It’s time to pull on your gloves and get to work! In addition to your weekly cleaning chores, add a few of these items until you’ve tackled them all.
These three steps will ensure you’re off and running.
First, check to make sure you have an ample supply of cleaning products and your vacuum cleaner is in top running form. Change the bag and filters. If you have the bagless type, empty the collector and wash filters. Wipe the unit down with disinfectant wipes. Replace belts and check that the beater bar is running smoothly and free of tangled debris.
Second, create your own checklist of realistic items to tackle based on the time you have available. If you prefer to go room-by-room then choose one or two to complete in a day. If attacking specific chores like washing all the windows on one day is your thing then create a task list based on that.
Third, turn the music up and have fun!
Top 10 Checklist:
1. Ensure fire safety - Change batteries in your smoke detectors and test them.
2. Let the sunshine in - Wash windows inside and out. Remove screens and scrub them with mild dish detergent and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly and let dry before reinstalling. Take down window treatments and clean them according to the label. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth to remove dust.
3. Dust those forgotten places - You know you look at them and think to yourself, “I’ll get to them next week.” Now is the time! Wipe down items like lamp shades, vents and baseboards with a clean, lint-free cloth and then vacuum the entire floor. If you have crown molding, this is a great time to wipe those down as well. There are several products on the market to make this chore easier and save your back. You can also use a clean, soft-bristled broom to sweep off baseboards, molding, corners, ceiling fans and the tops of your door frames. Why not wipe down framed artwork and the tops of clocks right now too?
4. Vacuum mattresses - On a warm day, throw open the windows in the bedrooms and strip the bedsheets off the beds. While the sheets are in the washing machine take a few minutes to use the upholstery and crevice tools on your vacuum the entire mattress. Spray a light mist of sanitizing spray over the top and let it dry before putting the sheets back on. Oh, and since you have the vacuum cleaner right there, go ahead and clean underneath the beds too!
5. Clean drains - Avoid chemicals and spend a few dollars on the long plastic drain cleaning tool that you work down into your drain and then pull up. A few minutes per drain and your pipes will be running clean again! Freshen them afterward by sprinkling 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of white vinegar. Let it stand about 15 minutes and rinse down with hot tap water.
6. Clean the refrigerator - Toss expired items and wipe down shelves or remove and wash them with a mild detergent. Slide the unit out and vacuum the back, paying special attention to the vents and coils. Wipe off the top of the unit and then vacuum or mop the floor underneath. Pop a new baking soda container in the freezer and refrigerator today too!
7. Pantry review - Twice a year I go through my spice rack and pantry shelves to remove outdated products. When I purchase a new spice, I write the date I open it on the top. Any spices or mixes not used within a year I typically toss. Wipe down shelves and vacuum crumbs.
8. Organize your desk - Now that tax preparation season is over, you need to clean off and organize that desk. Use bins and trays to organize and keep handy those items you access often. Toss old paperwork, expired coupons and junk mail in the trash or paper shredder. Prepare new folders as needed. Wipe down computer monitors, keyboard and desktop.
9. Rugs - Toss rugs that are too far gone to clean. Demote bathroom rugs to the garage. Wash those that can be saved. Hit the dollar store for new sets for the bathrooms and the doors. Less expensive rugs are easier to replace more often than pricier ones.
10. Wash out trash cans - Not a fun job but a necessary job. I run the smaller trash cans through the dishwasher on a light cycle without a heated dry. You can also fill the bathtub with hot soapy water and scrub and rinse them easily. The large cans get a dose of hot soapy water with a dash of bleach in the driveway with a quick rinse from the hose. The car wash is a great place to line up your trash cans and wash them as well.