As the winter holidays draw to a close, it’s time to flip the calendar and prepare for a new year. For many of us, the new year represents an opportunity to remedy past mistakes and start things anew with a clean slate. New Year’s resolutions are goals we set to encourage change and growth, assuring ourselves that, whether we feel we succeeded or failed in the previous year, we’ll do even better in the next 12 months.
As you plan out your New Year’s resolutions this year, your home deserves a spot (or several) near the top of the list. Rather than short bursts of frantic cleaning, your home requires regular care and maintenance. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for New Year’s resolutions in the different parts of your home:
Floors and Walls
While we will break down most entries into various rooms, there are a few tasks that extend to all or most rooms in the house. To prevent bigger problems later, you should set up a steady maintenance routine for all the floors and walls in your home.
Clean your walls about once a month, as necessary, though depending on your climate and weather, that number could be higher or lower. If you tend to keep your windows open in the spring and summer, particularly if your area has heavy pollen, cleanings should probably be increased to every week. If you have children with sticky fingers, make sure to do regular spot checks to clean up problem areas before they set in. Pay attention to the corners in particular, along with both the ceiling and the floor, and remove any cobwebs You can wrap the adhesive tape (duct tape works well) around an old paint roller for a helpful tool. A vacuum with attachments can make the job even easier.
Sweep hardwood and tile floors weekly to prevent dirt accumulating and getting ground into the floor. Meanwhile, carpets and rugs should be vacuumed every week. Industry professionals also recommend scheduling professional cleanings every 3 to 6 months. Carpets and rugs serve as a natural filter for allergens and bacteria, but over time they can be filled up, making them less effective. A professional service like Precision Chem-Dry can renew your carpets, making them look like they did when they were new and keeping them fresh and your home more healthy.
Living Room / Den
One of the easiest ways to ensure your living room will become an unbelievable mess is to slowly let clutter accumulate. It begins with a pair of shoes or socks in the middle of the floor, but can quickly escalate to piles of junk that makes it impossible to clean anything else. Make a point to remove anything that doesn’t belong as soon as possible; otherwise, the clutter will grow rapidly. This will make it easier to perform other cleaning tasks like vacuuming, and you can avoid an overwhelming mess later on.
Just like your carpets, upholstered furniture should be cleaned by professionals on a regular basis. Ideally, it is recommended to professionally clean your upholstery once or twice a year.
Don’t neglect the dusting, either. It may seem like there is no dust to worry about, but dust accumulates a little bit at a time until suddenly, it seems like your house is covered in it overnight. Even if it seems invisible, it’s there. Don’t forget to dust behind the furniture and large electronics like television. A little effort now can go a long way.
The kitchen is the source of some of the biggest messes in the house, but proper maintenance can easily prevent them from getting out of hand. Handle spills immediately when possible. Allowing them to sit allows stains to set and cause potentially permanent stains on the counter or floor. Meanwhile, food spills can be a perfect spot for bacteria to grow, which you definitely don’t want around your food preparation.
For the best results, mop your floors at least every two weeks. If you have children or pets, you will need to do so more regularly. If you have stone tiles, maintain them with regular mopping, but you should also schedule a professional cleaning every few months to keep those areas free from dirt, grime and looking new.
While many experts recommend changing your sheets every one to two weeks, many of us often get distracted, eventually realizing that it’s been four months or longer since the last time we changed the sheets.
Once a week, run a duster along with your blinds, or even better yet, a vacuum with a brush attachment. Then, once or twice a year, do a more thorough cleaning with a soft cloth. Make sure you keep dirty laundry in a hamper and make sure that laundry is done regularly, rather than allowed to sit for a while.
Every few days, check the sink for any build-up and clean any built-up residue with a damp cloth or paper towel. Keep an eye on your fixtures, both in the sink and in your tub or shower, for any calcium build-up due to hard water. If you have a water softener, keeping it thoroughly stocked can prevent this kind of buildup from even happening.
A quick scrub once a week with a disposable toilet scrubber can prevent your toilet from developing into a huge mess. Mop the floors every week or two if possible, and swap out your towels for new ones on a regular basis to prevent bacterial growth. Professionally clean the tile surfaces in your bathrooms a couple of times a year to keep them free from dirt, grime and bacteria build-up.
Hallways and Entrances
In areas where you have a particularly high amount of foot traffic, you’ll want to pay special attention to carpets and rugs. Dirt and allergens tend to accumulate around doorways leading outside, and from there, it can get tracked to every other room in the house. Do a simple sweep around the entrance every couple of days to catch any dust before it accumulates and spreads. Vacuum hallways and heavy foot-traffic areas slightly more often than your main rooms, because dirt can build up, dulling the look of your carpets. Make sure to dust around and behind wall art, and don’t forget to dust behind running tables and other hallway furniture.
By starting the new year off properly, you can keep your home looking fresh without a lot of heavy effort. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By resolving to perform proper maintenance, you can prevent yourself from getting stuck doing much more intense cleaning work in the future.