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Now that the new year is here, you may want to get a jump start on giving your house a thorough cleaning.
While you may be tempted to wait until the spring season to clean your home, the new year is arguably a better time to do it because you’re already spending a lot more time indoors.
Even if you stick to just a few New Year cleaning resolutions, when spring time hits you’ll be free to enjoy the nicer weather without any chores hanging over your head.
To help you start off the new year right, we’ve put together a list of the top house cleaning resolutions for you to use.
Choose a weekend to tackle all of these areas at once to get them over and done with or feel free to bookmark this page and come back as you check each item off of your list.
It’s time to toss those holiday leftovers and anything else that has been wasting away inside your fridge. Get rid of old condiments and food products that you haven’t used within the last month. Start fresh with a clean slate for the new year.
Your fridge is probably a lot dirtier than you think. Wipe off the shelves and door racks using an all-purpose cleaner and paper towels. Seriously, give it a deep clean. There could be mold or bacteria growing on them. Wash the vegetable bins in the sink and let them air dry before putting them back in their place.
Another good resolution for the new year is to go drawer by drawer and toss out items that have landed their and have been long forgotten. If your drawers are extremely cluttered and messy, consider purchasing drawer organizers to keep it clutter-free in the new year.
Over time, grease and smoke from cooking can collect on the cabinets within your kitchen. Rub your finger across the cabinet doors closest to the range and you’ll likely discover a sticky film.
Cleaning and decreasing your cabinets is not hard. Dish soap is the cheapest, most efficient option. Mix a few drops with some water and user paper towels to scrub the grease off. For stubborn spots use a soft bristle toothbrush.
Have you ever given your oven a deep clean? If not, the new year is the best time to do it. Black, sticky grime easily builds up over time and can make your oven look disgusting.
Some ovens have a self-cleaning function, but it often doesn’t work as well as you want it to and manual scrubbing is still necessary. Your next best option is to use a special oven cleaner that you spray on and let sit for a few hours. The only issue here is that some of these cleaners have harsh chemicals and the fumes they emit can be hard to handle.
The safest way to clean your oven is to use a natural DIY cleaner like this one from The Kitchn.
- In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water until you get a spreadable toothpaste consistency. 3tbps seems to be a good starting point.
Remove the oven racks and spread the paste on the entire interior surface, but NOT on the heating elements. Let it sit for at least 12 hours. Overnight is best.
In the morning, use damp dish cloth to wipe up the dried cleaning agent, and long with it the filthy grime. For areas that are tough to clean up, put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spray these spots. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and make a foam.
Once the cleaning process is complete, replace the oven racks and you’re good to go!
Tub and Shower
Let’s face it, cleaning the tub and shower is the furthest thing from our minds after we have a nice bath. However, mold and mildew easily build up in these areas if they are not cleaned regularly.
Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile cleaner is a safe choice and works well. You can also make your own household cleaning solution using this recipe from Genius Kitchen:
- In a squirt bottle, mix 12 ounces of white vinegar with 12 ounces of liquid dish soap
For tough soap scum, spray the area and let your cleaning solution sit overnight. Then, scrub and rinse with water.
Dirt loves to cling to grout. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to clean than you may think.
Commercial grout cleaners are available, but you might want to try this DIY grout cleaner recipe from Bob Vila first. It can save you a couple of bucks and you may already have the ingredients laying around the house.
- Empty and clean out a squeeze top container, like a ketchup bottle.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda
- Add 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide
- Add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
- Shake well
Use the squeeze-top bottle to apply a thin bead of the solution to the grout lines. Let it sit for 10 minutes, scrub and rinse with water. For stubborn stains, repeat this process and let the cleaner sit for longer periods of time.
The new year is a great time to go through your bookshelves and donate any books that you’re not going to read again. It’s also a good idea to purge your magazine and newspaper collections too.
The turn of the calendar year is a great time to do a deep clean of your floors, especially the areas underneath furniture. These spots usually get passed by during routine vacuuming and sweeping, so take care of them at the start of the new year.
You may even be surprised at some of the lost objects you may find under your furniture.
TV Screens and Picture Frames
Layers of dust pile up on TV screens and picture frames, so give them a deep clean using a damp paper towel. Don’t use a dry towel or feather duster because it will just spread the dust around the room.
Invest in an Air Purifier
Fighting dust seems to be a never ending battle in a living room. That is, unless you have an air purifier.
An air purifier works to filter the air that’s inside your living room by trapping the dust and then blowing out clean air. If left running, you’ll find that your furniture and surfaces stay a lot more clean. You’ll also notice that it’s easier to breathe inside your home.
