How to Make a Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

We all know the drill. There are certain home tasks you do daily (check the mail, wash the dishes, make the bed). And then there are home tasks you aim to do weekly (do the laundry, take out the trash, shop for groceries). But what about those non-routine seasonal home maintenance tasks that only seem to get done when things get so bad that you can longer stand it and begrudgingly take action (watering the plants because they’re wilting, renewing a prescription when you’re on the very last pill, scrubbing out the kitchen trash can because it smells like something died in there). Could you be doing a better job getting ahead of these tasks so they never reach this dire state?

Think about it. Do you ever wish your home was always clean enough for company? Or that you felt more organized in all aspects of your life (from finances and family files to your wardrobe and seasonal home decor)? Do you wish you made more time to plan spontaneous weekend getaways, take a family vacation or celebrate holidays and family birthdays? Or that you could finally get around to decorating the guest bedroom or landscaping the front yard?

Enter the seasonal home maintenance checklist. It’s like a traditional “seasonal cleaning checklist”, but so much more. It’s an “every single seasonal life task” list (think cleaning, organizing, finances, car maintenance, holiday celebrations, etc.) that includes all the things you are required to do (or aspire to do) each and every year. Too often, you only ever accomplish a small percentage of this long list (priority items like filing your taxes and vacuuming when family comes to visit) and the rest, those “nice to dos” (like decorating your home, taking vacation and updating your wardrobe) fall by the wayside. And that’s no way to live. It’s time to manage your seasonal home maintenance better and get. it. together. Here’s how:


How to Make a Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

1. Make a List of All Tasks

Make a list of everything (nothing is too small a task!) you (and your family) do to keep your home clean, organized and running smoothly (think chores, routines, celebration reminders, memberships, bill due dates, etc.).

2. Determine Frequency

Determine how often each of these tasks need to happen (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally). For this particular exercise, only focus on the items that happen seasonally and ask yourself – how often do these tasks need to take place? Quarterly, twice a year, once a year, every few years?

3. Plan for the Year Ahead

Plug each task into the corresponding month for when it needs to be completed. For example, some tasks (like taxes) need to happen during a specific month without exception, while others (like a car wash) may be a bit more flexible. The goal is to create balance in the number of tasks you assign to each month so that you never get overloaded in to-dos.

4. Plan for the Current Month

Once you’ve created your lists, you’re ready to start tackling them one month at a time. At the start of each month, review your Seasonal Home Maintenance To-Do List and compare it with your schedule in the weeks ahead. Determine when you’ll have time to complete each task (do you have time next Saturday to wash windows, can you drop off the dry cleaning on your way to work Monday morning, etc.). Put these tasks in your calendar and prioritize them – treat these tasks like meetings or appointments that CANNOT be cancelled or rescheduled.

5. Show Up and Get Shit Done

Planning is the easy part. It’s the actual doing that’s hard. But the feeling of accomplishment that follows the completion of home tasks is glorious. Commit to completing every task at hand each month. The list might feel daunting at first, but that’s likely because these tasks have either never been done or it’s been awhile since you gave any attention to that area of your life. Once you’re on schedule to tackle these things with regularity, the work becomes more manageable (for example, if you wipe down the microwave quickly each quarter, you won’t have to spend a whole afternoon scraping ancient food bits from its surface when you finally decide to clean it after five years of use).

6. Reassess the List

At the end of each month, reassess your seasonal home maintenance checklist – did you get every task completed this month? Were there tasks that might have been better suited for earlier or later in the year? Does the frequency you set for each task still feel right or should you be tending to that area of your life more/less frequently? Update your lists accordingly and move on to the next month.


Need an example? Let’s take a closer look at how this might play out. Below is a list of all the seasonal tasks I’ve identified in my home/life and the frequency for which I would like them to occur. Keep in mind that tasks are unique, and frequency of completion is 100% personal preference. While some tasks on my list may be the same as yours, your list will ultimately look different because every household is unique. This is me. You be you.

Some useful background. I live in San Francisco in a 1,200+ square-foot loft (1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms) with a balcony and rooftop garden. We have a shed, but no yard and a shared garage. Since the weather here is temperate, we are less impacted by seasonality (no shoveling snow, washing winter salt off the car, or prepping the house for subzero temperatures each year), we enjoy our outdoor spaces year-round and we have no AC unit to maintain (not needed around here!). Can you see why our lists might look different?

