In This Article Show
- January: Deep Clean Carpets and Rugs
- February: Declutter and Organize Your Closets
- March: Window Washing and Treatment Refresh
- April: Furniture and Upholstery Maintenance
- May: Revitalize Outdoor Spaces
- June: Deep Cleaning the Kitchen
- July: Attic and Basement Clear-Out
- August: Technology Detox – Clean Your Electronics
- September: Refresh Your Bedding and Mattresses
- October: Clearing Vents and Replacing Filters
- November: Deep Clean Floors and Baseboards
- December: Declutter and Donate
As a mom of three, I’ve learned that a clean home is a happy home — for both my sanity and the well-being of my family. But let’s be real, keeping a space perpetually tidy can seem like a Herculean task amidst the whirlwind of parenting.
Thankfully, breaking it down into manageable monthly cleaning tasks has been a game-changer for me. This approach not only keeps the clutter at bay but also ensures that every nook and cranny gets the attention it needs over the year.
So, whether you’re juggling work, wrangling toddlers, or ferrying kids to soccer practice, these 12 monthly cleaning tasks will help keep your space neat without taking up all your precious time.
Let’s walk through the year together, month by month, tackling our homes in a practical, doable way. It’s about smart cleaning, not hard cleaning, and I’m here to guide you through it.
January: Deep Clean Carpets and Rugs
A deep clean now not only lifts away the dirt you can see but also helps to remove the allergens and germs that have settled deep into the fibers.
Step-by-Step Guide to Deep Cleaning Carpets
- Clear the Area: Remove toys and smaller furniture.
- Vacuum: Thoroughly vacuum the carpet.
- Spot Clean: Apply stain remover to any spots.
- Carpet Cleaner: Rent or buy one if you don’t have it.
- Shampoo: Use the right shampoo for your carpet.
- Clean: Use the machine as directed.
- Rinse: Only if the cleaner recommends it.
- Dry: Allow the carpet to dry completely.
- Final Vacuum: Vacuum one last time.
February: Declutter and Organize Your Closets
Decluttering and organizing your closet means we get to reclaim our space and make our mornings a bit less hectic (because who hasn’t had a mini meltdown trying to find a matching pair of gloves?).
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Tips for Sorting and Organizing Closet Space
- Empty and Assess: Pull everything out of your closets.
- Categorize Group items into categories — keep, donate, and toss.
- Smart Storage: For the keepsakes, seasonal items, or things you won’t need for a while.
- Optimize Space: Invest in closet organizers, if you can. Shelves, drawer dividers, and hooks.
- Maintain Order: Once everything has its place, make a quick daily routine to ensure items go back where they belong.
March: Window Washing and Treatment Refresh
As the first signs of spring peek through, it’s time to let that bright light flood our homes. Clean windows can dramatically brighten your space and lift your spirits – it’s like the difference between standard definition and high definition in your home.
How to Properly Wash Windows and Care for Treatments
- Choose a Cloudy Day: Direct sunlight can dry the cleaning solution too quickly, leaving streaks. A nice overcast day is perfect for this task.
- Remove Dust: Before you start with liquid solutions, brush off all the dust from the window frames and sills with a dry cloth or a soft brush.
- The Right Technique: Wipe with a microfiber cloth or squeegee, working from top to bottom in a zigzag pattern to avoid drips and streaks.
- Wipe Dry: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe any remaining cleaner off the window. Don’t forget to dry the window sill.
- Regular Maintenance: Now that your windows are sparkling, a quick weekly wipe-down can keep them clear until next year’s deep clean.
April: Furniture and Upholstery Maintenance
Come April, as the spring air invites us to refresh and renew, it’s the perfect opportunity to show some love to the furniture that supports us—quite literally—throughout the year.
Over the months, sofas and chairs gather dust, spills, and crumbs (especially with kids around), and now is the time to bring back the shine and hygiene to these pieces.
Techniques for Cleaning Various Types of Upholstery
- Read the Labels
- Vacuum First
- Spot Cleaning
- Steam Cleaning
- Leather Care
- Freshening Up
- Professional Help
Regular maintenance will not only keep your furniture looking good but also extend its life, making for a home that’s always welcoming and ready for living. In May, we’ll shift our focus outside, just as the outdoors beckon us to enjoy the warmth and greenery.
