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You may have a regular home cleaning and maintenance routine, but there some things that don’t require constant attention. This annual home maintenance checklist looks at 10 tasks you only need to do once a year.
While you likely vacuum your upholstered furniture regularly, you should have your furniture deep cleaned once a year at minimum, depending on your lifestyle (for those with pets and small children, it may need to be done more often). Deep cleaning of your couch and chairs not only preserves the appearance of your furniture, it helps extend its life and prevents dirt from wearing down fibers, according to ChemDry, a Maryland-based company that focuses on upholstery and carpet cleaning. You can do this once-a-year chore yourself by renting a cleaning machine and the proper solutions or you can hire a professional. If you simply need to remove odors—here’s how to clean furniture with all-natural solutions!
Organize Storage Areas
When it comes to your annual home maintenance checklist, be sure to tackle storage areas such as the garage, attic and basement once a year. This will help you sort through items you no longer need so you can donate, recycle, sell or toss them. Give the floor a good sweep or mop and wipe down areas that are dirty or dusty.
Window treatments such as blinds and drapes can trap dust, odors and pet hair. While many curtains can be machine-washed, be sure to check the label (or check with the manufacturer) for washing instructions because some are dry-clean only. Blinds can be cleaned using a vacuum brush attachment or a wool duster, according to Galaxy Draperies. “Make sure to remove dust and dirt from the blinds in the direction of your blind. If you own horizontal blinds, clean the blinds across the slats,” the company says. Slip a soft (and clean!) sock onto your hand for dusting to get every nook and cranny. Window treatments in kitchens and bathrooms may need to be cleaned more often.
Organize the Pantry, Cupboards and Drawers
Add cleaning out the pantry, cupboards and drawers to your annual home maintenance checklist. Start by removing all items and wiping down the shelves. Before you start putting items back, make sure they aren’t expired and toss anything that looks suspicious. This is also a good time to get rid of items you no longer want or need. These pantry storage tips will help you instantly cut the clutter in the hardest working room in your house. When you’re done, you’ll have well-organized and clean kitchen storage areas.
Clean Behind Appliances
If you can’t see it, it’s clean right? Wrong! Once a year, move the stove, fridge, dryer and any other large appliances away from the wall and clean behind them. Annual cleaning will help your appliances last longer. Vacuum refrigerator coils, wipe surfaces with a slightly damp cloth and clean out the dryer vent. Finally, sweep the floor behind the appliance. Just remember to be careful not to disconnect any gas or water lines when moving appliances.
Check the Chimney, Fireplace and Vents
The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected at least once a year for soundness. Even if you don’t use your fireplace or chimney, check it annually for animal nests or other types of deterioration that could make the structures unsafe.
Wipe Down Walls, Baseboards and Trim
Give your walls, baseboards and trim a good cleaning once a year to remove dust, fur and hair. Move furniture away if needed and run the vacuum cleaner brush attachment over the walls and trim. Then, use a cloth and cleaning spray that is safe for painted walls to remove any fingerprints or stains.
Fall is a great time to clean gutters, as clogged gutters can cause moisture damage to roofs and lead to leaks inside your home. Be sure to use a sturdy ladder (ideally with a helper) and remove leaves, pine needles and other debris. If you don’t feel comfortable on a ladder, you can hire a pro gutter cleaning service.
Clean Carpets and Rugs
While regular vacuuming is essential for keeping dirt, pet dander and dust at a minimum, add deep cleaning your carpets and rugs to your annual home maintenance checklist. If you don’t have a carpet cleaning machine, you can rent one from a local hardware or home improvement store, or hire a professional service for this once-a-year task.
Wipe Down Light Fixtures
Chances are, you don’t dust your light fixtures regularly and that can lead to dust buildup and cob webs. Once a year, wipe down your light fixtures, including the shades and bulbs, with a microfiber cloth sprayed with a gentle cleaning or dusting spray. For fixtures that are high up and out of reach, try using the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner with an extendable attachment.