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Home improvement: Cross these annual tasks off your winter checklist

January 23, 2018 GMT

Before we change our calendars to February, take the time to perform these annual chores around the house to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the year.

Take advantage of winter by tackling some cleaning tasks around the house — you’ll thank yourself later, said Amy Bates, owner of Merry Maids in Tulsa.

“This is a great time to get things done that you don’t want to do,” she said. “Especially, when it’s too cold out to go anywhere.”

Think about the chores that need to be handled at least once a year. These are the kinds of things that tend to cross your mind when you don’t have any time to do it, such as vacuuming the mattress or descaling the showerhead.

Bates added that this is also a good time to disinfect the high-traffic items, including furniture and kid’s toys.

“People can take steps to make cleaning as easy as possible,” she said. “Staying on top of it now will help maintain it so it won’t be a big task later.”

Here is her list of tasks to handle now that will also make your spring cleaning easier later:

• Vacuum your mattress the next time you’re removing the sheets to do laundry. This will help you keep your mattress clean and fresh. Also, investing in a mattress protector will prolong the life of your mattress.

• When you’re cleaning the vent hood, don’t forget to pull out the metal screen and wash it. It can be cleaned in the dishwasher with the next load.

• Most burners can be removed to access the drip pans that may be in need of a good cleaning. Or if you have a gas stove, the burner grates can benefit from a good wash. Also, the stove top can be lifted and cleaned of debris that falls through the holes of the drip pans.

• Light fixtures can be taken apart and washed. Remove the glass light covers to clean them or do a whole load in the dishwasher.

• This is the perfect time to clean the dust from ceiling and vent fans. Vacuum excess dust from each fan blade and wipe them clean.

• Check air filters and change them as needed. Especially during winter when the heaters are running longer, it’s a good idea to change them to improve the air quality.

• Clean under your bed. If you’re someone who uses the space as storage, it’s a good idea to pull everything out and vacuum or dust beneath the bed.

• Shoes can track in dirt and debris, so clean the shoe storage out. Whether it’s a closet or a shelf where the shoes go when not in use, take the time to clean it because it’s a popular hiding place for bugs and spiders.

• Wipe down doors, door frames and baseboards. These areas are easy to forget when cleaning, so make it a goal to do all the doors and door frames in one go. Also, run a dryer sheet over the baseboards and door frames to minimize the dust accumulation next time around.

• Disinfect children’s toys with a soak in a bleach solution or by using a disinfectant spray.

• Mineral buildup on your showerhead can be removed with cleaning products or by soaking it in white vinegar. Soak the showerhead in vinegar and then go over it with an old toothbrush.

• Empty the utensil drawer to clean out all the crumbs and tidbits that may have fallen into it.

• Wintertime is great for cleaning the entertainment cabinet. Electronics attract a lot of dust, and it’s the last place you think about while cleaning. Pull out and unplug everything to get it nice and tidy.

• Vacuum under area rugs. Believe it or not, dust will accumulate under your rug. Make a pass over it and then under it to collect all the debris.

• While you’re cleaning, don’t forget to test your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, too.