On to my seasonal home maintenance checklist…

January

January rings in the new year – a time to toss out old habits and adopt new ones. Focus on tasks that set the stage for a successful year ahead like reassessing your finances, refreshing your emergency kit, updating your social media profiles, organizing recipes and cookbooks and renewing annual national and state park passes so you can travel easily in the year head. Then plan a weekend getaway for the long MLK weekend to celebrate all of your hard work!

Cleaning To Dos for January
Renew Park Passes: Renew state and national park passes so access to the great outdoors is never an issue.
Plan a Weekend Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway for the long MLK weekend.
Restock Emergency Kit: Depending on where you live, this could take on a variety of forms. For example, the Bay Area is most at risk for earthquake. See How to Build an Earthquake Kit for a detailed list of items to include. Assess the emergency kit and update/restock items as needed.
Reassess Finances: Reassess the family finances and adjust as needed. Are you consistently over budget in some spending categories and under in others? Are you reaping the best rewards possible from your credit card providers? Are you on track to retire when you want to? Is the medical plan you selected last year still the right one for you this year?
Update Social Media Profiles: This includes both social media handles used for fun (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) as well as those used for professional purposes (LinkedIn). Update your profile picture, refresh the About Me section, add new relevant work experience, organize content, and manage (add/remove) the accounts you follow.
Decorate Entryway: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For January, focus on the entryway.
Clean Outdoor Spaces: Move the furniture and planters to do a deep clean. Sweep the balcony, power wash the rooftop, wipe down surfaces, and remove cobwebs.  
Water Indoor Plants: Thankfully the desert dwellers that live in the house here require minimal watering and thrive off neglect. Watering them every few months (more if needed) is usually sufficient.
Organize Bookshelves: In addition to holding books, bookshelves can also act as storage for craft supplies and games. Donate unwanted books and games, toss unused craft supplies and restock for future projects.
Organize Keepsakes: Keepsakes are things like photo albums, collections, and mementos. Organize and properly store these items to help preserve them.
Refill Prescriptions: Call in (and pick up) a three-month supply of any medical prescriptions from the local pharmacy.
Oil Cutting Boards: If using plastic cutting boards, skip this part. Wooden cutting boards require upkeep – as in, treating them with a good oil rub (like this one) every few months so the wood doesn’t dry out or crack. Do the same for the butcher block island counter top.
Clean Coffee & Tea Pots: Give the coffee maker and tea kettle a deep clean. Fill the coffee pot with equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice and brew without coffee grinds or filter. Run the brew cycle again with fresh water to ensure all the vinegar/lemon juice is rinsed out. Scrub the coffee pot and tea kettle with water and baking soda to remove stains.
Organize Cookbooks & Recipes: Assess cookbooks (toss or donate) and recipe binders; review recipes collected over the past year and prioritize ones to try.
Clean Microwave: Using a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe all food splatters off every surface of the microwave (top, bottom and sides) both inside and out.
Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards: The outside surfaces of kitchen cupboards get grimy with use. Take a damp paper towel or anti-bacterial wipe and wipe the outside cupboard surfaces, knobs and handles.
Scrub Trash Can: It’s not uncommon for trash bags to leak, leaving questionable puddles of goo at the bottom of your kitchen trash can (so gross). Wipe the whole thing down with an anti-bacterial wipe or, if it’s really bad, take the can into the shower or out into the yard to hose it down.

February

Winter tends to drag on in February, so start with small tasks that make it feel like spring. Mend, dry clean and store your winter wardrobe, refresh your workout wardrobe for the warmer months ahead, plant seeds in the garden, plan a spring vacation and make sure the bar is stocked with beers for Super Bowl and wine for Valentine’s Day.

