It’s the start of a new month. Even better, it’s the start of a new year (and how crazy to think even a new DECADE)! What are your resolutions?! So many people I know have listed cleaning, keeping up with the house (or dishes, or laundry….) as part of their resolutions. It’s easy to see we’re overwhelmed, and there are many different reasons WHY are overwhelmed. From having too much stuff in the house to having too many things that we ‘need’ to do, and the fact that so much technology is at our fingertips most of the day, the main reason we find this difficult can be wrapped up in one word: distraction.
What is an almost foolproof way to help you work through distractions? Making lists! (Shock and awe, right?!) So if you’re really struggling, just start with that, look around you and make a list. Let’s say that you do this each day, you make a somewhat reasonable list (the word reasonable is up to interpretation) of things you want to do each day to help you stay on track, you’re building up some good momentum (not perfection, just momentum) and then one day you go to throw something away and you realize just how disgusting your trash cans have gotten. Ew! How often do we wash obscure things like that, anyway?! You thought you were doing so good!
Well! I have a treat for you today! I’ve taken the liberty to help you make a list of what needs to be cleaned every month! You don’t even have to look around the house to make this list! I’ve done it for you!
What To Clean Every Month:
- Clean lint trap. Pull the lint out from every load of laundry! But once a month, take out the trap and give it a good rinse, use a cleaning toothbrush and mild soap and give it a little scrub, and rinse again. This will make sure that there’s no lint residue, especially around the edges of the trap from fabric sheets, or any detergents that might not have rinsed completely. Allow to air dry and use it as normal!
- Wash mattress protectors. I used to shun mattress protectors. I don’t pee the bed, I didn’t have kids and I didn’t see the point. Flash forward a few years and I now praise them! Especially after a few kid and puppy accidents (yes, my dog peed the bed, while I was sleeping in it!). I keep two mattress protectors on hand. One comes off the mattress for the washer and the clean one goes on. It’s also nice to have the extra for the times that those accidents do happen! But for the months that no accidents have happened, it’s good to wash it and freshen it up so that it can keep doing its job! Pro tip: put two protectors on your kids beds at once, then when an accident happens, or your kid pukes in the middle of the night, you just have to remove the dirty protector and there’s a clean one ready to go!
- Clean the fridge! I get the leftovers out weekly, usually. Take just 5-10 minutes a month to wipe up any spills, check expiration dates and keep it looking nice! By taking the time to clean out leftovers and keep up with small spills you won’t get to the point of needing to do those dreaded hour-long fridge overhauls, where you find science experiments and waste a bunch of food! No one likes these cleaning jobs when they are that disgusting!
- Clean oven. No matter your preferred method of cleaning the oven, once a month go through and clean anything that’s starting to cake on. It’s the same idea as the fridge, in that if you take the few minutes to tackle a small mess you’ll save yourself so much unnecessary trouble later on!
- Wipe down the (inside of) the trash can! Spray some multi-surface cleaner, or even disinfectant into the can, let it sit for a few so that the cleaner is doing most of the work for you, and wipe that baby out! If you haven’t done this in a while it might be quite the task, but once you have it in good shape this isn’t too bad to tackle once a month! Two minutes tops usually.
- Dust Baseboards! Ugh! I ALWAYS forget the damn baseboards! But with pets, dust, and kids they can really start to just look gross if you let them go. Once a month I make sure to take a mop and go over them quickly to get rid of the accumulation of crud.
- Dust fans. Everyone in our house sleeps with the sound of fans. We don’t care if it’s -30 Degrees Fahrenheit outside. Those fans are ON! It’s totally a noise thing for us. But with fans running through the night, 4 shedding pets, and our upstairs is pretty much 90% only used while we’re sleeping… they get dusty! If you run fans often, I suggest picking one that is easy to open (I have one in the bathroom that needs to be replaced because I can’t figure out how to open it, and it’s disgusting!). Take a damp rag (or baby wipe if you have them on hand) open it up and wipe it down, this is another task that seriously only takes a minute or two to do per fan if it’s easy to open. It’s also a task that is good for your health since you won’t be breathing in pet hair and dust that your fan just keeps moving around the room, the sound on the fan is SO much better when it is clean, AND it’s a pretty satisfying job to watch that dust and crud wipe away!
- Clean windows. Those with pets and little kids may have windows that need to be cleaned weekly (I know I’m in that club). But if you don’t have pets or anyone messing up your windows, you can get away with washing them monthly. Removing dust and buildup off of your windows is an easy way to help brighten your home since it allows more light in and, if you can’t get to them often, its a pretty satisfying task too! Let there be light!
- Wash the comforters! Most of us these days use duvet covers. But for those who prefer top sheets and comforters, wash the comforters at least every month. Washing heavier blankets too often can wear them out and if you are using a top sheet you don’t have the problem of dust mites getting on it as much. You want to wash them at least once a month to keep them clean and fresh and there’s nothing that quite compares to a clean good smelling comforter warm from the dryer!
Depending on the amount of time you have, you can knock out this list in just a couple hours once a month, or you can break them down into each week and check them off as you have the time. Keeping up with the list isn’t meant to be stressful, it’s just meant to guide you and keep you on top of these sometimes forgotten tasks around the house! Be sure to subscribe to the blog, because next week we’re going to go over what needs to be cleaned each week, and then we will dive into what should be cleaned each day to help you keep a less-stressful clean home! Scroll down a touch for a picture that you can save to refer to if you don’t feel like writing your own list out!
What tasks are you always forgetting around the house?! What tasks do you struggle to keep up with the most?! Your answers help me create content and give you practical, simple, and doable answers to the things you find difficult!
Until next time friends!