No one wants to spend their weekend catching up on mundane home maintenance tasks–the kind that tend to pile up over time. But with this easy-to-follow list, you can improve the health of your home in just a few minutes here and there: 

Change your air filters

It can be easy to forget about your air filters: that is, until your home is covered in dust. It’s important to change those filters (or at least check them) every month to ensure clean air is circulating through your home. The longer the filter is in, the more allergens and dust accumulate inside of it, which decreases the efficiency of the filter. If you can’t tell whether it needs to be replaced or not, a good rule of thumb is to hold it up towards a light. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to replace it! 

Descale your coffee maker

Gross as it may be, a coffee maker can acquire residue that can make your morning coffee taste not-so-good. Though they’re often overlooked, coffee makers should be cleaned once a month. No, we’re not talking about wiping down the exterior, we’re talking about descaling the interior! To extend your coffee brewer’s life (and to enjoy better-tasting coffee), try a cleansing kit compatible with your coffee maker that can clean and restore your machine. We’re fans of both the Keurig Descale Starter Kit and the Affresh Coffee Maker Cleaner.  

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Deep clean your garbage disposal 

If you’re holding your nose while walking past your sink, it’s probably a good time to address your garbage disposal. The good news is that they are very easy to clean (and should be cleaned monthly to prevent any lingering scents). A little bit of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water can do the trick. Even grinding up citrus peels in the disposal can help eliminate odors. If you want to go the extra mile, check out Home Depot’s tips for additional cleaning instructions. 

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Tend to your washer and dryer 

Washers and dryers are some of the most-used appliances in a home. It’s time we start showing them some love once a month to keep our clothes smelling fresh and clean, rather than musty and mildewed. For washers, simply pop in a cleaning tablet and run a “tub clean” cycle (or run your washer on the hottest setting). This will strip any built-up mold or mildew inside the washer, leaving it bright, shiny, and fresh again. For dryers, try using a dryer lint vacuum attachment to suck out any dirt or lint stuck inside. This will get rid of all that lint stuck at the bottom of your dryer that can be dangerous (i.e. a fire hazard) if left unattended. 

Rinse your dishwasher out

Dishwashers need to be cleaned on a monthly basis, too. Food and grease particles build up inside a dishwasher over time. (And if you’re washing your dishes in a dirty dishwasher, you’re not really cleaning them.) The easy part is, most dishwashers have a mechanism to self-clean! Try putting a mug full of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and running it on the hottest setting to clean. This will strip all of the grease and food particles left over from previous cycles. Don’t forget to clean that dishwasher filter, too. Check out these tips from The Spruce on cleaning a dishwasher filter

Test your smoke detector

This is probably the most overlooked maintenance task: checking (or changing) your smoke detector batteries. It’s a tiny chore that can have major implications for the safety of your family and your home. Smoke detector batteries should be replaced once a year, but you should be pressing the button on each of your smoke detectors to test them every month. 

Doing these basic tasks every month will save you time and stress down the road. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to make your home a cleaner, safer, and healthier place to live. For more home maintenance tips and tricks, check out our posts on Decluttering Your Home and Making Your Home a Smart Home