders and how-tos. In addition, he offers a paid home journal and logbook, which includes additional information and places to log key details for future reference, like appliance life expectancies, cleaning schedules, and even paint colors.

"After I created the weekly checklist, it just made sense to turn it into a TikTok and Instagram series," Kyshawn said. Now his weekly companion videos frequently go viral on social media, and they tend to be the ones that feature tasks most people have never even thought about doing. Take, for instance, his how-to on dishwasher deep cleaning, which racked up over 25 million views.

Kyshawn in kitchen standing near open dishwasher, text overlay: "You should give your dishwasher a deep clean every one to three months, depending on usage"
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

In the video, Kyshawn offers step-by-step directions for taking apart and cleaning some of the gunkiest parts of a dishwasher to keep the appliance in optimal condition — something that, according to him, should be done at least once every three months. Judging by the comments, it's clear that I wasn't the only one who never realized you had to clean the appliances that are supposed to clean things for you.

Hands in gloves scrubbing a sink strainer with a brush over a sink with captions about learning that devices made for cleaning also need to be cleaned and cleaning a dishwasher for the first time
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

Another viral example: his demonstration on draining your water heater once a year to clear sediment and mineral buildup, which can decrease efficiency over time or even cause premature failure.

Kyshawn standing next to a water heater with text advising to drain it yearly
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

With thousands of comments (and 17 million views), it's evident from taking just a quick scroll through them that one of the biggest realities of home maintenance these days is that many people have no idea where to start.

Kyshawn in a denim jacket with text overlays from social media posts expressing surprise and humor about learning new facts about home maintenance
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

If just the thought of draining your water heater sends an anxiety shiver down your spine, know that Kyshawn, first and foremost, reminds his viewers to take care of the smaller chores that could save your life in an emergency. "The most important ones are things that will keep you and your family safe, like cleaning the dryer vents to prevent fires or testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors," Kyshawn told BuzzFeed. "Many of the [checklist] tasks are meant to save you time, money, and headaches, but these others are meant for your safety."

Person holding a smoke detector, indicating it's time to replace the battery
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

Comments on his dryer cleaning video demonstrate just how critical these simple upkeep tasks can be, with several sharing their own experiences regarding what can happen as a result of maintenance neglect.

Kyshawn saying "Not cleaning this may cause a fire in your home" and standing in front of a washing machine
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

And even more people chimed in in response to his first weekly reminder of 2024: doing a thorough video walk-through of your home so that you have a visual record of every last item in your home. It's one of those things you hope you'll never need, but it can be the easiest way for insurers to reimburse you for damaged property after a disaster like a fire or flood. "I can't stress enough how important this is," one person said. "We lost nearly everything in a flood two years ago and had to claim everything by memory."

Kyshawn holding a smartphone with video recording, standing indoors near a TV, with comments about the importance of a video walk-through
Kyshawn / Weekly Home Check / Via instagram.com

Kyshawn values viewers, like those above, who take the time to write about their own experiences to prove just how important these tasks can be. "One aspect I particularly love about Weekly Home Check is its strong sense of community," he said. "There's so much knowledge shared by people around the world."

Beyond those who share knowledge, perhaps the most impactful comments Kyshawn receives are from those who candidly share parts of their own lived experiences and remind others how uneven the homeownership playing field still is. Many vouch for how helpful these tips are for BIPOC homeowners — particularly Black Americans, who have the lowest homeownership rate at the national level. "[T]his guidance can be the key to building and keeping generational wealth for some," one commenter says. "Ownership hasn't always been a privilege allowed to all. We appreciate you."

Comment that says, "You're doing God's work! I know it seems simple but this guidance can be the key to building and keeping generational wealth for some"
Instagram

"It's also very touching when I get comments from people who are living separate from loved ones or those who have lost a parent," Kyshawn added. "They say how much these videos and emails are the reminders their parent used to tell them." For many, it's easy to forget the inherent home maintenance advantage afforded to those who can pick up a phone and call an experienced homeowner in their family. But for those who've lost relatives or, like Kyshawn, are first-generation homeowners, something as simple as a weekly checklist can make a world of difference.

Woman packing boxes in a sunlit room
Kali9 / Getty Images

Moving forward, Kyshawn hopes to expand the variety of advice he offers. "I'm excited to one day take some courses on home inspection or real estate and see how I can incorporate that into the Weekly Home Check," he told BuzzFeed. But for now, he plans to keep creating his yearly checklists, weekly reminders, and companion videos to continue teaching his growing audience about the ins and outs of proper home maintenance.

Moral of the story: If you, like me, frequently find yourself in a panic that you're letting something in your home unknowingly crumble, sometimes a week-to-week approach is all it takes to quell your anxieties.

(And for this week, excuse me while I go drain the water heater I haven't so much as looked at in three years.)

You can keep up with Kyshawn on TikTok and Instagram or sign up for his free checklist and weekly email reminders at Weekly Home Check. If you're a homeowner, what's the home maintenance task or reality of homeownership that you were in no way prepared for? Tell me about it in the comments below ⬇️ or through this anonymous Google form.