If this sounds appealing to you, take a look at our page explains more about using an air purifier for dust control.
Air purifiers remove a lot more than just dust from the air. They’re also excellent at capturing other harmful particles that may be getting into your lungs. These devices are perfect for anyone who has asthma, suffers from allergies, has pets or lives with a smoker.
For more information about those conditions, check out these dedicated page:
- Using air purifiers for asthma
- Using air purifiers for allergies
- Using air purifiers for pets
- Using air purifiers for smoke
Investing in an air purifier this year is a great step to improving your health and cutting down on the need to clean indoors.
Is your mattress sagging or feeling uneven? Have you ever rotated or flipped it?
Rotating and flipping your mattress is the best way to increase its lifespan. By doing this, you even out the pressure you put on it when sleeping.
Keep in mind that not all mattresses can be flipped. Usually, you can tell just by looking at the design of your mattress if it can be flipped or not. If you can’t distinguish the top from the bottom (i.e. both sides have a pillow top), then it can likely be flipped. If only one side looks comfy (i.e. has a pillow top), then it probably can’t be flipped.
If your mattress is flippable, great! If not, you can still rotate it.
In fact, the best method of extending the life of your mattress is to rotate and flip it every three months. Doing this is easy. Just rotate the mattress so the head is now at the foot of the bed. Then, flip it over so the top is now on the bottom.
If flipping and rotating a mattress is hard for you to visualize, there is a nice graphic on the European Bedding blog that shows the process.
Cleaning the bed sheets is something many of us do on a regular basis, but what about your comforter, duvet cover and other special bedding materials? Do they get the attention that they deserve too?
Dust, dust mites and other particles love to bury themselves deep inside your bedding. So, take the time to wash all of your bedding materials on the hot-cycle to kill off any germs or pests.
Another option is to invest in dust mite proof pillow cases, sheets and mattress cover. These tightly woven materials keep the bugs from living in your bed. This tip was featured in our other article on incredible dusting tips and tricks you have to try.
Additionally, if you have trouble sleeping at night, you may want to try adding an air purifier to your bedroom. We previously mentioned what this device does above, but it can also work wonders for sleep. The cleaner, fresher air you breathe at night, the more comfortable you’ll sleep. Give one a try if you haven’t done so already.
One of your new year cleaning resolutions should be to clean out your closest and donate anything you haven’t worn within the last year. We know it may be tough to part with that favorite shirt, dress or pair of shoes you “may wear” one day, but take our advice and purge, purge, and purge some more!
The less cluttered your closets are, the better you’ll feel. You’ll also cut down on the time it takes to get ready, since there will be less options to sift through.
Throughout the House
Air Conditioning Vents
Dust bunnies and allergens loves to collect on air conditioning vents. What’s worse is that whenever you turn a central AC system on these particles get pushed all around the house.
One of your household resolutions should be to clean these vents. Most vents easily pop out of place or just need one small screw removed. After removing the vents, place them in a sink full of hot water and a few squirts of dish soap to soak. After a few minutes, wipe the vent clean with a rag, dry and replace.
Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs trap (and hold) dirt, dust, pet dander and other allergens. If you don’t own a vacuum with a HEPA filter, now is a good time to upgrade your appliance to one that does have it. The HEPA filter traps microscopic particles that regular vacuum cleaners can’t collect.
Like an air purifier, a HEPA vacuum cleaner reducing the harmful particles that could otherwise end up inside your lungs or make you sick.
To deodorize your carpeting, sprinkle some baking soda on the entire area and let it sit for an hour or two. Then, vacuum it up and enjoy the freshness!
This new year make it a resolution to actually clean all of the windows in your house. Yes, it may be daunting, but once you do it you’ll be amazed out how much more brighter and inviting your home will feel.
As an added tip, go to your local automotive store and purchase some windshield rain repellent, like Rain-X. Spray this stuff on your windows and it will help repel fingerprints, dust and dirt, so you won’t have to clean them as often.
The baseboards around your home are the lowest point besides the floor. This makes them a prime location for collecting dust particles that fall from the air.
Unless they’re really filthy and dinged up, all you’ll need is a damp washcloth to clean the baseboards. Make this task one of your New Year’s resolutions an be sure to hit every room.
In one of our other posts, Easy Home Improvement Resolutions for the New Year, we stressed how important is to clean out your dryer vent each year. Lint and other debris collect in this area and can clog the exhaust system. If too much exhaust gas backs up, it can cause a household fire.
Ensure that your home stays safe this new year by cleaning out the dryer vent and hose. The process is quite simple to do and you may even notice an improvement in dryer’s efficiency.