Cleaning Blind Spots: Discovering the Neglected Nooks and Crannies of Your Home
Your house looks clean on the surface, but what’s lurking inside your couch cushions and appliances? It’s easy for messes to build up, especially if you’re a master of straightening up quickly before guests arrive. What nooks and crannies occupy your cleaning blind spots?
Every home has forgotten corners where dirt sneaks off to gather. However, you can seek and destroy this common enemy. Here are five typically neglected nooks and crannies to dust off today.
Do Look Up
High corners attract cobwebs, but that’s not the only reason to look up when cleaning. Have you noticed gray streaks around your HVAC registers? If so, it’s a sign you have dirty ducts, which can blow dust and germs all over your home. While severe mold or other debris accumulation warrants professional treatment, you can tackle minor messes yourself.
Although using your vacuum cleans the first few feet of your ductwork, it won’t treat the entire system. However, you’ll notice you breathe easier. At the very least, you should change your filters once every three months, more often during high heating and cooling periods, and if pets or smokers occupy your home.
There’s more to your HVAC system than what’s in your walls. Do you have ceiling fans? If so, you should gently dust the fan and blades with an old pillowcase every few weeks, occasionally washing components when dirt encrusts them. Everything below stays less dusty when your fan isn’t snowing.
Finally, pay attention if you use an aromatherapy mister. While these devices are fabulous, they can accumulate an oily coating on windows, light fixtures, walls and ceilings, making them look dingy over time. Wiping them off with a slightly damp cloth takes minutes and fixes the issue.
Drawers, Cabinets and Closets
Do you stash random stuff in cabinets and drawers when unexpected guests knock? If so, it doesn’t take long for those accumulated doodads to make it impossible to find anything. Nearly every home has at least one of these cleaning blind spots.
Start with your closet, as it’s often the toughest, thanks to sentimental reasons. However, getting your BFFs in on the fun can make it less painful. You won’t mind parting with that Christmas sweater that doesn’t fit if it finds a good home with one of your pals.
Here’s the best technique for cleaning cluttered drawers and closets:
- Take everything out, down to the last stray button.
- Sort everything into three piles — to keep, donate, or repurpose into rags or toys.
- Decide on an organizational system. Will you sort by color, item type or by season?
- Restock your closets and drawers.
Those Cobwebby Corners
You’ve already tackled the cobwebs on the ceiling. However, there are some sneaky other places crumbs and dirt love to lurk:
- Between couch cushions
- Beneath and behind furniture
- In baskets and magazine racks
Mail and paperwork can also accumulate on desks and countertops, taking up valuable space and making your home look cluttered. Start with the organization. Invest in stackable trays and binders to get your paperwork in order.
Then, go crazy with your vacuum’s hose attachment. Remove couch cushions and items from baskets. While at it, dig the crumbs out of your remotes with a cotton swab and disinfect them from all those germs with an electronics wipe.
The office microwave isn’t the only appliance that can conceal splatter. Yours at home might be a cleaning blind spot that bears the scars of yesterday’s soup. Use an Angry Mama or simply nuke a cup of water to boiling, letting the steam loosen debris and wiping it with a damp cloth.
You can put many small appliance components such as air fryer baskets directly into the dishwasher. To clean the dishwasher itself, empty it, placing only a small bowl of distilled vinegar in the bottom basket and running the hottest cycle.
Finally, do you store baking trays in your oven? While you’re OK storing heat-safe materials within, be careful with random objects, pots, and pans with wooden or plastic handles — you could spark a fire.
Getting Down Low
The lowest spots in your home can often be the messiest. However, tackling the cleaning blind spots in your basement and garage can improve your family’s health. Such areas are standard places for mold to grow, especially if you live in a damp climate.
If such areas have a mildewy smell, protect yourself with personal protective equipment before tackling these tasks. Spores can grow on nearly anything, including old papers and textiles in cardboard boxes.
Take the path of least resistance when deciding what to toss. You probably don’t have much need for stuff you haven’t touched in a year or more outside of specialty tools. However, don’t head to the landfill. Recycling or repurposing what you no longer need is more eco-friendly, and unexpected items like Pokémon cards might be worth considerable cash at auction.
Look Out for These Easily Missed Spots
Every home has cleaning blind spots where dirt goes to hide from the vacuum and dust mop. Uncovering them results in a tidier, healthier home.
Discover these neglected nooks and crannies, and clean them up today. You’ll take greater pride in your home and feel good about your efforts to keep your family healthy and organized.
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