With the go-go lifestyles we lead, it can be easy for life's to-do list to be overwhelming. My monthly home & lifestyle maintenance checklist will help you stay organized, show you how to do a little at a time, and how to get everything DONE.
Indoor Cleaning Tips
Indoor Organizing Projects
- Use your vacuum and dishwasher to clean more efficiently. Start at the ceiling line with the vacuum: Vacuum walls, baseboards, and furniture before vacuuming floors. Empty the bag as soon as it starts getting full.
- Use the dishwasher for everything that fits. On some models, you can take out the top shelf for oversized items you might not have considered like the bathroom garbage cans, broiler pans, and bath caddies.
- Clean and shampoo carpets. If you can, hire someone to do this; it will save a lot of time and free you up to do other things. Wash floors, then treat per manufacturer´s instructions. Wash woodwork including moldings, baseboards, and doors.
- Take down curtains and drapes. Wash or dry clean. Wash mini-blinds, blinds, or shades. If damaged, repair or replace. Clean lamps and ceiling fans, removing light bulbs and covers to wipe/polish.
- Take down pictures and artwork. Clean frames and glass. Move appliances and heavy furniture. Clean underneath.
- Empty clothing closets, toy boxes, cupboards, and drawers. (If you´ve been decluttering and cleaning throughout the year, you know which ones you generally ignore.) Vacuum, dust, or wash shelves, drawers, and cabinets depending on when they were last cleaned. Repaint or wallpaper a closet if you have time
- Sort winter clothes for tossing, donating, tag sales, or storage. Wash or dryclean woolens and down-filled clothing then store with cedar chips. (Tip: Use "Space Bags" to store large/many items in a small space. These really help maximize storage areas such as closets and under the bed.)
- Go through bookshelves. Get rid of any books that you no longer need or want. Donate or set them aside for a tag sale. Dust and replace on clean shelves. Sort through videos, DVDs, electronic games, and music CDs. Toss damaged tapes and CDs. Sell or donate old games, CDs, and movies.
- Sort through computer clutter. Donate usable software, manuals, and equipment. Find a recycling center for dead equipment. Pitch disks and floppies that you can´t read on your current systems.
- Set aside garage sale items, drop off donations, and haul garbage to the dump or dumpster.
You can stay on top of your home's maintenance by doing the little things all year long. Just a little bit of effort through the year goes a long way toward avoiding major headaches down the line. Check back next month for the next volume of my Household Maintenance Made Easy series. Happy Homeowning!
- You still have time to reseed patchy areas of the lawn. Now is a good time while everything is in growth mode. Be sure to scape off dead/dried out grass and remove before seeding.
- Transplant and move plants that are still dormant or just starting to wake up. If you wait, they may be too leafed out and more susceptible to transplant shock.
- Have your sprnkler system checked for leaks or clogs. Set timer for early-morning watering three times per week. (Tip: You will probably be able to over-ride many of these watering sessions since we typically get a lot of rain in April. This way though, when the heat kicks in - your system is up and ready to go.)
- Bring out hoses and seasonal lawn equipment. Wash lawn furniture and hose off exterior of grill (at least the parts that were not covered during the winter season.) Scrub down patios, stairs & decks.
- Wash exterior windows. (Tip - Windex Outdoor works great - and is a snap to use.)