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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the list of 500 or so things to do this year.  It's mostly a list of small tasks (though there are a few time-consumers on there), that if accomplished, would keep things around the house clutter free, up to date on maintenance, and just a better sense of order.

Order is good 🙂

I was asked to publish the list, but since there's so much on there, I thought I'd take a first stab at looking what I accomplished (and didn't) for the month of January.  Seeing how it goes, I'll consider publishing future monthly updates.

Here's the list, as well as the planned recurrence and any noteworthy blurbs about the task in question:

  1. Clean out the washing machine filter (Quarterly) – There's a trap / drain at the bottom of the washing machine.  I didn't know about this until the machine stopped spinning at full speed about a year ago.  Actually reading the manual gave me the insight that this needs to be done regularly as things get trapped there (I found 11 cents!)  I cleaned it out and now do it every three months.
  2. Clean washing machine gasket (Monthly) – Our front loading washing machine, as many do, will get mildew inside if you forget to leave the door open, as moisture gets trapped inside and accumulates on the rubber seal.  I wipe it down with bleach and scrub this down.
  3. Clean under the dining room table (Monthly) – Cats like to hang out there so it gets quite hairy
  4. Clean end table glasstops with newspaper (Quarterly) – We dust regularly but paper towel leave a film.  Newspaper makes it sparkling clean!
  5. Clean doorwall glass and tracks (Monthly) – Again, cleaning the glass with newspaper, as well as wiping out the track which can get pretty nasty, even if it's not used!  We have two doorwalls.
  6. Clean storm door and window in entry way (Monthly) – As the entrance to our house, I do another go with newspaper to give the glass a sparkle.
  7. Clean baseboards around the hardwood floor area (Monthly) – Part of the first floor is hardwood and the baseboards around can get kind of gunky.  I have a thing against dirty baseboards.
  8. Vacuum stairs to the basement (Monthly) – Kitty litter boxes are down there, so despite cleaning and sweeping, the stairs inevitably get some tracked.
  9. Clean out the inside of the microwave (Monthly) – Regular use leads to spatters and this can get quite nasty if not handled routinely.
  10. Wipe down the top of the fridge (Monthly) – Out of sight, out of mind, but this keeps the dust down.
  11. Clean out the floor around the garbage cans (Monthly) – We don't make a habit of throwing food on the floor, but the area around the garbage cans still gets spilled on, so this involves a deeper cleaning.
  12. Clean out under the sink and check for spills (Quarterly) – Took everything out and cleaned the dishwashing supplies and other stuff that tends to build up under there.  Got it organized and wiped down all the gunk.
  13. Wipe cabinet bottoms and around edges in the kitchen (Monthly) – We have to wipe around the edges by hand, no matter how often we vacuum, sweep, or steam mop.  Especially with cats that shed.
  14. Wipe cabinet bottoms and around edges in the half bath (Monthly)
  15. Dust and clean our office (Monthly) – It's in the basement so this falls on me 🙂
  16. Dust and clean playroom (Monthly)
  17. Organize the paperwork basket (Quarterly) – Stuff ‘to be filed' goes in a basket in the office.  I've been getting to it about once a year, but plan to do so more often.
  18. Clean out office drawers (Semi-Annually) – Along with the previous task, this would go through the filed paperwork to clean out any dated stuff.
  19. Sync and backup external hard drives (Monthly) – We store documents and data on external hard drives.  My wife and I each have one, and we have a third that backs up the other two.
  20. Clean my tool area in the basement (Monthly)
  21. Replace furnace filter (Monthly)
  22. Tidy up storage area in basement (Monthly)
  23. Sweep and scrub floors in basement (Monthly) – Mainly to keep the area around the litter boxes sanitary.
  24. Dust bookshelves (Monthly) – They get dusty being in the basement, so they need a good dusting.
  25. Organize basement pantry area (Monthly) – Our kitchen pantry is small so we have a shelf dedicated to storing perishables.  This involves going through it, bringing anything about to expire to the front, and making sure nothing gets ‘hidden'.
  26. Check car maintenance schedules for upcoming to-dos (Monthly)
  27. Clean garage workbench area (Monthly)
  28. Check tire pressure in both cars (Monthly)
  29. Sweep out the garage(Monthly)
  30. Clean floor grout in the master bathroom (Quarterly) – We actually had never done a deep clean on this, so it was a big job which I will post about.  Hopefully doing it more regularly will be a less involved process.
  31. Clean floor grout in the master bathroom (Semi-Annually) – For now, this area gets a lot less use, so I'm only planning on a couple times a year here for now.
  32. Clean grout in master bathroom shower (Monthly)
  33. Clean out under the sink in the hall bathroom (Semi-Annually) – When we buy extras on toiletries, we put them here.  Going through them regularly will ensure that we don't forget that we have something and buy it again (which happens too often)
  34. Clean out drawers in hall bath (Semi-Annually)
  35. Clean out closet in master bath (Quarterly)
  36. Vacuum under beds (Monthly)
  37. Iron my work shirts (Monthly)
  38. Organize and re-fold clothes as necessary in my dresser (Monthly) – I freed up almost an entire drawer!
  39. Run a full virus scan, malware scan, and defrag my desktop computer, making sure everything is up to date (Monthly)
  40. Ditto on my wife's laptop (Monthly)
  41. One more time on the other laptop that we also use mostly for browsing (Monthly)
  42. Clean and polish my work shoes (Monthly) – Didn't get to this one this month!

I was pretty happy with as much as I got done.  Goals moving forward are two:

  • Continue with good momentum
  • Make it so that if many of these tasks are done often enough, they become less time consuming.  For example, I spent an hour and a half tidying up one of the areas in the basement, throwing away garbage, getting stuff ready for donations, and wiping away lots of dust.  If I spend five minutes a month keeping this area clean, hopefully the hour and a half projects start becoming few and far between