Cleaning & Organizing
9 Things All Smart Homeowners Should Do Once a Week
These weekly tune-ups will keep your home clean and maintained.
Do a once-over
“The biggest thing you could do every week on the inside of a house is quickly taking an assessment of the house and determining what you need to add to your schedule,” says Elizabeth Dodson, co-founder of home maintenance software company HomeZada. Do you notice any scuffed paint? Worn-out caulking letting air outside? Unruly hedges? Once you know what projects you’ll need to tackle, plan out which ones you’ll realistically have time for this week. Deciding ahead of time will make you less overwhelmed when chore time rolls around. Make sure these 31 home improvement projects that double the value of your home go on your list, too.
Throw out five things
De-cluttering your entire house in one fell swoop might be overwhelming, but vowing to toss or put away just five objects will seem much more doable, says Maeve Richmond, founder and coach of organizing company Maeve’s Method. “I call it Toss Five, which makes it a little bit of a game,” she says. Once you look for expired foods, old receipts, junk mail, dirty socks, and other useless items, it won’t take long to gather all five and be well on your way to a de-cluttered home. Start by tossing these 43 useless things you really need to get rid of.
Clean your stove’s vent
Most homeowners are already good about wiping down their stovetop on at least a weekly basis, but don’t stop there. Remove the overhead vent and give it a rinse to remove the grease and food residue buildup. “That can prevent fire,” says Dodson. “Your food might taste better, too.” Here are 17 more things you need to stop forgetting to clean.
Clear out your “drop zone”
Most homes have one area where clutter starts to build up, whether it’s mail building up on the kitchen table or a pile of clothes on a bedroom chair. While it’s better to contain the clutter than to let it spill all over the house, that buildup can get overwhelming. “I encourage people to get their stuff in the ‘drop zone’ and then go back and restore order there,” says Richmond. “I make a point to put those things away when I have a breath.” Check out these other 11 cleaning hacks lazy people will appreciate.
Of course, you know you need to vacuum when you start seeing pet dander and dirt building up, but that’s not the only reason you should clean your floors. “Not only are you moving dust and dirt from the floors, but you’re protecting your HVAC filters,” says Dodson. If you aren’t changing your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters or vacuuming the floors frequently enough, pet hair and other particles can build up and take a toll on the system, she says.
Water your plants
“A dried-up houseplant is a pretty sorry sight to see,” says Richmond. By committing one day a week to checking your plants, even homeowners without a green thumb can keep houseplants healthy. See if your plants are thirsty, and pick up any fallen leaves from the soil, says Richmond. Find out which 14 things smart homeowners do once a month.
Mow the lawn
You might be able to put it off in the winter, but pulling out the lawnmower every week that you have good weather will keep your yard from getting unruly, says Dodson. Plus, it’s better for your equipment. “It could cause problems with the lawnmower if you wait too long,” she says. The long grass could get caught in the blades, making the task more difficult than it would have been if you kept up with maintenance.
Clear your surfaces
To keep clutter from getting overwhelming, take a moment each week to “sweep” surfaces in at least one room. “Take a trip around the room and remove easy-to-grab clutter from tabletops and shelves,” she says. Once the objects are out of the way, go over those surfaces with a dusting pad to keep those areas clean and tidy. Don’t miss these other 26 secrets personal organizers won’t tell you for free.
Change your bathroom towels
Even if you don’t have time to scrub your bathtub, sink, toilet, and floor every week, make sure you at least tackle the dirty towels. “Keeping towels tidy in the bathroom as a weekly process is an easy way to … bring freshness and tidiness to a bathroom,” says Richmond. Replace any dirty towels with new ones, and make sure the clean ones are folded or hung nicely in place. Learn the 16 things smart homeowners do once a year.