Cleaning To Dos for February
Clean Light Fixtures: Dust chandeliers and vacuum the lamp shades.
Celebrate Family Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Manage Cords: Are the cords behind the TV looking like a fire hazard? Are you sick of looking at the charger cords that line the bedside table? Identify ways to better manage these – organize, minimize, hide, etc.
Make Spring Travel Plans: Plan a spring break trip. It’s always nice to have something in the calendars to look forward to.
Plan Weekend Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway for the long President’s Day weekend.
Dry Clean Winter Clothes: In preparation for spring, take all dry-clean only items (coats, dresses, sweaters, etc.) from winter to the dry cleaners before storing them away so they’re clean and ready for next year.
Mend Winter Clothes: In addition to dry cleaning, inspect and mend anything that needs fixing before storing it.
Make Super Bowl & Valentine’s Day Plans: Invite friends over to watch the big game and make dinner reservations at a romantic restaurant.
Restock Home Bar: Our dining room bar is stocked for weekend cocktails, happy hours and guests with liquor, mixers, beer and wine from local vineyards. Take inventory and restock anything that’s running low. And review cocktail cookbooks for seasonal recipes to try for spring! Learn more about How to Stock a Healthier Bar.
Plan Spring Capsule Wardrobe: Who doesn’t love the idea of a simple capsule wardrobe? Having one for each season makes getting dressed every day a breeze. Plan a new (or update the old) capsule wardrobe for spring.
Assess Workout Wardrobe: When was the last time you replaced your workout clothes? If you exercise regularly, these clothes may get more use than some of the pieces in your regular wardrobe. Assess those sneakers, sports bras and leggings and toss, donate, sell or replace items as needed.
Decorate Kitchen: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For February, focus on the kitchen.
Organize Junk Drawer: We all have a junk drawer in the house. Mine is in the kitchen. Reorganize, restock and replace items accordingly. See How to Feel More Organized for a detailed list of items to include here.
Wipe Baseboards: The baseboards around the house collect dust. Take a dry or damp cloth and quickly wipe them all clean.
Plant Spring Garden: Spring gardening can start as early as February around here. Get seeds started in the soil so they’re sprouting by March and make plans to refresh the balcony and rooftop gardens accordingly.
Clean Patio Furniture: The rooftop patio furniture stays covered when not in use to protect it/extend its life, but rain and wind bring about dirt over the course of the year. Toss them (along with any cushion covers that are dirty or stained) into the washing machine and lay them out to air dry.

March

With winter in the rear view mirror, spring is right around the corner in March. Wash and vacuum out the car to rid of all the winter grim, make plans to see friends for Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, get the spring decor out and open up all the windows to let the refreshing spring air work its magic.

Cleaning To Dos for March
Decorate for Spring: Every season has its own festive decor ans March is a great time to put out spring decor. Hint: make detailed lists of seasonal decor items so you don’t forget about anything in storage when it’s time to change seasons or take pictures of displays to remember where it all goes year after year.
Review Subscriptions and Memberships: Netflix, Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, Comcast, FitRadio, YNAB, gym membership, wineries, magazines, meal delivery services, the list goes on. Review all subscriptions and memberships and determine if they are worth continuing or if it’s time to cancel.
Vacuum Furniture: Remove all the cushions and vacuum in all the cervices where crumbs and loose change tend to fall.
Get Car Wash: We typically only do this twice a year thanks to the temperate climate, minimal rain, and covered parking garages.
Get Oil Change: Take the car in for an oil change. Depending on the type of oil and how frequently you drive, this might need to happen more frequently.
Update Car Insurance Card: Print and replace the car insurance cards in the glove box with the new/updated one every March and September.
Vacuum Car Interior: Deep clean the inside of the car – removing crumbs, dirt and miscellaneous trash that has collected over the past few months.
Remove Fuzz/Pills from Winter Sweaters: If you don’t own a sweater shaver, you need one. Remove all the fuzz and pills from winter clothes before putting them away for the season. Clip any loose threads with a pair of scissors too while you’re at it.
Make Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day Plans: Make festive recipes and cocktails in celebration of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day.
Organize Closet with Spring Capsule Wardrobe: Put winter clothes into storage and organize closet with spring clothes.
Change Clocks for Daylight Savings: Twice a year every year, don’t forget to do this in the spring.
Celebrate Family Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Open All the Windows: Every so often it’s nice to open up all the windows, get a fan going to circulate air throughout the entire house and run the air purifier to refresh the air.
Decorate Dining Room: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For March, focus on the dining room.
Mop Floors: Vacuuming happens frequently – mopping less so. Mop (or Swifter) all hard surface floors (kitchen, living room, dining room, hallways, bathrooms).

April

Spring is in full force in April which means taking on spring cleaning tasks like reorganizing your file folders, filing your taxes and washing the windows. While you’re at it, take on a few deep cleaning tasks in the kitchen to prepare for a stress-free Easter celebration.

