Most of us attempt a Marie Kondo–style home overhaul only once or twice a year. But to keep your place in tiptop shape year-round, there are certain maintenance tasks that you should perform on a weekly basis. Regular upkeep of appliances, floors, and fixtures will not only create a clean, safe environment, but it’ll also help you avoid costly repairs and premature replacements.
Grab your gloves and get ready to get tidying—these are the home maintenance tasks that you should tackle every week.
Clean the floors
Not to gross you out, but household dust can contain lint, dead skin cells, decomposing insects, food crumbs, and whatever comes in the house on the bottoms of your shoes. That’s why dusting and vacuuming on a weekly basis is crucial to keeping your environment more sanitary.
“Removing dust means you get rid of one of your home’s most prevalent pollutants,” says Marla Mock, vice president of operations at Aire Serv.
To ensure that you trap dust instead of spreading it around, she recommends dusting with a wet rag or electrostatic cloth. “Also, when you vacuum, turn the thermostat setting to ‘on’ so the fan blows continuously, drawing up dusty air and filtering it before sending it back into the air you breathe,” she says.
Check for mold
Mold grows quickly, so you should be diligent and check for any signs of mold in your home.
“Mold and mildew are most commonly found in damp environments like laundry rooms and bathrooms, and exposure can cause coughing and sneezing, or exacerbate respiratory issues like allergies and asthma,” says Peter Duncanson, director of commercial operations at ServiceMaster Restore. “It’s important to monitor appliances that use large quantities of water, like dishwashers and washing machines, on a weekly basis.”
Duncanson also recommends washing your shower curtains and bathroom window treatments once a week as mold can grow there, too.
Inspect your HVAC
To ensure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or HVAC, system runs at maximum efficiency, you need to check the outdoor portion of your unit regularly.
“Inspecting it on a weekly basis will ensure that it is clean and free of debris, grass clippings, and leaves,” says Mock. “Especially in spring/summer, when landscaping is at its peak, this will help to maximize airflow and performance.”
Check for debris protruding from the cabinet or in the base pan, and for dirt on the coils. Trim back any shrubs that grow within 3 feet of the unit to ensure that they don’t restrict airflow (or attract rats, who may floss their teeth on the wiring!).
Clean out the fridge
This is one of those tasks that can very easily fall to the wayside, but having a clean refrigerator is one of those weekly tasks you need to add to your routine ASAP.
“Not only will a clean fridge smell fresh and clean, but it will also help you see what you already have and what you need to purchase,” says Alex Phillips of Streamline Seattle, a new-home setup and lifestyle concierge service. “I recommend removing everything from your refrigerator and wiping down the entire interior with a multisurface spray like, Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, and a soft, cotton cloth.
If your refrigerator needs extra attention, she recommends using a quarter-size amount of Soft Scrub with bleach on a sponge to remove stains and sticky spills, and then removing the residue with a damp sponge.
“Don’t forget the outside of your fridge—wipe down the sides and front, polish stainless-steel components, clean under your magnets, sanitize your handles, and vacuum underneath,” she says.
And you might not be putting all of your food back into the refrigerator. “Once a week, you should clear out all expired food from the refrigerator and pantry,” says professional organizer Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants.
Disinfect kitchen appliances, tools, and accessories
Since germs are easily transferred in the kitchen, you should clean and disinfect faucet handles, oven door handles, and cabinet handles on a weekly basis.
Reich recommends cleaning kitchen towels and sponges once a week, too: Towels can be thrown in the wash, and sponges can be sanitized in the dishwasher.
And don’t forget the trash can. After you’ve removed the trash bag and taken it outside, Phillips recommends rinsing the can with a cleaning concentrate.
Clean the windows and mirrors
You can keep your windows and mirrors shiny if you tend to them during your weekly cleaning.
“Get rid of those hard water spots on the bathroom mirrors, shower doors, and water fixtures with dryer sheets,” says Brad Roberson, president of Glass Doctor. “After the dryer sheet has been used in the laundry, dampen the sheet and wipe off hard spots, soap scum, and residue.”
There’s also a way to clean your windows without streaking them: Use a coffee filter.
“Instead of going through the long hassle of a bucket and sponge, easily remove streaks with an unused coffee filter,” Roberson says.
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