8 Essential Summer Cleaning Chores

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated February 23, 2022
A woman cleaning windows
Photo: MilosStankovic / E+/ Getty Images

Don’t slack on important household chores during the summer months

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Summertime and the living is easy. While technically true, easy living creates plenty of messes throughout the house. To prevent an absolute disaster come fall, make a summer chore checklist, and take time each week to complete a task or two. Here are eight essential summer cleaning chores.

8 must-do summer jobs, including cleaning windows and preform safety inspections

1. Clean Your Windows

It's summer, so you want the sunshine to pour through your windows. However, windows hold on to fingerprints, pawprints, dirt, and just about everything else, putting the kibosh on your summer serenity. To thoroughly clean windows, you need to attack them from both sides, making warm summer days a perfect time to tackle this chore. Or consider hiring a local window cleaning company if you're short on time and have too many windows to clean.

Also, don't forget about the blinds and drapes. Blinds attract plenty of dust, so pop them out of their brackets and take them outside for a quick wash. Lay them down on the driveway or patio, and set your garden hose to "spray" or its gentlest setting to hose them down. Use a sponge to wipe away any particularly dirty areas. As for drapes, throw them in the wash if the design allows it. 

2. Clean Doors and Tracks 

Summer means constantly opening front and back doors, as well as closet doors for swimsuits and storage closet doors for recreational accessories like umbrellas and grills. Clean these via your preferred method, but don't forget about the tracks. You want your doors to open quickly, especially during busy family gatherings, so clean away the gunk that's collected there throughout the year and apply some WD-40 or a similar lubricant once the tracks are clean. 

3. Wipe Down and Clean Lighting Fixtures

Opening doors and windows during the summer months will invite gentle breezes but also allow bugs to enter your home. Insects absolutely love lighting fixtures, so keep them clean to prevent a bug collection come fall. 

If you have lamps with bowl shades, remove the shades, wipe them down, and clean both sides. For ceiling-based lighting bowls, get on the ladder, remove the fixtures, and give them a thorough yet gentle cleaning with your favorite extendable duster. These steps should prevent summer bug infestations, but if not, have your local top-rated exterminator's number on speed dial.

4. Give Your Exterior a Good Wash

A man cleaning porch with a pressure washing machine
Photo: Daniel Grill / Getty Images

Having a clean house and yard is a must if you regularly host summer gatherings, such as barbeques or game days. However, it's easy to forget the exterior of your home as you prepare to have guests.  

Home exterior areas include your siding, deck, driveway, and the world-facing part of your home. Choose a warm, dry day to clean and use gentle home cleaners to remove stains. If your home’s exterior is particularly grime-filled, rent a pressure-washing machine or hire a professional pressure washer near you to perform the work. If you have plenty of siding, exercise extreme caution when using a pressure washer. 

5. Clean Out the Pantry and Refrigerator 

Summer is a great time to clean out the refrigerator and pantry to make room for watermelons, burger buns, and other festive eats. Throw away expired food items, but donate ingredients you no longer want to a local food bank or charity. Go through your pantry to ensure everything is sealed correctly to dissuade curious and hungry insects, and make a list of near-expired items so you can throw them into a recipe at your next weekend barbeque. While you're performing the grocery purge, wipe down pantry shelves and refrigerator drawers as well. 

6. Maintain Your Lawn and Pool

If you have a swimming pool, you know how quickly it accumulates dirt, oils, leaves, and so much more. Regularly clean in and around your pool, especially before guests arrive. Consider hiring a local pool cleaning pro after a big summer barbeque, and keep a mesh skimmer net on hand for removing leaves and bugs. Also, don’t neglect the drains and filters. 

Equally important? Your yard. Water your plants, toss any grass clippings accumulated via mowings, update front porch decorations to reflect the season, trim overgrown hedges, and whack those weeds.

7. Host a Garage Sale

A mother helping her son
Photo: kate_sept2004 / E+/ Getty Images

If you’re looking to really reduce clutter throughout your home and its various storage areas, host a garage sale. Summer is the best time for a garage sale, as neighbors and general onlookers are out and about. There are many ways to ensure a successful garage sale, such as putting up signs throughout the neighborhood, keeping your curb clean and inviting, and putting display items on tables. Not only will a garage sale reduce clutter in your home, but you’ll also make a few bucks to add to the hamburger fund. 

8. Conduct Safety Inspections 

Summer is a time for kids to frolic outdoors, so perform thorough safety inspections on their toys, like bikes and scooters, and any outdoor equipment they regularly use, such as the pool and basketball hoops. Also, inspect outdoor tree branches and trim if necessary, and take a look at your various smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Repair any worn-down yard fencing, and ensure all of your locks are in working order.

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