Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Deep Cleaning Schedule

Jay and I are pretty clean people, and we always complete basic household chores like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, and doing laundry on a weekly basis.  We both do quick cleans throughout the week and generally keep most of our clutter under control.  I love the feeling of a clean and organized home!

There are a few areas, however, that we really tend to let go - tasks like washing windows, cleaning the insides of appliances, or wiping out the fridge, to name a few.  They don't need to be done all the time, but that doesn't mean one should never do them. 

This came to my attention last weekend, when I noticed that our oven had some gunk on the inside that was starting to smell like a marshmallow that had fallen into a campfire.  Our oven has a "self-clean" button (as I'm pretty sure most do), but I had never run a cleaning cycle on it (nor on any other oven ever in my life).  Since the inside of this appliance is out of sight about 99 percent of the time, apparently it has also been out-of-mind for me. 

I decided that cleaning the oven was something I really needed to work into my schedule every few months, and that there were probably a lot of other chores along the same lines that I had been neglecting.  They may not need to be done all the time, they still need to be done on occasion.  And "on occasion" means more than once every five years.

I came up with a list of extra chores that don't always get the attention they deserve.  Then, I put together a spreadsheet with the chores in one column and the date completed in another.  I am going to try to choose one or two of these extra tasks each week and then record the date on the spreadsheet (which I have shared with Jay through Google Drive, in case he wants to participate).  This way, I will know exactly how long ago each job was completed, and I can choose to do chores that haven't been tended to recently.

Here is the list I came up with:
  • Make cleaning supplies - This is something I always put off, and I think it would be a lot easier if I set aside some time to make my laundry detergent, shower cleaner, etc. all at once. 
  • Clean appliances - Vinegar works great for cleaning dishwashers, microwaves, and washing machines. 
  • Clean out cars - Even if it just means taking them to the car wash...it's something I really have to make myself do. 
  • Wipe down cabinets/appliances - I use a natural all-purpose cleaner on the cabinets and a stainless steel microfiber cloth on the appliances.
  • Wipe down baseboards/trim/doors - These are all white in our house, so a quick wipe-down really makes a difference.  
  • Clean out one drawer or shelf - The junk drawer can always use it.
  • Clean out fridge and freezer - It is amazing what you'll find hidden in the back. 
  • Deep clean oven - Now that I know how to do this, I vow to do it more often.
  • Clean out one closet - It's amazing how quickly they all fill-up. 
  • Wash windows - I love these new miracle glass and mirror cloths I bought on Amazon that require nothing but water!
  • Go through bathroom toiletries - It's good to reorganize and toss the expired stuff once in a while. 
  • Clean out pantry - More organizing and tossing.
  • Spot clean upholstery and carpets - It doesn't take long for our beige couches to get dirty with two dogs. 
  • Purge or file all excess papers - This could also include going through the file cabinet, which is long overdue for us.
  • Wash throws and dog beds - It's easy to overlook, but they get stinky after a while.
  • Clean coffee makers - A vinegar/water cycle does a great job.  You can see my method here
  • Clean makeup brushes - I also show an easy method for this here
  • Disinfect/wipe out trash cans - Kind of like the oven, just because you can't see it doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.  
And here is the plan reduced to a cuter, simpler format:
The oven looks one hundred times better now that it has been cleaned!  I wish I had taken "before" and "after" photos.

On the agenda for this weekend - clean coffee makers (there is some suspicious gunk in the water chamber of our Keurig) and maybe wash cars.

Happy cleaning!

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