Inside the Guide – Making the Rest of Your Task Lists

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As you know, there are household tasks that only need to be completed monthly, or even less frequently. If you’re like me, you don’t want to have to do all of these during “spring cleaning.” At that point, the sheer volume and magnitude of chores is so daunting, you’re likely to just say “forget it,” and not do them at all.

The key is to do a little bit, here and there, throughout the year. To do this, you need to make these lists:

Monthly Tasks
Quarterly Tasks
Semi-Annual Tasks
Annual Tasks

When making these lists, it’s very easy to forget about all of the little things that we must do, like cleaning light fixtures and changing furnace filters. I used Real Simple’s “Elements of Clean” chart to help me make my lists. You can print it here. I keep this chart in the “Cleaning” section of my binder for reference.

To assist you in making your own task lists, I offer mine as an example:

Monthly Tasks
□ Wash and sanitize garbage cans
□ Change furnace filters
□ Vacuum vents
□ Vacuum blinds and lampshades
□ Clean coffeemaker
□ Clean baseboards
□ Spot clean windows
□ Clean crumbs from cutlery drawer

Quarterly Tasks
□ Dust ceiling fans
□ Straighten, organize drawers
□ Dust ceiling corners of cobwebs
□ Check salt in water softener

Semi-Annual Tasks
□ Wash windows (spring/fall)
□ Vacuum and flip mattresses (spring/fall)
□ Clean gutters
□ Clean light fixtures
□ Clean oven and under sink
□ Check smoke alarm batteries
□ Clean out garage
□ Dust inside china cabinet
□ Move furniture and appliances and dust behind/under
□ Wash pillows and comforters
□ Vacuum refrigerator coils
□ Wash curtains

Annual Tasks

□ Clean exterior of house to remove dirt, cobwebs etc
□ Hold garage sale/donate items to charity
□ Clean walls if needed
□ Check and reapply grouting/caulk as needed
□ Clean out filing cabinet

After you’ve completed these lists, you need to fit these tasks into your weekly work schedule. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I do a monthly or quarterly chore, and then check it off with my dry erase marker. On Saturdays my husband and I do one semi-annual or annual chore together.

I promise, if you stick to this schedule, you will never again have to spend an entire weekend cleaning.

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Heather is a minimalist in love with a recovering packrat. 7 years ago, she and her husband sold pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down in order to pay off their mortgage, and they've been living happily debt-free ever since. They have 3 hilarious little kids who were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, and they haven't had a good night's sleep in the last decade. Heather is an anglophile who loves all things British, and spends her free time looking at real estate listings in Cornwall. Every day, she and her family work toward a simpler, more meaningful life. Some days are awesome, some are disastrous, and you can read about all of them here.

Have a question? Need a listening ear? Contact Heather, or visit Want What You Have on Facebook.

© Heather at Want What You Have, 2008-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material, including photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heather at Want What You Have, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Derivative works are not permitted.

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