Don’t you hate it when you look down at your oven and realize that you haven’t cleaned out the area underneath it for an embarrassingly long time? Or when you glance at your baseboards and become awestruck at the amount of dust on them? If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you might benefit from a cleaning and maintenance schedule that helps you remember to tackle certain tasks that don’t need to be done on a weekly basis, but they still need to get done.
1. Take inventory of your home’s cleaning and maintenance needs.
Grab a pen and notebook or your iPad and walk into every room of your home. List out all the things that need to be done. Leave out your weekly cleaning tasks; you don’t want to clutter up your cleaning and maintenance schedule with routine cleaning that you already know to do.
2. Get some more cleaning and maintenance ideas from the pros.
Some aspects of our home are often overlooked when we think about cleaning and maintenance, such as the hot water heater. Look over Martha Stewart’s cleaning checklists and the handy maintenance checklists at Apartment Therapy and Lifehacker. Add tasks that apply to you to your list.
3. Divide your list into categories: biweekly, monthly, seasonal, biannual, and annual.
These categories will help you fill out your cleaning and maintenance schedule. And if you do an annual spring cleaning blitz, you might want to create a separate category for that.
4. Add all of your cleaning and maintenance tasks to a calendar.
If you’re like me and you prefer to write (and cross off) your tasks on paper with a nice pen, purchase a separate calendar for all of your cleaning and maintenance chores. You could hang up a simple calendar in your pantry or linen closet or get a pretty planner. However, if you prefer to use technology, you could add tasks to a calendar application, such as iCal or Google Calendar. Go to this article and find a few links to electronic calendars that already have some home maintenance tasks scheduled for you. You can add them and then adjust it to your preferences. So easy! There are also several apps that you can download on your smart phone or tablet. Remember The Milk is a popular app that comes highly recommended, since it will remind you of tasks that you haven’t done yet, even if the date has already come and gone.
5. Test out your new cleaning and maintenance schedule.
Finally, it’s time to actually clean and maintain your home! Follow the calendar as best as you can and test out the timing of your tasks. As you go, adjust your calendar as much as you can — maybe you’re cleaning out the refrigerator too many times, so you change it from biweekly to monthly, for instance — and by 2015, you’ll have a complete cleaning and maintenance schedule that is perfectly suited to your needs and your home! I’m so inspired right now that I’m going to start my own cleaning and maintenance schedule right now.