House Cleaning: What Should I Clean and How Often?
House cleaning might seem like a simple task in theory; if something gets dirty, clean it up! If there’s clutter, clear it away! Done! The reality isn’t quite that simple. How often should you, say, dust your blinds? Wash your curtains? Clean your oven? That’s where the confusion sets in. How do you know what you need to clean and how often you should clean it?
When you factor in the many components of your day-to-day life, such as work, raising your children, cooking meals, and running errands, not to mention keeping in touch with friends and family, cleaning can feel very overwhelming. How can you carve out time to handle house cleaning?
Breaking out the tasks into a manageable schedule can help you accomplish the chores you want to be done without leaving you feeling that there’s no time left for you to relax. Let’s look at the tasks that should be performed every day, the tasks you should perform weekly, the monthly tasks, and the quarterly tasks.
Daily House Cleaning Tasks
There are house cleaning tasks that you must perform daily to ensure that your home is a hygienic and pleasant to live. It’s possible that you perform many of these tasks automatically, but it’s nice to have these jobs in a handy list; you can check it regularly and make sure you’re on track.
Make Your Bed— Making your bed first thing in the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. It’s a simple way to improve the appearance of your bedroom, and you can start your morning with a completed house cleaning task! Plus, when you get home after a long day, your bedroom feels so much more inviting when the bed is made.
Clean the Kitchen— Always wipe down your kitchen surfaces after use; these include the stove, countertops, and sink. When needed, use a disinfectant to prevent the spread of bacteria. Sweep the floor, and you’re all set.
Do the Dishes— Whether it’s loading them into the dishwasher or hand washing them, it’s important that you do the dishes every day. Dirty dishes filling the sink make even the tidiest kitchen look sloppy, and they’re a magnet for insects. Nobody wants to attract ants! Once you’ve completed the dishes, go ahead and sanitize the sink.
Wipe Down Bathroom Surfaces— It’s smart to keep a squeegee in the shower. After taking your shower, take about a minute or so to squeegee it down. This keeps water stains from building up on the walls and dulling the surface. And after using the bathroom sink, a simple wipe of the countertop and sink will remove water spots, keep rings from building up around the faucet and drain. And it will keep the sink looking clean, longer.
Laundry— If your household is smaller, you probably don’t need to do laundry every day, but if you’ve got kids, doing a load (or two) every day will help you stay on top of the chore. Nobody wants to spend their weekend tackling “Mount Laundry” so that everyone has something to wear on Monday.
Declutter— Spend ten minutes walking through the living/family room and gather up any clutter that you might see. Put things in their place, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much cleaner your home looks.
Weekly House Cleaning Tasks
These house cleaning tasks are important but don’t require your attention every day. You can do them all on the same day, or incorporate one into your daily routine every day of the week. Whatever works best for you!
Change Bedding and Towels — Once a week, before you make your bed for the day, change your linens. Stick to the same day every week so it becomes a habit. Most people change out towels twice a week. If that’s your preference, then change towels on the same day you change your bed linens, and then again later in the week.
Clean the Bathrooms— Yes, you’ve been wiping the bathroom’s surfaces every day, but now’s the time to break out your cleaning product of choice and give it a good scrub. Clean the toilets, the sinks, the tub/shower, mirrors, and mop the floor. Handling this task every week will keep your bathroom hygienic and free of scummy buildup.
Scrub the Kitchen— Now’s the time to wipe down your appliances, sanitize the counter tops, and mop the floor. You can also take the opportunity to do a quick check in your refrigerator; do you have expired food? Toss it. Clean the inside and outside of your microwave as well.
Dust—Take time to wipe down flat surfaces, ensuring that they’re dust free. Whether you use a damp microfiber cloth or your favorite multi-surface cleaner, be sure to do the job thoroughly.
Vacuum, Sweep, and Mop Floors — Run the vacuum cleaner throughout the carpeted surfaces in your home as well as your upholstered furniture. (Note— if you have pets that shed, you might need to do this more than once a week.) Additionally, plan to sweep and mop all hard floors at this time as well.
Sanitize Hot Spots— Hot spots are the areas of your home that spread germs, such as light switches, door handles, telephones and TV remotes. Be sure to sanitize these areas at least once a week to avoid spreading sickness. (You might consider doing this two times per week during cold and flu season if you’re concerned about contamination.)
Monthly House Cleaning Tasks
These are the house cleaning tasks that will keep your home looking its best between your spring and fall deep cleanings.
Dust and Clean Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans— Do a quick swipe of your light fixtures and ceiling fans; this will keep them free of dust and cobwebs, and really enhance the appearance of your home.
Clean Your Blinds— You should only need to wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth, but once or twice a year you could remove them and let them soak in warm, soapy water to thoroughly clean them. Also, there are specialty tools you can purchase that are made specifically for dusting blinds if you feel like making this small investment.
Wipe Down Baseboards and Cabinets— Using a duster or a cloth with a mild cleaner, wipe down all the baseboards and the cabinets in the house.
Vacuum Furniture— Pull all of the cushions out and use your vacuum with attachments to get into those hard-to-reach corners and edges, or use a portable vacuum if you’ve got one.
Wipe Trash Cans— Use a sanitizing spray and wipe out the inside and the outside of your trash cans.
Polish Wood Furniture— Find a product you like and thoroughly polish your wood furniture; this will preserve it, ensuring that it will look beautiful for years to come.
Quarterly House Cleaning Tasks
These house cleaning tasks can be performed every three to six months, depending on what you is appropriate for your home.
Clean Your Refrigerator — If you’ve been staying on top of the expired foods, this shouldn’t take too long. Remove the food within, and wipe down the shelves. Be sure to examine everything before you put it back to be sure that you haven’t overlooked an expiration date.
Clean Your Oven — Self-cleaning ovens make this task easy. Just follow the directions, set it to start and walk away! If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, you’ll have to do it by hand with oven cleaner. Frequency will depend on how often you use your oven, and the more often you clean it the less elbow grease you’ll need.
Vacuum Under Furniture — Pull all of your furniture away from your walls; this will allow you access to the floor underneath, so you can vacuum and wipe down the baseboards that are normally hidden by your furniture.
Wash Comforters and Pillows— A quarterly wash should be sufficient for your bedding; you could time this so that you’re doing the sheets at the same time, so you can get into a completely fresh bed at the end of the day.
Clean Windows— Every three to six months, you should clean your windows. Note: glass patio doors and windows that your children or pets can access should probably be wiped down weekly, as these tend to collect the most hand and nose prints!
Clean Inside of Dishwasher— Unfortunately, running the dishwasher doesn’t keep it clean; here’s a simple tutorial for thoroughly cleaning the inside of your dishwasher.
Yearly House Cleaning Tasks
These are the house cleaning tasks that should be performed every year. Mark them on your calendar so they don’t get neglected in the bustle of daily life.
Clean Carpets and Upholstery— You should schedule a carpet cleaning every year. This not only brightens up the color, but it will protect your flooring from excess wear that flattens out your traffic lanes.
Wipe Cabinets— Clean the insides of kitchen and bathroom cabinets with a gentle cleanser; this will remove any germs and ensure that you’re storing items in a sanitary environment.
Clean Dryer and Vents— Not only will this improve the function of your dryer, but it can prevent a dangerous fire.
Wash Curtains and Drapes— Window hangings can be dust magnets, so it’s a good idea to wash them annually. Check the tags for cleaning instructions before you toss them into the washing machine – some may need to be dry cleaned.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of completing these tasks, we can help. Contact us today, and we can discuss tackling your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly house cleaning tasks together!