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10 Chores You Only Need to Do Once a Year

We’re almost at the start of the new year, and a great resolution to make is to stay on top of household chores. We all aspire to have a clean and tidy home, but sticking to a regular cleaning routine can be challenging. Sometimes it seems like you could clean your countertops every day and still never keep them shiny. Luckily, there are a few household chores you can do only once per year and still enjoy maximum results. By scheduling and staying on top of these tasks, you’ll have peace of mind and can forget about them for another year. 

We’ve organized our once-a-year to-do list by season, but feel free to customize it to suit your needs. Happy cleaning! 

Empty Out Your Junk Drawer - Time of Year: Winter

We all have that one drawer somewhere in the house that becomes a repository for all kinds of miscellaneous junk. Rubber bands, loose batteries, mystery keys, chapstick tubes, scissors, empty rolls of tape, and all manner of other items seem to find their way into the junk drawer. Aim to clean it out once a year. Start by emptying it out completely, and then take inventory – being honest about each item’s value. Donate, recycle, or throw out items that are no longer useful. Then, reorganize. Rinse and repeat next year.

Take Inventory of Your Cleaning Products  - Time of Year: Winter

So many of us are guilty of hoarding cleaning and laundry products! Right now, it’s likely that you (yes, you!) have at least two half-full bottles of glass cleaner under your kitchen sink, or maybe even several almost-empty bottles of laundry detergent in your laundry room. Right now is the perfect time to check and take inventory of your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and general cleaning supplies. Throw out those that are expired or that won’t be used. When shopping for new supplies, consolidate your shopping list and stick to products that can do it all. 

Replace your kitchen sponges, dusting tools, and cotton cloths with microfiber cloths. They’re machine washable, so they won’t have the opportunity to cling to germs and grime like regular kitchen sponges, and their fibers cling to dirt and dust, making them the ideal cleaning tool. 

Replace your glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, and harsh multi purpose cleaner or disinfectant with one bottle of Vital Oxide – our multi purpose cleaner, sanitizer, and disinfectant that can tackle any mess around the home. Use it for everything from cleaning windows and countertops, to eliminating mold and mildew and killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. 

Clean Behind Major Appliances - Time of Year: Winter 

This dreaded cleaning task takes some effort and muscle, but annual maintenance for major appliances like the stove, fridge, dishwasher, and laundry machines pays off in longer lives and optimal performance for these household workhorses. To do a thorough cleaning, first move the appliance away from the wall, being extremely careful not to disconnect any water or gas lines. Then vacuum the fridge coils, clean the dryer vents, and wipe all sides with a damp microfiber cloth. After removing dust and grime, apply Vital Oxide (either directly from the bottle or spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth) to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and to eliminate any lingering odors. Afterwards, bust the year-old dust by giving the floor a good vacuum with a HEPA-type vacuum. 

Organize Your Linen Closet - Time of Year: Spring

Kick off your annual spring cleaning with your linen closet. Just once a year, empty it out completely and give it a thorough cleaning. Reline any shelves that need to be touched up. Take the time to go through every item. Donate unused linens and bedding, and toss those that are damaged beyond repair. Wash every item before you sort it and put it away, using an Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent to remove dust and dirt and eliminate allergens like pet dander and dust mite allergens. Once everything is clean, organize shelves by type of linens or by seasonal items. 

Deep Clean Your Patio Furniture - Time of Year: Spring 

Get your outdoor patio furniture ready for spring and summer use by giving it a thorough cleaning. You should only have to do this once a year if you’ve been removing stains from fabric cushions and pillows as they happened. Plastic, wood frames, and rattan can all be cleaned with hot soapy water. Use Vital Oxide and a soft-bristled brush for any stubborn stains. Finish with a quick spray from the hose and allow to dry in the sun. Vacuum and wipe down outdoor cushions and pillows with a damp cloth. For lingering odors in outdoor cushions and pillows, spray liberally with Vital Oxide and allow to dry naturally. 

Organize Your Garage - Time of Year: Summer 

For many people, the garage is a deep, dark black hole. Rarely used belongings disappear into its dark depths, and homeowners completely forget about them. Take control of your cluttered garage by cleaning and organizing once a year. Sell, donate, or trash the clutter, then organize all the tools, holiday decor, sports equipment, and toys you plan to keep. You may want to invest in new storage shelves, heavy-duty storage bins, and hooks. Once everything is properly stowed away, give the floor a good going over with a heavy-duty broom. Then, dilute 1 part Vital Oxide to 9 parts water and mop the floors. 

Wash the Curtains - Time of Year: Summer 

It’s easy to forget about cleaning your curtains and other window treatments, but just think about how much dust collects on them! Give them a good wash at least once a year with a gentle, fragrance-free, dye-free Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent to keep them looking their best. Be sure to check the care instructions on the label before deciding to throw them into the washing machine, as some can only be dry cleaned. After washing, avoid high-heat in the dryer. In fact, you should only dry them for a few minutes on a low-heat setting and remove them when they are still slightly damp. Let them dry, then iron and rehang them. 

Clean Out Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, and Pantry -Time of Year: Autumn 

Plan to clean out and organize kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry in early fall to get ready for the holiday season. Start with one section at a time and empty completely. Wipe down shelves and reline with paper if needed. Take a good look at each item before you put it back. Toss expired items and donate mismatched or unused pieces. After you’ve finished, take an inventory of basic supplies that you need and restock. 

Clean Out Clogged Gutters - Time of Year: Autumn 

Let’s face it, no one wants to clean out the gutters. It’s gross and oftentimes uncomfortable. Thankfully, it usually only needs to be done once a year. It’s also an important task, since clogged gutters can cause moisture damage to eaves, roofs, and even cause interior leaks. The best time to clean gutters is after all of the leaves have fallen in the autumn. If you are doing this yourself, be sure to use a sturdy ladder and have a helper to steady it. Or, simply call a service to take care of the chore.

Deep Clean Carpets - Time of Year: Autumn 

Keep everyone in the household healthy by deep cleaning carpets at least once a year to remove dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other nasties from carpets. You can purchase or rent a rinse-and-vac cleaning system at your local home center. Also adding a miticide to the rinse-and-vac will help to keep dust mites from coming back. Make sure you allow plenty of time for thorough drying (a fan will help speed up your drying time). Finish up by spraying the carpet with an Anti-Allergen Solution to banish any lingering allergens from pet dander, pollen, and more. 

Want more tips? Follow The Ecology Works on Instagram @ecologyworks for lots of helpful cleaning tips, healthy home advice, and environmental news. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.
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