Cleaning To Dos for April
Decorate Living Room: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For April, focus on the living room.
Wash Windows: Take a squeegee to the outside windows, cleaning away any dirt or grim that has accumulated over the year.
Clean Shower Curtains: Remove shower curtains and toss them in the washing machine. Bleach white curtain liners if needed.
Get Haircut: Schedule a hair cut and color.
Replace Toothbrush: Toss out the old, replace with the new. If using an electric toothbrush, simply replace the toothbrush head.
Clean Bathroom Rugs: Take bathroom rugs outdoors to shake off the dirt. Toss them into the washing machine if needed.
Renew Professional Memberships: My membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association professional organization needs to be renewed once a year.
Book Easter Travel: Make travel plans to celebrate Easter with family.
File Taxes: Every year in April, enough said.
Water Indoor Plants: Thankfully the desert dwellers that live in the house here require minimal watering and thrive off neglect. Watering them every few months (more if needed) is usually sufficient.
Organize Files: The family file box holds everything from important identification documents and receipts for major purchases to documentation for medical, auto, retirement, mortgage expenses and more. Review/reorganize the folders in this box – filing away important documents and shredding anything you no longer need.
Refill Prescriptions: Call in (and pick up) a three-month supply of any medical prescriptions from the local pharmacy.
Oil Cutting Boards: If using plastic cutting boards, skip this part. Wooden cutting boards require upkeep – as in, treating them with a good oil rub (like this one) every few months so the wood doesn’t dry out or crack. Do the same for the butcher block island counter top.
Clean Coffee & Tea Pots: Give the coffee maker and tea kettle a deep clean. Fill the coffee pot with equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice and brew without coffee grinds or filter. Run the brew cycle again with fresh water to ensure all the vinegar/lemon juice is rinsed out. Scrub the coffee pot and tea kettle with water and baking soda to remove stains.
Clean Microwave: Using a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe all food splatters off every surface of the microwave (top, bottom and sides) both inside and out.
Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards: The outside surfaces of kitchen cupboards get grimy with use. Take a damp paper towel or anti-bacterial wipe and wipe the outside cupboard surfaces, knobs and handles.
Scrub Trash Can: It’s not uncommon for trash bags to leak, leaving questionable puddles of goo at the bottom of your kitchen trash can (so gross). Wipe the whole thing down with an anti-bacterial wipe or, if it’s really bad, take the can into the shower or out into the yard to hose it down.

May

May marks the end of spring and it’s time to mend, dry clean and store your spring wardrobe while also planning for the summer. May is also a time to renew the car registration, update your drivers license every few years and review spending on toll passes in preparation for summer road trips. As the weather starts to warm, give the balcony a face lift (so you’re encouraged to spend more time out there), organize gardening supplies, celebrate Memorial Day with a weekend getaway, invite friends over for the Kentucky Derby and make plans to celebrate your birthday outdoors.

Cleaning To Dos for May
Clean Light Fixtures: Dust chandeliers and vacuum the lamp shades.
Celebrate Mother’s Day: Send mom a gift for Mother’s Day.
Manage Cords: Are the cords behind the TV looking like a fire hazard? Are you sick of looking at the charger cords that line the bedside table? Identify ways to better manage these – organize, minimize, hide, etc.
Make Summer Travel Plans: Plan a summer vacation. It’s always nice to have something in the calendars to look forward to.
Plan Weekend Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway for the long Memorial Day weekend.
Dry Clean Spring Clothes: In preparation for summer, take all dry-clean only items (coats, dresses, sweaters, etc.) from spring to the dry cleaners before storing them away so they’re clean and ready for next year.
Mend Spring Clothes: In addition to dry cleaning, inspect and mend anything that needs fixing before storing it.
Make Kentucky Derby and Birthday Plans: Invite friends over to watch the races and make plans to go out for my birthday.
Restock Home Bar: Our dining room bar is stocked for weekend cocktails, happy hours and guests with liquor, mixers, beer and wine from local vineyards. Take inventory and restock anything that’s running low. And review cocktail cookbooks for seasonal recipes to try for summer! Learn more about How to Stock a Healthier Bar.
Plan Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Who doesn’t love the idea of a simple capsule wardrobe? Having one for each season makes getting dressed every day a breeze. Plan a new (or update the old) capsule wardrobe for summer.
Wipe Baseboards: The baseboards around the house collect dust. Take a dry or damp cloth and quickly wipe them all clean.
Review Toll Pass Account: For places with lots of toll roads like the Bay Area, a toll pass/transponder can make life easy. Check in on the account once a year to ensure threshold and replenish amounts still match your usage and update accordingly.
Renew Car Registration: Update the car registration and corresponding license plate renewal stickers.
Renew Driver’s License: Check the expiration date on your driver’s license. Note when it needs to be renewed so you can update ahead of schedule.
Organize Toolbox: The grab-and-go tool bag that houses all the essential tools needed for fixing miscellaneous things around the house or basic DIY projects can get pretty disorderly over the course of the year; revisit the items in the tool bag and organize accordingly for easy access to everything within.
Organize Garden Tools: Assess the gardening supplies (gloves, watering can, shovel, rake, soil, fertilizer, stakes, pots, hose, etc.) and replace or restock items as needed.
Decorate Balcony: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For May, focus on the balcony.

