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How to create the perfect cleaning schedule

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Though it might not sound terrifically exciting to sit down and draw up a cleaning schedule, UK homeowners, just like any others around the world, need to be considerate of the fact that buying a property brings with it a certain level of responsibility and ongoing care. If nothing else, nobody wants to live in a dirty dump of a house, which is why it simply isn't enough to work to a kitchen cleaning schedule!

House cleaning isn't exactly a favourite pastime for many people, but it is vital to schedule time for cleaning, as few people can afford to hire professionals to come in and tackle the task on a regular basis. This guide has been created in order to help make sense of what needs doing around the house and how often.

Create a cleaning schedule template.

We know that adulthood is filled with tasks that don't really seem all that appealing and it's doubtful that drawing up a cleaning planner is something to get excited about, but trust us when we say that it is VERY enjoyable. Having an easy to remember house cleaning schedule will allow anyone to stay on top of all those niggly jobs that seem to pile up over the course of a year and then take a gargantuan amount of time to complete.

We've created a breakdown of household chores that will make daily, weekly and less frequent tasks so much easier to remember.

Every day tasks for the cleaning schedule.

The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods by deVOL: country Kitchen by deVOL Kitchens
deVOL Kitchens

The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

It's true what they say; that doing little and often is better than sacrificing huge slices of time less frequently. This definitely applies to cleaning a home, as there are a number of simple and quick jobs that can be tackled on a daily basis, to maintain a fresh and hygienic home. The following really do need to be done once a day:

- Make the beds. It's vital to air out bed linen in order to enjoy a comfortable and enticing space come bedtime. 

- Clean tea and coffee makers. All drinks machines get covered in splashes and overspray, which become really stuck on if left. this can be terrifically unhygienic.

- Wash the dishes. Regardless of whether a dishwasher is in place or not, all dishes and pots and pans need to be washed on the same day they are used, lest old food being left to cake on. Dirty dishes smell very bad as well.

- Wipe kitchen counters and dining tables. A simple going over of surfaces with a cloth or an antibacterial cleaning wipe will remove any debris or food crumbs and leave them ready to use again.

- Pop a laundry load on (when needed). This might not be necessary every single day, unless the household is large and busy, but nobody wants a huge laundry pile! Talk about making a pong!

- Sweep the kitchen floor. Crumbs always fall onto the kitchen floor and left unattended to, can attract vermin and pests. A cursory sweep after meal preparation will negate the issue entirely.

- Wipe bathroom counters. Water splashes always occur in a bathroom and can leave unsightly marks that turn to limescale. Avoid this by wiping and drying vanity units after use.

- Spritz the shower. Keeping a bottle of daily shower spray inside the cubicle will prevent water stains from forming and, eventually, mould and mildew. Straight after using a shower, the spray should be liberally spritzed over all surfaces and left to evaporate. 

- Wipe around all sinks. A quick wipe of all sinks will keep them clean and ready to use. 

Cleaning schedule tasks to tackle once a week.

Scandinavian Mint: scandinavian Bedroom by Pixers
Pixers

Scandinavian Mint

Pixers

The weekly cleaning schedule is delightfully undemanding and can be fitted in whenever a spare minute or two can be found. The most pertinent tasks to be mindful of are:

- Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. Sweeping is one thing, but a thorough wet washing is essential for catching any spills or sticky messes.

- Scrub bathroom suite items.Anything that is in constant contact with water can risk developing a mildew or limescale problem, so toilets, bidets, sinks, baths and shower trays all need a weekly scrub.

- Clean all the mirrors. A quick spritz with some white vinegar will have mirrors enjoying a streak-free shine for a whole week.

- Dust large surfaces. Mantles, coffee tables and window sills all need a through dusting once a week, to keep the air nice and clean, if nothing else.

- Vacuum rugs and carpets. Vacuuming doesn't take as long as we all think and just running around the house once a week will work wonders. Try to vacuum after dusting, so as to catch any dropped particles.

- Change the bed linen. Some people prefer to change the bed linens every fortnight, but in the warmer months, weekly is best. Body odour, dead skin cells and sweat really do make for a smelly bed, if left for too long.

