Annual once-over cleaning checklist- 10 things you should clean at least once a year

A clean house gives me peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment.  Sure, I try to keep my house clean and tidy on a regular basis, but I tend to forget about the less obvious places to clean rather than the usual floors, countertops, toilets, and mirrors.  Though these places are not pertinent to tackle on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis, I like to give my whole house a deep clean at least once a year and really focus on the neglected cleaning tasks.  Such as….

  1.  Baseboards and trim
    • My most forgotten about thing to clean.  Yes, its no fun and they’re the least of your worries, but they are dust magnets.  I like to use a dryer sheet.
  2. Door Handles and light switches
    • I feel like I should do this more than once a year!  When I sit and think about how many times we touch the same doors, knobs, and light switches and all the germs that must be collecting on them, it give me the creeps!  Definitely give them a good rub down with some anti-bacterial cleaner (like Clorox wipes)
  3. Vents
    • Another forgotten item are the return air vents!  I didn’t know how dirty mine were until I went to paint one weekend (hint: paint your return air vents the same color as the surrounding walls to make them less obvious).  The amount of dust on this one particular vent, was mind-blowing.  Needless to say, I now clean every return air vent at least once a year.
  4. Windows
    • I generally clean the “most used” windows one or twice a month.  For example our front storm door, back and downstairs sliding glass doors, and the main living room windows.  The rest get neglected, especially the outside windows.
  5. Oven
    • Yes, I know most ovens have a self-cleaning option, but that wont get ALL the grease off.  How in the world do I always manage to get splatters on the INSIDE of door glass…you know, in between the two layers of glass?!  Never fails.
  6. Blinds
    1. Don’t waste money on an expensive blind cleaner, wrap a washcloth around the end of cooking tongs and secure them with a rubber band.
  7. Fan Blades
    • Ever waited so long to clean the fan blades that dust bunnies went flying when you turned on the fan?  Guilty! Add it to the list.
  8. Cabinet Fronts
    • I don’t know about you, but my kids’ finger and handprints end up on everything, especially our dark cabinets.  Though they do make cabinet cleaner, I find it easiest to wash them with warm soapy water.
  9. Garage Floors
    • Mix a little bleach and warm water and hose out the garage floor to get rid of the mud, oil, and winter salt grime on your garage floor.
  10. Couch/Love Seat/Chairs
    • Got to love the buried treasures you’ll find once you remove the couch cushions- money, fruit snacks, puzzle pieces, jewelry, hair ties, cheerios…. Take the time to vacuum the cushions too!  Of all the things that really needs cleaned, its the living room furniture!

In order to stay on top of our cleaning routine, we try to dust, mop the floors, and clean the countertops, stove top, carpets, and bed linens once a week.  And, yes, my husband cleans…. admittedly more than me!


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