June

June marks the start of the summer and time to get outside. Prep the rooftop for guests, clean the grill, and take rugs outdoors to shake loose any dirt they’ve accumulated all spring. Swap your spring wardrobe with summer items, take inventory of travel supplies (luggage, packing, travel toiletries) for summer travel and renew your RD license, which expires in June each year.

Cleaning To Dos for June
Decorate for Summer: Every season has its own festive decor. June is a great time to put out summer decor. Hint: make detailed lists of seasonal decor items so you don’t forget about anything in storage when it’s time to change seasons or take pictures of displays to remember where it all goes year after year.
Vacuum Furniture: Remove all the cushions and vacuum in all the cervices where crumbs and loose change tend to fall.
Review Subscriptions & Memberships: Netflix, Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, Comcast, FitRadio, YNAB, gym membership, wineries, magazines, meal delivery services, the list goes on. Review all subscriptions and memberships and determine if they are worth continuing or if it’s time to cancel.
Clean Rugs: Take living area rugs outdoors to shake off the dirt. Deep clean them with a carpet cleaner if needed.
Organize Closet with Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Put spring clothes into storage and organize closet with summer clothes.
Renew Professional License: Renew and pay dues for RD license.
Assess Travel Items: Assess essential travel items (luggage, packing cubes, travel-size toiletries) and replace/restock as needed.
Remove Fuzz/Pills from Spring Clothes: If you don’t own a sweater shaver, you need one. Remove all the fuzz and pills from spring clothes before putting them away for the season. Clip any loose threads with a pair of scissors too while you’re at it.
Celebrate Wedding Anniversary: Makes plans and reservations to celebrate wedding anniversary.
Empty Paper Shredder: Shredding confidential mail and documents can feel like a monumental task if not tackled regularly. Avoid cursing at the office paper shredder when it rejects your document because the bin is full by taking a minute to empty it a few times a year.
Clean Grill: In preparation for summer grilling season, it’s a good idea to give the grill a good clean – wiping down the outer surfaces, removing charred food particles, scrubbing the grill grates with a steel bristle brush and replacing the propane tank if needed.
Decorate Rooftop: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For June, focus on the rooftop.
Celebrate Father’s Day: Send dad a gift for Father’s Day.
Celebrate Family Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Open All the Windows: Every so often it’s nice to open up all the windows, get a fan going to circulate air throughout the entire house and run the air purifier to refresh the air.
Mop Floors: Vacuuming happens frequently – mopping less so. Mop (or Swifter) all hard surface floors (kitchen, living room, dining room, hallways, bathrooms).

July

The warm summer months of July call for time outside – so get out there and organize the shed, tune up your bike and make plans for a July 4th celebration. Laundry seems to multiply in the summer months, so take some time to organize and transform your laundry room into an enjoyable place to be.

Cleaning To Dos for July
Tune Bike: After all the commutes and weekend rides, take time once a year to wipe away any dirt or grim from the frame and give bikes a tune up if needed.
Clean Outdoor Space: Move the furniture and planters to do a deep clean. Sweep the balcony, power wash the rooftop, wipe down surfaces and remove cobwebs.  
Make 4th of July Plans: Make plans to celebrate the 4th of July with family.
Organize Shed: Similar to cleaning out a garage, pull everything out of the shed to assess, toss or donate and reorganize what’s left – making sure everything is clearly labelled.
Water Indoor Plants: Thankfully the desert dwellers that live in the house here require minimal watering and thrive off neglect. Watering them every few months (more if needed) is usually sufficient.
Decorate Laundry Room: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For July, focus on the laundry room.
Oil Cutting Boards: If using plastic cutting boards, skip this part. Wooden cutting boards require upkeep – as in, treating them with a good oil rub (like this one) every few months so the wood doesn’t dry out or crack. Do the same for the butcher block island counter top.
Clean Coffee and Tea Pots: Give the coffee maker and tea kettle a deep clean. Fill the coffee pot with equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice and brew without coffee grinds or filter. Run the brew cycle again with fresh water to ensure all the vinegar/lemon juice is rinsed out. Scrub the coffee pot and tea kettle with water and baking soda to remove stains.
Refill Prescriptions: Call in (and pick up) a three-month supply of any medical prescriptions from the local pharmacy.
Clean Microwave: Using a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe all food splatters off every surface of the microwave (top, bottom and sides) both inside and out.
Sharpen Knives: Sharpen all of the kitchen knives. Use an at home sharpener or bring them into a local William Sonoma or Sur La Table – they’ll sharpen the first knife for free and each knife after that for $5 each.
Clean Oven & Stove Top: Wipe up major spills throughout the year as they occur, but deep clean the oven and stove top burner grates once a year. Soak burner grates in warm soapy water before scrubbing and use a heavy-duty oven cleaner (like this one) to remove all of the grease from inside the oven.
Scrub Trash Can: It’s not uncommon for trash bags to leak, leaving questionable puddles of goo at the bottom of your kitchen trash can (so gross). Wipe the whole thing down with an anti-bacterial wipe or, if it’s really bad, take the can into the shower or out into the yard to hose it down.

