As usual, my spring cleaning regime has spilled over into summer. Just last week, we got our windows washed. And I finally climbed a high ladder to clean the chandelier in our bathroom. I clean that chandy about every five years whether it needs it or not!
Do you keep a list of spring cleaning to-dos? I keep my list in my head – a scary place to store it. One task that’s been on my mental list is to actually sit down and write a list. So when a guest writer brought me this nicely organized outline of home cleaning/maintenance tasks, I thought it was worth sharing. I may even use it as a starting point for the [long] to-do list that I need to write!
The following is a contributed post. For more information on my contributed posts, click here.
Keeping Your Home in Tip-Top Condition
When you buy a home, you have all the best intentions of making it perfect and keeping it that way. But finances and time often dictate what you can and can’t do. Usually, after a while, the sheer amount of things that need to be done can be overwhelming to the point that nothing gets done.
If you are a homeowner, the number of tasks that fall to your shoulders can be a heavy burden. But if you make a list and get those maintenance items done on a regular basis, they will take less time to do. And in many cases, regular maintenance can stave off having to pay for significant home repairs.
You will ideally want to get a list put together to make sure that you don’t lose track of what you should be doing. Many home maintenance tasks don’t require a professional. If you get stuck, you can turn to Google – or an article like this to help you through it.
The following list is broken down into monthly, quarterly, and twice-yearly tasks. Many things will be season-related, but generally you can do most jobs at any time.
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” Marie Kondo
These are jobs that just need to be done twice a year – or more often if necessary.
If you are seeing droppings or hearing scratching noises, then it is time to take immediate action. If you have a crawl space under your house, a basement, a loft space, or an attic, you should do an inspection for pests. If needed, there are a lot of different pest control options to take care of everything from wasp nest removal to pest control for raccoons. And these problems can be taken care of quickly.
Don’t wait for your smoke alarm to start chirping its low-battery warning. Put it on your list to change your smoke alarm batteries every six months. You should also change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and emergency flashlights.
Yep, it is that time of the year. The deep clean needs to be done. And, while you probably clean house weekly, you need to put more effort into the big deep clean. Book one Saturday in with your family, and give the whole house a deep scrub. Pull drawers out, move the couch, clean all of the appliances, windows, shelves – the works. This will be more of a chore if you aren’t cleaning regularly other times of the year. So do yourself a favor: Clean once a week and do a deep clean every six months (at least).
The kitchen sink disposal probably sees a lot of action. The quickest way to clean it really thoroughly is with vinegar ice cubes. Simply make some ice cubes out of white vinegar and freeze them. Then pop them in the disposal and run it. The ice will sharpen up the blades, and the vinegar will kill off any lingering smells.
Your range hood filters could become clogged and begin to smell if you don’t add this into your monthly cleaning routine. You will need to take the filter out and use a degreaser to lift the caked-on grime. Then you just need to use some good old-fashioned elbow grease and give it a good scrub. Once dry, put it all back together.
They hold on to a lot more dirt and dust than you might think. While a quick vacuum once a week is okay – every other day is probably better – you are going to need to get heavy-handed once a month. You can rent heavy duty carpet cleaners or get it done professionally. Keeping up on this task ensures that your carpet stays odor free and comfortable to walk on.
A once-a-month scrub with vinegar and newspaper will keep your windows gleaming between deep cleanings. Or you can use chemical-based cleaners if you prefer – they both do the same job in the end.
A weekly clean is great, but a good, thorough scrub once a month really gets into all the nooks and crannies. You don’t have to use bleach-based chemicals if you don’t want to, but a disinfectant is advisable. Clean in and around the rim, behind the lid, and underneath. This helps prevent odors from taking over.
Although you will be replacing the batteries in all of your alarms, you still need to check periodically to make sure that they are all working. Most have a ‘test’ button that makes this an easy job – although you might want to pop in some earplugs to dampen the noise slightly. If there is no sound, it could be that light corrosion is causing the battery not to register. So just take out the battery, give it and battery terminal a good wipe, put it back in, and re-test it.
Take a walk around the house and check all of the taps and toilets for leaks – and shower heads too. Run all the faucets for a few minutes (this is a great time to add cleaner to the sinks and toilets) and see if anything is going on. Fix any leaks as you go.
As you walk around your house, you might find other things like peeling paint, stains and creaky floorboards. Whatever problems you find, add them to your to-do list – because tackling all those little jobs that your home needs helps keep it in tip-top condition.
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