7 Chores That Can Totally Wait, According to This Cleaning Expert

updated Aug 20, 2020
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I love cleaning. I have lots of cleaning schedules and plans, and an app to keep track of them, and even a paper planner in which I write down my daily chores so I can physically check them off. This does not mean that my house is perfectly maintained, though. For me, it’s the follow-through that throws a wrench in my best-laid plans. Maybe because I’m a Rebel.

A reasonably clean house, however, is important to me. One way or another, I get the basics done: Our bathrooms are presentable and the kitchen is cleaned (dishes, counters, sink) multiple times a day. But, because I choose to put my limited energy elsewhere or because I simply just don’t do it, there are tasks that remain unchecked and they pile up on the bottom of my cleaning lists.

Here are the cleaning chores that, for better or worse, I place less importance on.

1. Decluttering the tops of my kitchen cabinets.

Because I’m pretty strict with what tools and dishes I allow in my kitchen in the first place, I don’t need the space. So whatever is stored up there (things like heirloom crystal goblets that I saved for fancy dessert presentation or those ever-multiplying promo water bottles the kids won’t let me declutter until they forget about them) tends to stay for a while.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Cleaning inside drawers.

If you’ve ever lifted the dividers out of your kitchen or bathroom drawers, you know how dirty it gets underneath them. Any decluttering session includes vacuuming out crumbs and wiping out stray hairs and makeup smudges. But this isn’t a task I do unless I am in fact decluttering my drawers.

3. Dusting bookshelves.

This task hovers near the bottom of my list, although it probably shouldn’t. If I’m dusting, though, the bookshelves are typically one of the last areas I hit. I tend to focus on spots that are seen more often in our daily life, like lampshades, dresser and console table surfaces, etc.

4. Other dusting tasks.

Speaking of dusting that gets neglected, I admit it’s not just the bookshelves. Though I know well how dusty they get (just as dusty as everything you can see easily!), the tops of door frames and even the ceiling fan blades (I’m embarrassed to admit that one) aren’t areas I tackle frequently.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Cleaning under furniture.

The move-it-first trick helps, but it’s still not something I do often. I’m happy, honestly, if I clean the visible portions of my floors as often as my cleaning schedule demands.

6. Cleaning cushions and upholstery.

I know I should do it more often than I do, but cleaning throw pillows, wiping down leather furniture, and vacuuming and/or spot cleaning upholstery hasn’t quite made it into my regular cleaning repertoire.

7. Cleaning under the sinks in the bathrooms and the kitchen.

I mostly keep cleaning supplies under these sinks, but without regular maintenance, I end up with not-quite finished bottles of cleaning sprays or sponges and scrubbers that I’ve since replaced and, pretty soon, the supplies that are supposed to be convenient become a jumble of repeats and rejects. When I take the time to sort through what I have, my system is efficient again, but I don’t do it often.

What cleaning chores are at the bottom of your list?

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: A Cleaning Writer Says These 7 Cleaning Tasks Can Wait—And Are Always at the Bottom of Her List