Cleaning my house is a job that has no finish line. It’s a continuous cycle of wiping down counters, vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, and so on. Thankfully, not every cleaning task is one that needs to be done every week. In fact, some important cleaning tasks can be done as little as once per year! And those are the cleaning tasks that we’ll be talking about today.
Today I’ll be sharing 12 different cleaning tasks that you can do just once a year. Coincidentally, it’s the perfect amount of tasks to schedule one for each month of the year! I highly recommend taking this approach, because it makes things so much less stressful! A lot of people like to do their once-a-year cleaning chores during spring cleaning, but I don’t like to do it that way if I can help it. My spring cleaning list is usually daunting enough as it is, so I try to keep that list as manageable as possible! Scheduling one simple cleaning task during each month is much easier, and once you try it, I think you’ll agree! :-)
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12 Cleaning Jobs You Can Get Away With Doing Once A Year
1. Window Frames & Tracks
Whether they fill up with dust, dirt, or dead bugs, those window tracks and frames can get pretty gross over time! Aim to give them a good cleaning at least once a year.
Use a duster or brush to brush away any loose dirt and cobwebs that have collected around your windows. The use a cloth and some warm, soapy water to wipe up the rest of the grime. Your window tracks and frames will be sparkling, and you won’t believe the difference it makes!
2. Outdoor Windows
Cleaning the outside of your windows is no one’s idea of a good time, but it’s a job that needs doing! The main benefit to giving your outdoor windows a good scrub is that clean windows let in more light. So if the inside of your home has been looking a little dark and dim lately, it’s probably time to get out there and get scrubbing!
A few years ago, I came across a method for cleaning outdoor windows that is now the only method I use. This method makes cleaning outdoor windows easier than I ever thought it could be, and you don’t have to worry about drying either. Get the full details about the easiest way to clean your outdoor windows at the link below.
3. Junk Drawer
We all have that one drawer somewhere in the house that becomes a repository for all kinds of miscellaneous junk. Loose batteries, keys that don’t seem to fit any locks, scissors, chapstick tubes, and all manner of other items seem to find their way into the junk drawer! Aim to clear that drawer out at least once a year.
Start by pulling everything out of the drawer and organizing it into two piles: one of stuff to keep, and one of stuff to throw out. Before you put the “keep” pile back in the drawer, make sure to wipe out the inside of the drawer with a damp cloth to get rid of any grime that has collected inside! Then return all of the stuff you’re keeping in the drawer in a somewhat organized manner.
4. Light Bulbs
It may sound like overkill to clean the actual light bulbs in your light fixtures, but there’s a good reason to make the effort! Over time, dust and grime can build up on your light bulbs, and that grimy layer will dim the overall light emitting from the bulb. Set aside a few minutes in the fall to clean your bulbs to ensure you’re getting the most light possible from your fixtures when the days start getting shorter.
It’s easy to forget about cleaning your curtains and other window treatments, but just think about how much dust collects on them! Give them a good wash at least once a year to keep them looking their best.
If you have a real wood-burning fireplace, it’s important get your fireplace and chimney cleaned at least once a year. The cleaning process eliminates soot buildup that poses both a fire hazard and a breathing hazard. Bring in the chimney sweeps! :-)
7. Upholstered Furniture
Just like your curtains, your upholstered furniture also collects dust and dirt over time. If your furniture has removable covers, pop those into your washing machine at least once a year. If you don’t have removable covers, a lot of carpet cleaning companies also offer upholstered furniture cleaning services.
8. Outdoor Furniture
In the springtime or early summer, make sure to clean your outdoor furniture. You’ll get it looking nice and clean, and ready to use for the rest of the summer! I bring out my pressure washer for part of this task, because I can spray down my chairs, our outdoor table, and our waterproof cushions and pillows. (For more details on cleaning specific pieces of outdoor furniture, check out my post below!)
Vacuuming your carpets regularly is important, but it isn’t enough to keep them free of ground-in dirt. Once a year, make a point to hire a carpet cleaning service. Or if you prefer the DIY approach, you can always rent a carpet cleaning machine from a supermarket or home improvement store. You’ll be amazed at how clean your carpets look afterward!
Gutters are great for whisking away rainwater, but not if they get clogged up with leaves and other debris! Get up on a ladder at least once a year to clear out any gunk that may be lurking in your gutters. (A pressure washer is a really helpful tool for this job as well!)
11. Washer & Dryer
A lot of people don’t understand that even your cleaning tools and machines need cleaning occasionally! Cleaning your washing machine and dryer at least once a year will keep them running in tip-top shape. Check out the links below for instructions on how to clean your top-loading or front-loading washing machine, as well as your dryer.
12. Air Vents
The vents for your heating and cooling system can get grimy over time, so try to vacuum them out at least once a year. You can clean them in the fall before you start relying on your furnace for heat, or in the spring before you start cranking up the A/C.
Cleaning projects like this can seem like a drag, but if you space these tasks out, your home will stay in tip-top shape with a minimal amount of effort on your part!