August

August marks the end of summer and it’s time to put the summer wardrobe away (mend and dry clean as necessary before storying) and plan for fall. Make some fun fall travel plans, refresh your workout wardrobe and replace the bedroom pillows.

Cleaning To Dos for August
Wash Living Room Throw: Cozy throws are great for cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie or read a book during the cooler fall and winter months. While these don’t need to be laundered as often as bedding, they do need washing every now and again (once a year or more depending on use) to keep them fresh.
Clean Light Fixtures: Dust chandeliers and vacuum the lamp shades.
Dry Clean Summer Clothes: In preparation for fall, take all dry-clean only items (coats, dresses, sweaters, etc.) from summer to the dry cleaners before storing them away so they’re clean and ready for next year.
Mend Summer Clothes: In addition to dry cleaning, inspect and mend anything that needs fixing before storing it.
Wipe Baseboards: The baseboards around the house collect dust. Take a dry or damp cloth and quickly wipe them all clean.
Make Fall Travel Plans: Plan a fall vacation. It’s always nice to have something in the calendars to look forward to.
Decorate Office: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For August, focus on the laundry room.
Assess Workout Wardrobe: When was the last time you replaced your workout clothes? If you exercise regularly, these clothes may get more use than some of the pieces in your regular wardrobe. Assess those sneakers, sports bras and leggings and toss, donate, sell or replace items as needed.
Plan Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Who doesn’t love the idea of a simple capsule wardrobe? Having one for each season makes getting dressed every day a breeze. Plan a new (or update the old) capsule wardrobe for fall.
Organize Desk Drawers: Desk drawers should only house office supplies or items relevant to work done in the office. Use organizing trays to ensure every item has a place.
Manage Cords: Are the cords behind the TV looking like a fire hazard? Are you sick of looking at the charger cords that line the bedside table? Identify ways to better manage these – organize, minimize, hide, etc.
Replace Pillows: Bedroom pillows get flat and lumpy with frequent use. Assess and replace them as needed on an annual basis.  
Clean Diffuser: An essential oil diffuser is a relaxing addition to bedroom decor. Empty the water and wipe out the diffuser reservoir regularly but give the diffuser a deep clean once a year (more depending on use). Fill the reservoir half full of water and 10 drops of white vinegar; let it run for 10-15 minutes. Give the ultrasonic chip a wipe down with a cotton swap dipped in rubbing alcohol to ensure it too is clean and oil-free.
Organize Bedside Drawers: The drawers of the bedside tables tend to become a catchall for jewelry, books, phone chargers and more. Use acrylic drawer organizers to give each item a place and revisit them for a reorg once a year.
Clean Entertainment Stand: While the drawers and cupboards in the entertainment stand can be lifesavers in keeping the living room tidy, they need to be formally organized once a year to ensure they are providing functional storage rather than a messy catch all location for hiding miscellaneous things when guests come over. 
Restock Home Bar: Our dining room bar is stocked for weekend cocktails, happy hours and guests with liquor, mixers, beer and wine from local vineyards. Take inventory and restock anything that’s running low. And review cocktail cookbooks for seasonal recipes to try for fall! Learn more about How to Stock a Healthier Bar.

September

September marks the beginning of fall and football season. Clean out the car so it’s ready for travel to football games or a long weekend getaway for Labor Day. Get your fall wardrobe organized and ready to wear, send family birthday cards and review your passport and TSA pre-check status every few years when their expiration dates roll around in the fall.

