Welcome to the final week of the Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning, and congratulations—you made it! At this point, if you’ve kept up on your assignments, your house is probably now cleaner than it has ever been before. Almost every room has been thoroughly deep cleaned, your laundry pile has been tamed, and the cleaning schedule you created for your family in Week 1 is helping to keep it all that way. You’ve worked really hard to get to this point and it is time to pat yourself on the back!

Today, at the close of this series, as much as we want to sit back, celebrate, and enjoy the fruits of our labor, it is also time to think seriously about how we will maintain all this progress we’ve made. Because let’s face it, a clean house never stays that way without ongoing effort!

Furthermore, there are lots of cleaning & home maintenance tasks that don’t need to be done every week, but should be done regularly, whether it be once a month, once every quarter, or once a year. Having a long-term plan & schedule for those items helps us stay out of crisis mode, because preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper and easier than having to do a major repair because we didn’t take care of something the way we should have.

Part of being an adult means learning to take responsibility for the management of your household, so be sure to include your children in this process too! Remember that empowering them to learn good habits now will only help them prepare for living on their own, and it will make your life a whole lot easier!

In this final week we will be following a few steps for getting caught up on some key home maintenance & seasonal cleaning tasks that we didn’t tackle in the previous weeks. We will then finish by revisiting our cleaning schedule and making sure we have a solid plan for going forward. As always, please feel free to add your own tips & tricks in the comments below!

Let’s finish this thing!

Clean HVAC air filters will help keep your house clean and stop the spread of dirtyStep 1:  Inspect & change your HVAC air filter

Supplies needed: a ladder, new air filter in the proper size

How-To:  Climb ladder; open air filter vent and move pins to remove old air filter. If dirty and clogged, replace filter with new filter and move pins back to secure in place. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done every 1-3 months, depending on the amount of dust in your home.

Refrigerator collect dirt and dust so keeping them clean is important to your household healthStep 2:  Clean Refrigerator Coils

Supplies needed:  Vacuum with hose attachment; small brush or rag

How-To:  Unplug refrigerator. Move appliance away from the wall and thoroughly vacuum coils and fan to remove dust and dirt. Scrub away any stubborn dust with a small brush or rag. Don’t forget to re-plug in power cord! (For more detailed instructions, check out this Wiki-How article.) Add this task to Cleaning Checklist to be done once a year.

Your range hood filter could be dirtier than you know so clean it regularly to keep dirt at bay

Step 3:  Clean Your Range Hood & Filter

Supplies needed:  water-based oil de-greaser, old sponge or rag.

How-To:  Fill sink with hot water and degreaser. Remove filter and soak for 20-30 minutes, scrubbing if necessary. While filter is soaking, wipe down hood using sponge or rag dipped in degreaser mixture. Rinse filter and let dry completely, then replace. Add this task to your Monthly-Quarterly-Annual Checklist to be done once every quarter.

Keep the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fresh and workingStep 4:  Replace batteries in your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.

Supplies needed:  ladder, batteries.

How-To:  Climb ladder; remove old batteries & replace with new ones. Toss old batteries per your local waste removal service’s instructions. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done once every quarter.

Rotating your mattress helps make your mattress last longerStep 5:  Flip or Rotate Mattresses

Supplies needed: permanent marker & an extra person to assist.

How-To: Remove sheets & blankets from bed. Mark mattress with permanent marker to keep track of rotation schedule (some mattresses come with stickers for this purpose already attached). If using a pillow-top mattress, rotate mattress 180 degrees; otherwise flip mattress completely over to opposite side. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done once every quarter.

Clean outer windows and help the sunshine come inStep 6:  Wash Outside Windows

Supplies needed:  ladder, glass cleaner, squeegee, rag

How-To: Spray glass; run squeegee against glass from side to side, wiping blade with rag as necessary. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done once a year.

Clean behind your washer and dryer to clean up dust and lintStep 7: Clean Behind Washer & Dryer

Supplies needed:  vacuum with hose attachment

How-To:  Unplug appliances. Move away from the wall and thoroughly vacuum out dust, lint, and dirt. Plug back in. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done once a year.

Regular dusting is an easy way to maintain a clean house

Step 8:  Dust forgotten upper ledges & tops of furniture

Supplies needed:  hand-held vacuum or portable wet-dry, duster, ladder

How-To:   Climb ladder;  use hand-held vacuum & duster to tackle neglected upper ledges, such as those in a high-ceilinged entryway or living room. Add this task to your Cleaning Checklist to be done once every three months.

Step 9:  Update Monthly-Quarterly-Annual Checklist with Additional Cleaning Tasks

Supplies needed:  Cleaning Checklist

How-To:  Go through your checklists from each room and add the deep cleaning tasks to your seasonal schedule so that you will know when it is time to do them again.

Part Eight Assignment

Just to review, here is your Eighth assignment:

  • Set aside a few hours sometime this week to take care of these seasonal maintenance items. If your kids are old enough, have them help!
  • Update your Cleaning Checklist with the items from both today’s checklist and the previous weeks’ checklists.
  • Re-assess the Cleaning Schedule you created at the beginning of this series to make sure it is still a good fit for your family; make changes as necessary.

Cleaning Guide | Home Maintenance Tips | Seasonal Cleaning Ideas | Cleaning Schedule Checklist | Monthly-Quarterly-Annual Cleaning Checklist

The LWSL Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning:

The LWSL Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning:

Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Cleaning Supply 101
Part 3: How to Clean Your Living Space
Part 4: How to Clean Your Kitchen
Part 5: How to Clean Your Bathroom
Part 6: How to Clean Your Bedroom
Part 7: Laundry 101
Part 8: Home Maintenance & Seasonal Cleaning

*   *   *

Did I miss anything? What are your biggest home maintenance & seasonal cleaning challenges?

Ruth Soukup
Ruth Soukup is dedicated to helping people everywhere create a life they love by follwing their dreams and achieving their biggest goals. She is the host of the wildly popular Do It Scared podcast, as well as the founder of Living Well Spending Less® and Elite Blog Academy®. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Do It Scared®: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Obstacles, and Create a Life You Love, which was the inspiration for this book. She lives in Florida with her husband Chuck, and 2 daughters Maggie & Annie.
Ruth Soukup


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