Some tasks only need to be done once or twice a year. The problem is that we forget to do them once or twice a year. Or else, we save it all up for spring cleaning which makes spring cleaning such a daunting chore that it doesn’t occur, either. The best plan is to break annual and seasonal tasks down by month and attack them on a scheduled basis.
Nothing gets too backed up and things eventually get done. I also found that concentrating on one room each month is more rewarding because you can really see results.
Here’s the schedule for July maintenance that has worked for me:
1 Hold a garage sale:The best way to entice your out-of-school youngsters to help clean the garage is to promise them a garage sale. They can sell anything they don’t want to keep. And they can spend the proceeds anyway they like. If you’re really nice, you can let them split up your profits, too.
2 So long, Buzz:This is a perfect time to clean out toy boxes and closets. Garage sales provide a great decluttering incentive.
3 Reorganize the survivors:Help the kids organize remaining toys into sensible categories. Put all the Lego stuff together in one bin; all the American Girl dolls and accessories in another. Board games get a special place, too. Now when the kids want to play, they only need to haul out one box.
4 Mirror, mirror on the wall…Clean mirrors, prints, artwork, photographs, shelves … anything that hangs on the wall. These tips for making glass, windows and light fixtures sparkling clean can help.
5 De fur the furniture:Does Puff always plop on the chenille sofa? Yeah, we could tell. Remove excess fluff with a damp sponge.
6 Getting in on the ground floor:Enlist your youngest to clean the baseboards throughout the house. Just stick a white sock on her hand and send her on her way. She is the closest to the floor, after all.
7 Baby, it’s light outside:Clean outdoor light fixtures. Replace dim bulbs.
8 Sanitize pet areas:How long has it been since you took a little Clorox to the hamster’s cage? Team up with the kids and help them clean pet cages, beds, bedding, dishes, litter boxes, etc. Your house should look cleaner and smell better, too.
9 Save your energy: Summer air conditioning puts additional strain on our energy bill so try to save power in other areas. Vacuum under and behind the refrigerator to make it run more efficiently. Set the water heater at 120 F. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Remind the kids to keep the doors closed.
10 How old are those olives?Clean the fridge and get rid of old condiments, dressings, etc. Nothing lasts forever – not even mustard.
Now, relax, and savor the pleasures of July!