With the kids back in school, I am finally getting around to the ever-growing “to do” list of things I have been putting off all summer. On the list are the type of household chores that don’t need to be done daily or sometimes even weekly, but they are important all the same. Let’s call them the “As needed” or “Every-so-often-chores.”
When the scrubbing and cleaning and rinsing got started, I found myself
wondering, when was the last time I did this? The “Every-so-often” chores are
the ones that seem to slip through the grout, so to speak. So I ask, when was
the last time you…
Vacuumed your mattress?
This is something I started doing with
regularity after I saw a news program about bed bugs in hotel mattresses.
Although Secret Agent Man and I, and occasionally Mini Me, are the only ones who
sleep in our bed, it’s still a good idea to freshen up your mattress.
Dust, dander, and dust mites can build up in your mattress. I recommend
vacuuming your mattress every time you change your sheets, or at least every
time you flip your mattress. People who suffer from allergies may also find some
relief by making this a regular routine.
Vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner
or your Dyson, if you have it. Seeing all those particles come out of your
mattress and swirl around in the bag-less container is both horrifying and
satisfying at the same time.
Cleaned the refrigerator coils?
You already have the Dyson out, why
don’t you vacuum the inner and under-workings of the refrigerator?
Dust, lint, and even pet hair can collect on the coils of your refrigerator
causing it to run less efficiently or even overheat. Don’t wait until the
repairman is twenty minutes away. Make this a part of your “every-so-often”
routine by taking off the toe-grill or kick plate and using your vacuum
attachment to clean off the build-up. You just might find that your fridge will
now run quieter and cooler.
Washed off the outside of your house?
Does your house paint not
look as bright as it used to? Are there a lot of bug-filled cobwebs on the walls
and windows of the outside of your house? Unless you are going for the Addams
Family-look, wash off the outside of your house at least twice a year. Once, as
part of your spring cleaning and again at the end of summer when the flying bugs
have died off.
Attach a spray nozzle to the hose and spray, spray, spray. I recommend using
house water for this job. Irrigation water can leave a residue and spots on your
windows. If you want to be an over-achiever rent or buy a pressure washer. There
are also products out there made especially for cleaning the outside of the
You know me, I like my Feng Shui. This is a chore I repeat regularly
especially on the front entry and windows of the house, to send a signal to the
Universe that I am ready for more good things to enter into my life.
Cleaned and changed the batteries on your smoke detector?
know that there are more homes with smoke detectors that don’t work than homes
that do not have them at all?
Most smoke detector manufacturers will recommend that you change your
batteries once a year and check them once a month. Again, when you are changing
the batteries, use your vacuum attachment or mini-vac to remove the dust. This
chore is performed twice a year in the Payne household. The first weekend of
April and the first weekend in October, no fail.
Cleaned out your washing machine?
Are your towels still smelly
after laundering? Not removing them promptly from the washer to the dryer could
be one reason. The other reason is your washing machine may need to be cleaned.
Here is an easy and effective way to clean your washer:
1. Set washing machine on hot water wash, hot water rinse cycle, largest load
setting, longest run time, and start the washer.
2. Pour 1 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into running washing
3. When cycle is finished, run the cycle once more (omitting the vinegar and
baking soda) adding a regular size cup of your detergent to the washer for this
one. You can run it on the hot water cycle or not, it doesn't really matter much
this time--I use the hot again though.
4. While this cycle runs I use the opportunity to clean the outside with an
all-purpose cleaner and a sponge. Then I dry it with a soft towel so that it
shines like new!
Deodorized the garbage disposal?
That mystery smell in your kitchen
could be coming from the garbage disposal. There are many ways to do this. I
have read about using lemon peels, dish soap, or bleach, while running hot water
and the disposal. There is also the “volcano method” of running the disposal
while adding baking soda and vinegar. I have also used some store-bought,
disposal-safe, gel-filled balls that you drop in while the unit is in use.
The last step is very important. With disposal turned off, of course, you can
use a small brush or cleaning rag to clean under the rubber flange. You might be
surprised to find what was lurking under there.
So, if you have an image of me in my black, floral apron eating bonbons on
the couch all day while the kids are in school, think again. The pink fuzzy
slippers will have to wait until no mattress has gone unturned and every sink
has been de-stunked.
Need some cleaning tips for your “as needed” chores? Try these websites: