Keep on top of household jobs that need to be completed each season by creating a checklist to make sure that nothing is overlooked.
Replace toothbrushes. Dentists recommend that toothbrushes be replaced every three months. This ensures that they continue to work effectively.
Clean children’s bath toys. These toys tend to accumulate mould and can get quite smelly and slimy. Soak in warm water with dishwashing detergent and brush clean with an old toothbrush. If items cannot be cleaned properly, discard them. There are bath nets available for storing toys to ensure that they drain and dry properly after each use.
Clean the washing machine. Just like a dishwasher, washing machines accumulate grit and grime. Run a complete washing cycle with no clothes or detergent. Hot water will produce the best results, but will also have the highest running cost for the load. A variety of home cleanser solutions exists to help clear soap scum and other build-up. These include (measurements provided for full machine without clothes):
- Two cups of vinegar or lemon juice
- One cup of bicarb soda with two cups of vinegar during the rinse cycle.
- Two cups of washing soda with a full hot water cycle followed by a full hot cycle with 500mL vinegar
Clean the cooktop rangehood exhaust filters. These can accumulate grease and need to be washed with hot, soapy water.
Clean out the freezer. Have an esky or cooler handy to keep items as cold as possible. If the freezer also needs to be defrosted, consider buying some ice or filling empty margarine or ice-cream containers with water and freezing them in advance. Turn off the refrigerator/freezer and remove items. Discard any items that can no longer be used. Wipe the freezer out with a damp soapy cloth and then rinse the cloth and wipe out again. Replace items, ensuring that foods that need to be used in the near future are placed to the front and are visible and easily accessible. Remember to turn the freezer back on again.
Wipe over fridge and freezer seals with a damp cloth. Add a few drops of vanilla to some warm water and use this to rinse the cloth before use if desired.
Wash windows, inside and out.
Replace home pest baits and traps. Moth, cockroach and other insect baits and traps usually have a limited period of effectiveness. Check the packaging when purchasing and make a note on the appropriate checklist to ensure that baits are changed regularly and remain effective.
Depending on climate, lifestyle and general household needs, these seasonal household chores may need to be performed more or less frequently. Keep a checklist of regular, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual jobs and assign tasks to the list most appropriate to meet individual needs.