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Year-Round Basic Home Cleaning & Maintenance Guide

by CustomHomes on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

home cleaning and maintenance guideOwning a home requires plenty of cleaning and maintenance throughout the year. Often, people purchase homes without considering the everyday repair costs home ownership will entail. With a bit of planning, however, you can have a home that is clean and maintained well, without added stress or worry. Here are a few ways you can keep your home safe from January to December:

January

After post-holiday cleanup, you’ll want to check your major appliances and deep clean a few areas to start the new year off right:

  • Change HVAC filters
  • Test water heater’s pressure relief valve
  • Organize and pack holiday decorations
  • Vacuum behind refrigerator and dust coils
  • Clean stove and oven
  • Clean garbage disposal with ice, baking soda, and citrus peels
  • Use a dryer vent brush kit to clean drying machine
  • Flip mattresses
  • Remove shower heads and soak them in white vinegar for three to five minutes
  • Rearrange furniture

February

While you and your family are creating Valentines and building snowmen, don’t forget about your house! Dust certain parts of your home and wash all the bedding to freshen your home in the dead of winter.

  • Rent or buy carpet washer and wash carpets
  • Clean and vacuum curtains
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Wash bath mats in washing machine in hot water
  • Vacuum and wash pet beds
  • Dust window blinds
  • Check caulking around showers and baths. Replace as needed
  • Wipe/dust all wall hangings and paintings
  • Clean ceiling fans and lighting fixtures
  • Wash duvet covers, pillows, and blankets

March

Spring is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to check smoke detectors and clean electronics and appliances. Don’t forget to wash the interior and exterior of windows on a nice day as well.

  • Check batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check and clean range hood fan
  • Dust cabinets and furniture
  • Vacuum/dust walls and ceilings
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Check charge on fire extinguisher
  • Clean and prepare your lawn mower for the spring and summer
  • Begin plotting out gardens and landscaping
  • Wash interior and exterior of windows
  • Clean light switches and cover plates

April

April showers mean May flowers! It also means scheduling a service check for your HVAC system and garden preparation.

  • Scheduling air conditioning service check
  • Aerate and fertilize lawn
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Walk around exterior looking for issues (lost shingles, warped siding, etc.)
  • Vacuum and dust HVAC system
  • Clean and test grill before using it
  • Buy propane or charcoal for your grill
  • Clean and test fire pit
  • Prep fire pit for summer
  • Wax hardwood flooring

May

May is a beautiful time of the year to stop and appreciate the wildflowers. While you’re weeding your garden, be sure to also think about power washing the exterior of your home and donating your unwanted items. A fresh start to a new season can make your home feel brand new!

  • Put away winter clothes
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Clean repair, and refinish deck
  • Place plants and water them every day it doesn’t rain
  • Check for leaks and cracks in plumbing
  • Clean and sharpen garbage disposal
  • Deep clean grout in main bathroom
  • Hose down exterior of your home
  • Donate unwanted items (clothes, appliances, etc.)

June

As summer heats up, make sure to take stock of your refrigerator, garage, and cleaning products. Then, you will be ready to take on the dog days of summer with a clean and well-prepared home!

  • Remove old paints and flammables from your home
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Test refrigerator door tightness (Put a dollar in between the door and the opening. If you can slide it out the door is too loose)
  • Remove old and expired cleaning and toiletry products
  • Clean out fridge
  • Wipe/clean all door knobs and handles
  • Wash mattress cover
  • Clean indoor trash cans
  • Clean outdoor trash cans
  • Clean fixtures and stainless appliances in kitchen

July

As our country celebrates its independence, celebrate your independence from clutter! Weed flower beds, clean out chachkies, and organize the attic, basement, or garage. You’ll be amazed by the sudden feeling of freedom.

  • Change HVAC filters
  • Move bed and vacuum underneath bed
  • Clean out expired medications
  • Weed flower beds
  • Mulch garden if needed
  • Harvest vegetables, flowers, and herbs
  • Weed whack perimeter of property and anywhere near the home that is hard to mow
  • Prep and plan for fall gardening
  • Clean out attic, basement, or garage
  • Lube garage door track

August

While you’re harvesting this summer’s bounty, you should consider updating your spice rack with newly dried herbs and planting fall and winter vegetables. Afterward, you will be stocked all year round!

  • Pick, pickle, and preserve garden produce
  • Dry herb harvest
  • Update spice rack
  • Plant fall and winter vegetables
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Plan cover crop
  • Place compost/fertilizer
  • Clean oven
  • Clean bathtub
  • Wipe down interior and exterior of doors

September

Now that there is a chill in the air, it’s time to work on winterizing your AC system and inspecting your roof for possible loose shingles. After that, you won’t have any snowy surprises this winter.

  • Place fall plants in planters on porch and/or doorstep
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Bring tender plants like Rosemary into the home
  • Flush hot water heater
  • Winterize AC system
  • Prep heating system for winter
  • Inspect roof for possible loose shingles
  • Check weatherstripping
  • Wash pillows and bedding
  • Clean fireplace and chimney

October

While you prepare for Halloween – with extra candy and scary movies – you should also consider cleaning gutters and trimming tree limbs. Then, you don’t have to worry about your gutters being clogged during the first snowfall; or tree limbs falling on your car from the weight of the snow.

  • Rake and mulch leaves
  • Empty and put away garden hoses and other garden accessories
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Add fall decor such as mums and pumpkins
  • Clean and store outdoor furniture
  • Go through closets and donate unwanted clothing, toys, appliances, etc.
  • Clean gutters
  • Clean out freezer and pantry
  • Trim tree limbs

November

Now that the leaves have changed, and everyone is heading home for Thanksgiving, you may want to consider checking your water pressure and changing your HVAC filters. This will help to ensure you won’t have a disaster waiting for you when you come home.

  • Change HVAC filters
  • Check water pressure
  • Clean microwave
  • Vacuum mattress
  • Deep clean furniture
  • Organize cleaning products and take inventory
  • Throw away broken furniture
  • Clean/wipe baseboards and molding
  • Dust/wash walls to clear out cobwebs and dust
  • Donate unwanted knick knacks

December

Now that the holidays are right around the corner, it’s time to prep the guest lodgings and prepare the kitchen for the added traffic. This means you and your holiday guests will be comfortable throughout their stay.

  • Prepare home for possible holiday guests
  • Deep clean kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Donate unwanted plates, mugs, and bowls
  • Clean refrigerator coils
  • Clean kitchen cabinets
  • Deep clean toilets and sinks
  • Clean HVAC vents
  • Change/clean guest bed linens
  • Prepare/ purchase toiletries for guests

Now that you have a list of year-round to-dos, check it off as you go, knowing your home is safe and stunning because of it. You will be amazed by the impact these small changes have on you, your loved ones, and your home.

+Ken Uhrich is lead Estimator and Purchaser at Custom Home Group, a Design/Build company, located in Lancaster County, PA. You can follow Ken on Twitter: @kuhrich Or visit his company website: www.customhomegroup.com