May: Revitalize Outdoor Spaces
With May flowers blooming and the promise of summer on the horizon, it’s time to step outside and reclaim our outdoor living spaces. Winter can be tough on patios, decks, and furniture, leaving a layer of grime and remnants of last season’s fun.
Steps for Cleaning Patios, Decks, and Outdoor Furniture
- Assess and Clear: Begin by removing leaves, twigs, and debris that have accumulated.
- Sweep and Wash: Sweep the surfaces thoroughly. Then, for patios, use a mild detergent and water mix and scrub with a stiff-bristled broom.
- Rinse Thoroughly: A garden hose will do the trick for rinsing away soap and dirt.
- Clean Furniture: Wipe down your outdoor furniture with a suitable cleaner for the material, be it metal, plastic, or wood.
- Inspect for Repairs: Take the opportunity to inspect for any damage or wear and handle any minor repairs or touch-ups needed to ensure everything is safe and comfortable.
June: Deep Cleaning the Kitchen
By the time June rolls around, your kitchen has probably seen a lot of action. Whether it’s been the hub for family gatherings or the site of quick meals on the go, it deserves a deep clean.
Checklist for a Deep Clean that Includes Appliances and Hard-to-Reach Areas
- Remove items from countertops and go through your pantry. Dispose of expired goods and donate non-perishables you won’t use.
Tackle each appliance one by one:
- Refrigerator: Empty it out, clean the shelves and drawers with a mild detergent, and wipe down the exterior.
- Oven: Use oven cleaner or a baking soda paste for a non-toxic option; don’t forget the racks and the oven door.
- Microwave: Heat a bowl of water with lemon inside to loosen grime, then wipe clean.
- Dishwasher: Clean the filter and run a hot cycle with a specialized cleaner.
- Small Appliances: Crumbs in the toaster, coffee build-up in the machine—give them all a thorough clean.
- Sink and Garbage Disposal: Scrub the sink with a baking soda paste and use vinegar and baking soda to freshen up the disposal.
July: Attic and Basement Clear-Out
Midsummer is an excellent time for a clear-out; it’s far enough from the chaos of the holidays and the change of seasons to allow for a thoughtful review of what to keep and what to let go.
Safe Practices for Sorting and Storing Items in Attics and Basements
- Suit Up: Before you start, dress for the occasion. Long sleeves, gloves, and a dust mask can protect you from insulation, dust, and cobwebs.
- Ventilate: Open windows or bring in fans to keep the air moving, especially in the basement, to avoid musty and stale air.
- Sort Systematically: Create zones for “keep,” “donate/sell,” “recycle,” and “trash.” Be decisive—holding onto items you haven’t used in years can contribute to clutter.
- Inspect for Damage: Look for any signs of water damage or pests. These issues are best dealt with immediately to prevent further damage.
- Elevate: Keep items off the floor on shelving units, especially in basements, to avoid water damage from potential flooding.
- Safety First: Don’t overload your space. Ensure there’s a clear path for walking, and if you’re in an area prone to earthquakes, secure shelving units to walls.
August: Technology Detox – Clean Your Electronics
August brings the end of summer and the start of a new school year. It’s the perfect moment for a technology detox—not just from the constant connectivity but also a literal clean-up of the devices themselves.
Guide to Safely Clean and Maintain Various Electronics
- Gather Your Tools: Soft microfiber cloths, isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, cotton swabs, and compressed air are your best friends here.
- Power Down: Before you start, make sure all devices are turned off and unplugged. Remove any batteries if possible.
September: Refresh Your Bedding and Mattresses
Change to warmer bedding for autumn’s cooler temperatures, enhancing comfort and sleep quality.
Clean Bedding and Mattress
- Wash Bedding: Strip sheets, pillowcases, and covers; wash as per label instructions.
- Air Out Duvet/Pillows: Place outside or fluff in dryer for freshness.
- Mattress Care: Vacuum surface and clean spot stains. You can also deodorize with baking soda, then vacuum again.
- Mattress Protector: Wash or replace to protect the mattress.