Cleaning To Dos for September
Decorate for Fall: Every season has its own festive decor. September is a great time to put out fall decor. Hint: make detailed lists of seasonal decor items so you don’t forget about anything in storage when it’s time to change seasons or take pictures of displays to remember where it all goes year after year.
Review Subscriptions & Memberships: Netflix, Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, Comcast, FitRadio, YNAB, gym membership, wineries, magazines, meal delivery services, the list goes on. Review all subscriptions and memberships and determine if they are worth continuing or if it’s time to cancel.
Plan Weekend Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway for the long Labor Day weekend.
Renew Passport & TSA Pre-Check Status: Check the expiration dates on passports and TSA pre-check accounts. Note when these need to be renewed so you can update them ahead of schedule.
Plan Fall Football Trip: Make plans to meet up with old friends for our annual football game.
Get Car Wash: We typically only do this twice a year thanks to the temperate climate, minimal rain, and covered parking garages.
Update Car Insurance Card: Print and replace the car insurance cards in the glove box with the new/updated one every March and September.
Vacuum Car Interior: Deep clean the inside of the car – removing crumbs, dirt and miscellaneous trash that has collected over the past few months.
Remove Fuzz/Pills from Summer Sweaters: If you don’t own a sweater shaver, you need one. Remove all the fuzz and pills from summer clothes before putting them away for the season. Clip any loose threads with a pair of scissors too while you’re at it.
Replace Toothbrush: Toss out the old, replace with the new. If using an electric toothbrush, simply replace the toothbrush head.
Decorate Main Floor Bathroom: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For September, focus on the main floor bathroom.
Organize Closet with Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Put summer clothes into storage and organize closet with fall clothes.
Celebrate Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Deposit Loose Change: Throughout the year, collect loose change from around the house and keep it in a jar in the junk drawer. Take it to the bank and deposit it once a year.
Open All the Windows: Every so often it’s nice to open up all the windows, get a fan going to circulate air throughout the entire house and run the air purifier to refresh the air.
Mop Floors: Vacuuming happens frequently – mopping less so. Mop (or Swifter) all hard surface floors (kitchen, living room, dining room, hallways, bathrooms).

October

In October celebrate Halloween, Oktoberfest and the long Columbus Day weekend with a quick getaway. Take on regular cleaning tasks, but also those that happen once a year like dusting your indoor plans.

Cleaning To Dos for October
Celebrate Family Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Water Indoor Plants: Thankfully the desert dwellers that live in the house here require minimal watering and thrive off neglect. Watering them every few months (more if needed) is usually sufficient.
Dust Indoor Plants: The leaves of indoor plants can get dusty over the year. Take a damp cloth and carefully wipe dusty leaves or give the plant a quick rinse in the shower or with a hose outside.
Decorate Bedroom: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For October, focus on the bedroom.
Clean Bathroom Rugs: Take bathroom rugs outdoors to shake off the dirt. Toss them into the washing machine if needed.
Clean Shower Curtains: Remove shower curtains and toss them in the washing machine. Bleach white curtain liners if needed.
Clean Outdoor Spaces: Move the furniture and planters to do a deep clean. Sweep the balcony, power wash the rooftop, wipe down surfaces and remove cobwebs.  
Plan for Halloween: Prepare for Halloween with candy, decorations and festive recipes.
Celebrate Oktoberfest: Celebrate Oktoberfest with bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer.
Plan a Weekend Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway for the long Columbus Day weekend.
Refill Prescriptions: Call in (and pick up) a three-month supply of any medical prescriptions from the local pharmacy.
Oil Cutting Boards: If using plastic cutting boards, skip this part. Wooden cutting boards require upkeep – as in, treating them with a good oil rub (like this one) every few months so the wood doesn’t dry out or crack. Do the same for the butcher block island counter top.
Clean Coffee & Tea Pots: Give the coffee maker and tea kettle a deep clean. Fill the coffee pot with equal parts water and vinegar or lemon juice and brew without coffee grinds or filter. Run the brew cycle again with fresh water to ensure all the vinegar/lemon juice is rinsed out. Scrub the coffee pot and tea kettle with water and baking soda to remove stains.
Clean Microwave: Using a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe all food splatters off every surface of the microwave (top, bottom and sides) both inside and out.
Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards: The outside surfaces of kitchen cupboards get grimy with use. Take a damp paper towel or anti-bacterial wipe and wipe the outside cupboard surfaces, knobs and handles.
Scrub Trash Can: It’s not uncommon for trash bags to leak, leaving questionable puddles of goo at the bottom of your kitchen trash can (so gross). Wipe the whole thing down with an anti-bacterial wipe or, if it’s really bad, take the can into the shower or out into the yard to hose it down.

November

As you prepare to swap out your fall clothes for your winter wardrobe, mend and dry clean fall garments before they go into storage. November is also the time for Thanksgiving Day planning, daylight savings and an opportunity to get the car ready for holiday road trips.

