It’s that time of the year again when we throw out the old to make space for the new.
Many of us take time off to spend time with our families and prepare for Chinese New Year – this includes shopping for new clothes, sorting out travel plans for the year and cleaning the home.
Though we clean our houses regularly throughout the year, there are some chores that you might not have done but you should do at least once a year. Here’s our checklist of seven spring cleaning chores you must do to usher in the New Year.
1. Wipe lighting fixtures
The one thing many of us tend to overlook when cleaning is light fixtures. Your lightbulbs, LED/fluorescent tubes, and lampshades tend to collect dust over time, especially in humid tropical countries. Give them a wipe down to make sure they shine brightly throughout the next year.
You’ll want to pay special attention to the lights in the kitchen and bathroom, where it’s oily and wet. Make sure to switch off the light, unscrew the bulbs and wipe the bulb and housing/shade with a damp cloth. Stay well away from the electrical connectors though, you don’t want to damage those with moisture.
Read more: 6 lighting tips for every room in your house
2. Deep clean upholstered furniture
Fabric chairs and sofas are dust magnets. But more importantly, you’re sitting on them all year round – you’ve sweated on them, sneezed on them, dropped food on them or put your feet up on them. A thorough yearly cleaning will ensure that your fabric-clad furniture stays in top condition for longer.
Anything that can be removed should be washed in a washing machine, like covers. As for those that can’t be removed, they should be professionally cleaned. Look up upholstery cleaners. You can also hire them to clean your car seats while they’re there.
3. Empty your gutters
This is especially important if you live in a landed property. Things can get stuck in your gutters like leaves or tiny objects. Sometimes you might even find a wild badminton shuttlecock lodged in there.
If left unattended, the gutter can get clogged up and start to leak. Now is the best time to scrub out the grime in your gutters, even if you only do it once a year.
4. Wipe down window frames
Generally, windows are wiped on a regular basis. But we tend to focus on the glass that we forget the frames. For once a year, you should dust off your window frames (and grills if you have them) before you give them a good wipe down with some soap.
Read more: How to deal with bathroom condensation
5. Clean the washing machine
Washing machines are a brilliant invention of modern technology. It keeps your clothes and linens fresh and clean all year-round, so don’t take it for granted. Once a year, you should give it some love with a good clean so that it can continue to serve you. You can soak the inside of the machine with some water, vinegar, and baking soda to remove any grime. Then once you’ve rinsed that out, follow up with a nice scrub and wipe-down. Don’t forget the surface area of your washing machine!
6. Clean under heavy appliances and furniture
This one is a no brainer. Your regular cleaning tends to skip around heavy furniture and appliances like your fridge, washing machine, and large cabinets. Take your time just once a year to get down and dirty, moving these large items to clean under them. Get someone strong to help you move things out of the way to clean and move them back again once you’re done.
7. Dust linen closet
The linen closet – basically where you store your bed sheets, pillow cases, cushion covers, and even curtains – should be dusted once a year to keep out the moths and mites. Empty it out, vacuum it, and wipe it down before putting all your linens back in. It’ll also give you a chance to look at what you have and decide if anything needs replacing or to be donated.
8. Refresh kitchen cabinets
If you haven’t guessed by now, year-end chores involve lots of reorganisation. Empty each of your kitchen cabinets, wipe them down, then assess what goes back into storage. Pay special attention to expiry dates on food items and cracks on containers, those need to be disposed. You should also consider lining your shelves with some lino or non-friction lining to keep things from slipping out. Home Décor stores also sell cute organisers such as shelf inserts and racks which will help you better organise your cabinets.