- Clean Bed Base: Vacuum or wipe down to prevent dust.
- Reassemble with Layers: Layer blankets for adjustable warmth.
- Add Final Touches: Introduce new comforter, and throw pillows for a seasonal update.
October: Clearing Vents and Replacing Filters
As the crispness of October heralds the approach of winter, it’s crucial to prepare your home for the heating season. A key aspect of this preparation is ensuring your vents and filters are clean.
Step-by-Step on Cleaning Vents and Replacing Filters
- Gather Your Supplies: These supplies include, a screwdriver to remove vent covers, a vacuum, cleaning cloths or a soft brush, replacement filters for your HVAC system, soapy water, or mild cleaning solution.
- Turn Off Your System: For safety, ensure your HVAC system is off before you begin working on the vents and filters.
- Remove Vent Covers: Use a screwdriver to carefully remove the vent covers. Some may simply lift or slide out without the need for tools.
- Vacuum Vents and Ducts: Use the vacuum hose to clean inside the ducts as far as you can reach. A brush attachment can help loosen any debris stuck to the sides.
- Clean Vent Covers: Wash the vent covers in soapy water to remove all dust and grime. Allow them to dry completely before replacing them.
- Schedule a Maintenance Check: Consider having a professional HVAC technician come for a seasonal inspection. They can ensure that everything is in top working order and handle tasks that are beyond DIY maintenance.
By taking these steps, you’re not just preparing for a cozy winter indoors, but you’re also looking out for your family’s health and the efficiency of your home heating system.
November: Deep Clean Floors and Baseboards
As November ushers in the holiday spirit, deep cleaning of floors and baseboards can significantly enhance the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of your home. This month, it’s about giving your floors some tender loving care before the season’s festivities bring in more foot traffic.
Techniques for Cleaning All Types of Flooring
- Start with the Baseboards: Dust them off with a dry cloth or use the brush attachment on your vacuum.
- Hardwood Floors: Use a hardwood floor cleaner or a mixture of water and a mild detergent, and apply with a damp mop.
- Laminate Floors: mop with a solution specifically made for laminate flooring or with a very mildly damp mop using a 1:3 mixture of vinegar and water.
- Carpeted Floors: Start with thorough vacuuming, using crevice tools to reach under furniture.
- Luxury Vinyl and Cork: Sweep or vacuum without a beater bar to avoid scratches.
- Stone Floors: Sweep or dust mop to remove any abrasive debris.
- Spot clean spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches.
By dedicating time to deep cleaning your floors and baseboards, you’re setting the stage for a home that looks and feels inviting, just in time for the holiday season.
December: Declutter and Donate
December is not only the month of festivities and joy but also the perfect time for reflection and renewal before the New Year. End-of-year decluttering offers a fresh start and makes room for new gifts and purchases that come with the holiday season.
Moreover, it can be a season of giving in a more meaningful way—by donating items to those in need. Here’s how to tackle the decluttering process:
Start Small and Room by Room
Begin with a single drawer or closet to avoid being overwhelmed. Completing small areas provides a sense of achievement and motivates you to continue.
- Use the One-Year Rule: If you haven’t used an item in the last year and it doesn’t hold significant sentimental value, consider letting it go.
- Sort Items into Categories: Create designated spaces for items to keep, donate, sell, or discard.
- Involve the Family: Encourage each family member to select a certain number of items to donate, making it a collective effort.
- Digital Declutter: Don’t forget your digital spaces. Organize files, delete old emails, and clean up your photo library.
How to Organize Donations Before the Holidays
- Research Charities and Non-Profits
- Check Donation Condition Requirements
- Organize Items
- Clean and Launder
- Pack Properly
- Schedule a Drop-off or Pickup
- Keep an Inventory
- Involve the Recipients
By decluttering and donating this December, you’re not only tidying your space but also spreading the holiday cheer and warmth to others. It’s a beautiful way to close the year on a note of generosity and enter the New Year lighter, both in possessions and in spirit.
Now that we’ve completed our monthly cleaning tasks, your home is not only perpetually tidy but also ready for a wonderful holiday season. May your space reflect the joy and peace of the times, and may the New Year bring you fresh beginnings.