Cleaning To Dos for November
Clean Light Fixtures: Dust chandeliers and vacuum the lamp shades.
Review Toll Pass Account: For places with lots of toll roads like the Bay Area, a toll pass/transponder can make life easy. Check in on the account once a year to ensure threshold and replenish amounts still match your usage and update accordingly.
Make Winter Travel Plans: Plan a winter vacation. It’s always nice to have something in the calendars to look forward to.
Clean Out Glove Box: Over the year, the glove box can become a catchall for miscellaneous items (sunglasses, napkins, tools, paperwork). Take time once a year to clean it out and organize the contents accordingly.  
Restock Home Bar: Our dining room bar is stocked for weekend cocktails, happy hours and guests with liquor, mixers, beer and wine from local vineyards. Take inventory and restock anything that’s running low. And review cocktail cookbooks for seasonal recipes to try for winter! Learn more about How to Stock a Healthier Bar.
Dry Clean Fall Clothes: In preparation for winter, take all dry-clean only items (coats, dresses, sweaters, etc.) from fall to the dry cleaners before storing them away so they’re clean and ready for next year.
Mend Fall Clothes: In addition to dry cleaning, inspect and mend anything that needs fixing before storing it.
Plan Winter Capsule Wardrobe: Who doesn’t love the idea of a simple capsule wardrobe? Having one for each season makes getting dressed every day a breeze. Plan a new (or update the old) capsule wardrobe for winter.
Wipe Baseboards: The baseboards around the house collect dust. Take a dry or damp cloth and quickly wipe them all clean.
Change Clocks for Daylight Savings: Twice a year every year, don’t forget to do this in the fall.
Make Thanksgiving Plans: Make travel plans to visit family for Thanksgiving.

December

In addition to seasonal tasks like swapping out your fall wardrobe and decor for their winder counterparts, December is the time for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration planning. Before the end of the year, book annual health and wellness appoints for the new year and ensure professional development learning credits are all recorded and accounted for.

Cleaning To Dos for December
Decorate for Winter: Every season has its own festive decor. December is a great time to put out winter decor. Hint: make detailed lists of seasonal decor items so you don’t forget about anything in storage when it’s time to change seasons or take pictures of displays to remember where it all goes year after year.
Vacuum Furniture: Remove all the cushions and vacuum in all the cervices where crumbs and loose change tend to fall.
Review Subscriptions & Memberships: Netflix, Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, Comcast, FitRadio, YNAB, gym membership, wineries, magazines, meal delivery services, the list goes on. Review all subscriptions and memberships and determine if they are worth continuing or if it’s time to cancel.
Record RD Education Credits: Take time once a year to log continuing education hours and submit them to the Commission on Dietetic Registration every five years to maintain RD credentials.
Make Christmas & New Year’s Even Plans: Book travel for Christmas to visit family and make reservations to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Decorate Second Floor Bathroom: Pick a different room each month and dedicate time to refreshing the decor and making updates to the space. By the end of the year you’ll see progress across the entire house! For December, focus on the second floor bathroom.
Make Annual Health Appointments: Schedule routine dental cleanings (two times/year), physical check-up (once a year) and eye exam (once a year) at the start of each year so they’re in the calendar.
Organize Closet with Winter Capsule Wardrobe: Put fall clothes into storage and organize closet with winter clothes.
Remove Fuzz/Pills from Fall Clothes: If you don’t own a sweater shaver, you need one. Remove all the fuzz and pills from fall clothes before putting them away for the season. Clip any loose threads with a pair of scissors too while you’re at it.
Empty Paper Shredder: Shredding confidential mail and documents can feel like a monumental task if not tackled regularly. Avoid cursing at the office paper shredder when it rejects your document because the bin is full by taking a minute to empty it a few times a year.
Celebrate Family Birthdays: Birthdays of family and friends happen all year long – make sure to set reminders and have the appropriate cards and gifts on hand to avoid scrambling at the last minute when it’s time to celebrate.
Restock Gift Wrapping Supplies: Take inventory of holiday gift wrapping supplies (wrapping paper, tissues, scissors, tape, ribbon, tags) and restock as needed for Christmas.
Organize Utility Closet: The coat/linen/utility closet here is all one in the same. It holds everything from coats, hats and rain boots, to extra towels and sheets, and even the vacuum, broom and extra paper products like toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissue. Giving it a deep clean and organizational refresh once a year keeps it functioning at its best.
Open All the Windows: Every so often it’s nice to open up all the windows, get a fan going to circulate air throughout the entire house and run the air purifier to refresh the air.
Mop Floors: Vacuuming happens frequently – mopping less so. Mop (or Swifter) all hard surface floors (kitchen, living room, dining room, hallways, bathrooms).

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