Daylight savings time rolls around twice a year for most of the country, and while it may moderately disrupt your sleep schedule for a few days, the event is an excellent reminder to tackle those infrequent chores. Even if you own a piece of Phoenix, AZ, real estate (where the daylight savings time change doesn’t exist), the days are slowly getting longer from now until the summer solstice, leaving you plenty of time to check off a few extra tasks.
Daylight Savings is a great time to…
- Clean your windows. It’s an arduous chore that, thankfully, needs to be done only periodically. “Unless you have pets or small children who leave smudges, you may not need to clean the inside of the window,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, a certified housecleaning technician and small-space expert. (Pro tip: You can hire someone to do this for you for around $100.)
- Rid yourself of dust bunnies. Roll up your area rugs and vacuum underneath them. Pull out your stove and refrigerator and do the same. It’s also a good idea to gently vacuum your refrigerator coils, which will keep the fridge running properly. Be sure to unplug the fridge before doing this, and consult your user manual to find the location of the coils.
- Fix up your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The daylight savings time change is a good reminder to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. But while you’re at it, remove and wipe the detector cover with a damp cloth, then vacuum the interior to remove any dust particles, says Smallin Kuper. Check your dryer vents too, to make sure they are lint-free.
- Swap out your winter bedding. Remove your winter quilts and sheets and replace them with lighter-weight bedding. “Always launder these items before storing,” advises Smallin Kuper, adding that it helps keep moths at bay.
- Do a big dust. Working from high to low, start by wiping down ceiling fans and the tops of bookcases and other furniture with a duster that has an extending pole. Gently clean the inside of light fixtures and wipe down (cool) light bulbs to remove grime. Finally, dust baseboards and windowsills with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
- Deep-clean carpets and rugs. If you haven’t done this before, it’s a sound idea to start now. “Many carpet manufacturers will void the warranty on carpets if they’re not professionally cleaned at least once every 12 to 18 months,” says Smallin Kuper.
- Get rid of stuff. Start with the obvious places, like your closet or junk drawer, but don’t skip the often-forgotten ones, like your bathroom and pantry. Go through your medicine cabinet and toss expired medications. Open up your cosmetic bag (or drawer) and throw out anything that looks a little grungy, and if you haven’t changed your toothbrush in a few months, swap it out for a new one. Toss anything in your pantry that’s expired and give your utensil drawer a once-over — are the knives too worn or in need of a little sharpening? Is there anything there that should be tossed?
- Deep-clean your kitchen appliances. Wipe down the door of your stove, dishwasher, and fridge with warm, soapy water. Turn on the self-clean cycle in your oven and then tackle the inside of your dishwasher with a toothbrush and hot, soapy water, making sure to clean the rubber seal inside the door. Wipe away any debris with a leftover sponge, put a cup full of white vinegar on the top rack, and run a full cycle. When the cycle is done, wipe the inside of the dishwasher with a soft cloth.
Originally published March 8, 2016. Updated February 15, 2018.