- Audit fridge contents. It's inevitable that a few food items will get pushed to the back of a fridge, so it's vital to carry out an audit once a week, to see if anything has gone past its use-by date. We recommend popping in a fridge air freshener as well.

- Wipe appliance exteriors. There's no need to give the inside of kitchen appliances a big clean every single week, but a cursory wipe of the exterior is recommended, especially if they are prone to grease splatters.

—Clean inside the microwave. A microwave can quickly develop mould spores, so a proper antibacterial wipe, inside and out, is essential every single week.

- Wash or toss out sponges. Kitchen cleaning sponges can get very smelly and unhygienic, so either give them a bleaching, once a week, or replace them with fresh ones.

Once a month cleaning schedule jobs.

Regina Freestanding Bath: classic Bathroom by Devon&Devon UK
Devon&Devon UK

Regina Freestanding Bath

Devon&Devon UK

Professionals recommend that the monthly cleaning schedule in every home includes the following duties:

- Clean vents. All vents attracts and hoard dust, but the vacuum cleaner will make light work of removing any and all lint and grime.

- Dust woodwork. Items such as skirting boards and interior doors all have narrow surfaces where dust can collect. A quick dusting will keep them looking fresh and clean. Dryer sheets can even be used, as they attract dust with static.

- Clean light fixtures. Just because lights are rarely at eye level, it doesn't mean that they can be ignored when it comes to cleaning. Once a month, they need to be dusted and, if depending on the material they are made from, polished.

- Wipe down blinds. Blind slats quickly get grubby, but a pair of tongs, covered with old socks, will make light work of removing any and all dust from individual slats.

- Clean the cleaning appliances. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dishwashers might all perform a cleaning function themselves, but they shouldn't be ignored in terms of being cleaned too. 

Tasks to go on the 3-6 months cleaning schedule.

A household's chore list seems never ending, especially when it's recognised that there are duties that need to be performed every three or six months, in addition to weekly and even daily tasks. A house cleaning checklist should definitely make time for the following each quarter or bi-annually:

- A deep kitchen clean. Appliances will need cleaning inside and out, to remove and food spillages that have dried on.

- Washing shower curtains. It's so easy to forget that shower curtains need to be cleaned, but left to their own devices, they do fall victim to mildew and mould. Most can simply go in the washing machine.

- A thorough patio clean. A pressure washer will make quick work of removing any seasonal muck from patio paving slabs. Plastic furniture could be washed like this as well.

- Vacuuming mattresses. It's not enough to turn mattresses, as they need to be vacuumed as well, to remove dead skin cells, hair and mites. 

- A proper drain clear out. This is particular important as the seasons change, so that any fallen leaves are removed, allowing for free flowing drainage.  

- Clean out the freezer. The fridge needs cleaning out more frequently, as food goes off more quickly in there, but the freezer can end up as a storage facility for old edibles if it isn't emptied once in a while. Even frozen items can be past their best.

Annual cleaning schedule tasks.

Finally, there are a few things to do just once a year. They won't take long but will make sure that you don;t run the risk of a household disaster that means waiving goodbye to a home insurance no-claims bonus! The most important cleaning tasks are:

- Sweeping the chimney and cleaning the fireplace. Of course, professionals need to be hired to sweep a chimney, but when an open fire or woodburner is used regularly, this is an essential task. Ignoring the chimney could lead to a fire or increased sooty messes on the hearth.

- Deep cleaning carpets and furniture. Fabric items need to be given a yearly wet-clean in order to retain their shape and colour. Carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture can be easily shampooed.

- Washing curtains. As part of an annual spring clean, curtains and drapes absolutely need to be washed. The fibres naturally store dirt and dust that can't be seen by the naked eye.

- Clearing gutters. Fallen leaves and general dirt can quickly create a big problem in gutters, leading to expensive drainage issues. A thorough clearing should be done in spring, after the leaves have fallen in the cooler months.

Are you feeling more on top of your cleaning schedule now? Are there any tasks you'd add to this list?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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